Climate of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico has a tropical climate, with warm weather throughout the year and a fair amount of precipitation, with no real dry period. You have the smallest chance of precipitation in the winter months, so it is slightly cooler and less stuffy than in the summer months.
Puerto Rico is the largest tourist destination in the Caribbean when you consider the number of tourists that come here on an annual basis. A very large proportion of those tourists (more than three quarters) come from the United States. Puerto Rico is especially popular as a stopover or embarkation point for cruise ships. Many a cruise boat moors on this beautiful island.
Puerto Rico is intertwined with the United States of America, but does not officially belong to any of the states. Puerto Rico is in many ways seen as a completely independent country, but is not really so due to its intertwining with the US. Because the central part of Puerto Rico is mountainous, with a highest point of 1338 meters, a division of the island can be observed. The northern part of the island is slightly wetter in the winter months, the southern and eastern parts are still somewhat protected from the disturbances by the mountains and hills, so that there is less precipitation along the south coast in the period from December to April. However, temperatures in the south are also on average 1 to 2 degrees lower compared to the more frequented northern coastal strip of the island.
Summer in Puerto Rico
The summer months (May-September) are slightly warmer than the winter months and the chance of unpredictable weather is a bit higher. The risk of unpredictable weather is mainly due to the increased activity of depressions that are sent from the Atlantic Ocean into the Caribbean. These disturbances can be very active and cause heavy rain showers and sometimes also a lot of wind. In the worst case, such a depression develops into a true tropical storm or hurricane. Hurricanes are likely to occur during the hurricane season, which runs from June to early December. If you want to go on holiday to Puerto Rico during this period, you should not worry too much about it. The real chance that a hurricane will pass over the part of the island where you are at that moment is less than a tenth percent.
The temperatures during the daytime during the summer are around thirty degrees. At night it cools down to values well above twenty degrees – warm enough for a wonderful holiday in the sun. A jacket, sweater or cardigan for the evenings is therefore really not necessary during this period.
Winters in Puerto Rico are warm, with temperatures still approaching thirty degrees. The minimum temperature is also rarely below 18 degrees, making Puerto Rico qualifies as a tropical climate zone. In the winter the chance of precipitation is smaller than in the summer months and especially the chance of strong winds is a lot smaller. If you book a cruise that includes Puerto Rico, you will hardly ever experience in the winter that the boat trip will be canceled or delayed due to bad weather.
The power of the sun is great in Puerto Rico. With a UV index of the maximum power of 11 in a large part of the year, you cannot avoid regular greasing with a high protection factor.
Except for the aforementioned hurricanes, Puerto Rico has few extremes in terms of weather and climate. Winter weather such as snow, sleet or frost does not occur here. But you will rarely experience extremely hot weather with temperatures of forty degrees or higher in Puerto Rico, because there is always enough influence of sea and wind to temper the temperatures.
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 Puerto Rico
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Puerto Rico? 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. Puerto Rico is a destination located in the Caribbean, which is an unincorporated territory of the United States. From a constitutional point of view, Puerto Rico is not a 100% independent country, but on the other hand, it is not a state of the United States either. The tropical rainforest climate ensures continuous tropical temperatures in Puerto Rico and reasonable amounts of precipitation. Like most other Caribbean islands, Puerto Rico has two seasons: a wet season and a drier season. The northeast trade winds provide some cooling during the tropical warm days in Puerto Rico almost all year round.
The best time to travel for a vacation in Puerto Rico is from December to March. These are normally the driest and least hot months. It is also a period that falls outside the hurricane season. Because the Americans like to travel to Puerto Rico during this period, it is the more expensive high season. Both the airline tickets to Puerto Rico and the accommodations are more expensive on average, especially if you want to travel around Christmas.
The North Coast or South Coast
It makes a difference whether you travel to the south side or the north coast of Puerto Rico. About fifty percent more precipitation falls in the north. In the south it is fractionally warmer, but it is mainly the perceived temperature that is higher. This is because the trade wind is barely or not noticeable here. If you want to celebrate a beach holiday in Puerto Rico, you will have to make a choice: do you go for a smaller chance of a rain shower in the south or do you go for the pleasant cooling due to the trade winds in the north or east?
The tropical climate of Puerto Rico ensures that temperatures during the day always approach thirty degrees Celsius or are slightly higher. During the winter the maximums are around 28 to 30 degrees. In summer it can get quite stuffy with maximum temperatures around 32 to 34 degrees with a fairly high relative humidity. At night temperatures you can see that the south is slightly cooler than the north. You will not experience really cold nights in Puerto Rico. The minimums are between 18 and 27 degrees Celsius throughout the year.
Puerto Rico is prone to hurricanes and tropical storms. During the hurricane season, but sometimes also outside of it, severe depressions can form above the relatively warm seawater of the Atlantic Ocean, which go towards the Caribbean. These depressions can develop into severe tropical storms with hurricane-force winds. Sometimes such a hurricane can reach Puerto Rico or a nearby hurricane can affect the weather in Puerto Rico.