Climate of Haiti
Where is the country of Haiti located? Haiti is located in the Caribbean See which has a tropical savanna climate, type Aw according to the Köppen-Geiger classification. The daytime temperatures are around or above thirty degrees Celsius all year round and at night the temperature rarely drops below twenty degrees, with the exception of the higher areas in the interior. In the highest places, the temperature can drop to just above ten degrees.
The country is located on the western side of the island of Hispaniola. On the east side is the Dominican Republic. There are contradictions between these two countries. The neighboring country is a popular tourist destination, while Haiti can expect relatively few tourists from Europe. This has a lot to do with the political and economic situation of the country, which invites little to a luxurious beach holiday in this part of the Caribbean. However, not everyone is put off by the country’s not very stable economy, because on an annual basis the country can still register an average of between half a million to one million visitors. It is not known how many of them are former Haitians visiting their homeland.
Summer in Haiti
Summers in Haiti are hot, clammy and rainy. With daytime temperatures that average between 30 and 35 degrees and a high relative humidity, it feels tropical warm. Along the coasts there can still be a slightly cooling breeze, but in the interior there is often nothing to notice. Especially the strip from Port-au-Prince to the border with the Dominican Republic is nicely sheltered between the hills and mountain areas, so it can be almost windless here.
The summer months are also the wet season in Haiti. On average, it rains almost half of the days in the period from mid-April to the end of October. Depending on the region, there will be about 600 to 1000 millimeters of rain. The southern part of the country is the driest, the northern half the wettest. This half year accounts for about two-thirds to three-quarters of the total amount of rainfall that falls on an annual basis. This rain almost always falls in the form of showers. The normal showers due to the combination of heat and moisture usually fall late in the afternoon or in the evenings. These showers can be fierce, but are usually quite mild and usually last no longer than one or two hours. The downpours that are causing the problems are those caused by tropical depressions and hurricanes. Then it can rain hard for hours, with locally more than a hundred millimeters of rain falling within 24 hours. These periods of heavy rain always cause serious problems in the country without exception. The greatest chance of this is in the months of July, August, September and October.
Haiti is located in a region where there is regular hurricane activity. From June to the end of November, there is a risk of hurricanes entering the Caribbean from the east. Like most other islands in this region, Haiti can also be hit by a hurricane. In recent years, it seems that this poorest country in the western hemisphere has been hit the most by hurricanes. During the highly active 2008 hurricane season, Haiti has been hit by hurricanes no fewer than 3 times, resulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands of homeless people. Because the land is rapidly deforested (only 2 percent of the original forest remains), rain and wind have almost free rein here. Hurricanes and storms reaching the land, are hardly slowed down and especially the large amounts of precipitation that often accompany tropical depressions often cause great damage. The soil in Haiti has been so ‘mistreated’ by the residents that rainwater finds virtually no decent way into the soil and as a result causes flooding with unfortunately often disastrous consequences for the inhabitants of the country. Humanitarian aid from abroad is almost always urgently needed after another hurricane or flood.
Winter in Haiti
The winter months are the best months to visit the country. It is then slightly less warm, usually the temperature does not exceed 30-31 degrees. The weather is also generally a lot friendlier. Hurricanes almost never occur after the beginning of December and the rain showers are a lot less intense. Sunshine predominates and the number of days in which the sun hardly shows itself is minimal.
The sun power is very high in Haiti. For a large part of the year there is the highest solar power (UV index 11), whereby going unprotected in the sun is actually not justified, unless it concerns a very short period (10-15 minutes). The use of a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (minimum 30) is recommended all year round, even for people who do not burn so easily. In winter it is not much lower. Only the months of November, December, January – and to a lesser extent February and October – are slightly milder for your delicate skin. Then still take into account a sun strength that can be compared with the middle of summer in Greece.
The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).
|Maximum temperature||Minimum temperature||Hours of sunshine per day||Days of rainfall per month||Water temperature|
Best time to visit Haiti
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Haiti? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. The Republic of Haiti is located in the Caribbean. It is one of the poorest countries in the world. Haiti’s climate is partly responsible for this. Its location in an area where hurricanes pass from time to time means that Haiti occasionally experiences natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods. The country’s weak economic and political situation means that after a disaster there are hardly any resources to repair infrastructure and rebuild housing. The moment the country has recovered somewhat, the next disaster usually announces itself. All this means that the country that occupies the western half of the island of Hispaniola is not very popular as a tourist destination. As a result, too little foreign currency comes to Haiti, which only aggravates the economic situation. A vicious circle has been created that is virtually impossible to break.
If, despite the fact that Haiti is not exactly a jet set destination, you decide to spend a holiday in Haiti, December to March is the best time to travel. The tropical climate guarantees afternoon temperatures that average around 30-32 degrees Celsius and in these winter months there is relatively little precipitation. This is therefore the most pleasant period to visit Haiti. From April/May the amount of rain increases, as does the relative humidity. As a result, it will not only be wetter in Haiti until the end of the year, but it will also be clammier.
As mentioned above, Haiti occasionally experiences a hurricane. There is often several years between two hurricanes. A hurricane, which in this region is called a ‘hurricane’, is a severe tropical depression that occurs mainly during the hurricane season. The depression forms over the Atlantic Ocean when the seawater there reaches temperatures of about 29 degrees. They often only develop into a hurricane within the Caribbean. The hurricane season lasts from June to November. Haiti is most sensitive to hurricanes from August to October.