Get today's weather - up to date
at Beef Island (Tortola), BVI (about 4 mi from Great Camanoe).
Click button at right >
Click to set
Click for weather forecastHTML
________________________________________ . __________________________________________________
WHAT WEATHER TO EXPECT
and when to go?
The Baths, an easy boat ride from Great Camanoe Island
Welcome to perpetual summer weather - well, almost! The weather in the British Virgin Islands (the BVI) is typically sunny and warm, with infrequent rain showers. The BVI does not experience significant seasonal changes, therefore air and water temperatures are fairly consistent the year round. Sunshine here is practically an everyday affair. Temperatures climb into the 80s (high 20s Celsius) during the day, and drop into the more comfortable 70s (low 20s Celsius) at night. Winter is generally the dry season in the BVI, but rainfall can occur at any time of the year. You don't have to worry too much, though -- tropical showers usually come and go so quickly you won't really notice. Any everything dries out very quickly. If you're out exploring for the day, you may want to bring light rain gear or prepare to get a little wet.
As mentioned above, the temperature variations in the Caribbean are surprisingly slight, averaging between 75°F and 85°F (24°C-29°C) in both winter and summer. It can get chilly, however, especially in the early morning and at night. The BVI winter is usually like a perpetual U.S May. Overall, temperatures in the mid-80s (high 20s Celsius) prevail throughout most of the region, and trade winds make for comfortable days and nights, even without air-conditioning.
The famous Tradewinds that have made commerce-by-sail possible have been fairly consistent over the ages - averaging 15-20 knots in the winter, except for the famous Christmas Winds of 25-30 knots, and typically 5-10 knots in the summer.
The humidity and bugs can be a problem here year-round. However, more mosquitoes come out during the rainy season, which usually occurs in May and autumn. If you come in the summer (August - September), be prepared for really broiling sun in the mid-afternoon.
The Peak Season, Shoulder Seasons & the Off Season
Brochures make people feel that it's always sunny in the Caribbean, but that isn't necessarily the case. Different islands get different amounts of rain and sunshine, yet the Caribbean has become a favorite year-round destination during all seasons.
Peak Season - the "Season" in the BVI runs roughly from December to April, which is generally the driest and most meteorologically predictble time of year (and the Peak Season in the BVI coincides with the most unpleasant time of year in much of the U.S. and Canada). If you wish to vacation in the BVI during the peak winter period, you should make your reservations well in advance - months in advance if you want to travel over Christmas or in the depths of February, especially around the U.S. President's Day weekend.
Shoulder Seasons - the months on either side of the Peak Season, including the fall months of October & November, and the spring and early summer months of May, June & July, are considered the Shoulder Season. During these months, the weather and water temperatures are nearly the same as during the Peak Season, but lodging expenses are generally lower and the beaches less crowded.
Off Season - the Off or Summer Season begins when North America warms up and many tourists assume that temperatures in the Caribbean are in the 100s range (30s Celsius). This is not the case throughout the Caribbean, however, as it's actually quite balmy year-round in the Virgin Islands - thanks to the fabled trade winds - with temperatures varying little more than 5°F. between winter and summer. The Off Season in the BVI runs, roughly, from August through September. It's still very lovely during these summer months, but less expensive with respect to the costs of accommodations and some services as well.
In the Off Season, you'll find a slower pace prevails in the BVI, and you'll have a better chance to appreciate the local culture and cuisine. Also, it's less likely that you'll encounter crowds in the towns, resorts, restaurants, and shops. Dollar for dollar, you'll spend less money by renting a summer house in the BVI than you would on Cape Cod, Fire Island, or at California's Laguna Beach. You just have to be able to tolerate, or avoid, the strong sun in the afternoon if you're considering coming in the summer. During the Off Season, the beaches and waters are less crowded, and you can get good deals. But by advisd that many BVI restaurants and bars close during parts of August or September.
AIR TEMPERATURES: The late spring, mid summer & early autumn months (June through November) tend to be the warmest with temperatures averaging between 86-88 degrees (Fahrenheit). The late autumn and winter months (December through February) are the coolest with average temperatures in the high 70s. The average daytime air temperature in late summer and most of fall (September through November) is 82 degrees, while the average daytime temperature from late winter through mid spring (March through May) is nearly 79 degrees.
WATER TEMPERATURES: Water temperatures in the Virgin Islands do not change greatly from summer to winter, however, the 4 or 5 degree change is noticeable to those acclimated to consistently warm tropical weather. In the summer months, the water temperature is about 83 degrees. In the winter months, it's about 79 degrees.
RAINFALL: The British Virgin Islands does not have a rainy season. There are, however, average month to month differences in rainfall. The rainiest months in the Virgin Islands are September, October and November. In respect to those three months, the BVI does not receive rain every day all month long. In fact, most daily rainfall reports are below 0.10 inches. Rain showers are usually short and typically occur early in the morning or at night. For the most part, daily sporting activities are unaffected by weather during the “rainy” months because the rain usually falls at night or for short periods during the day. However, on a truly rainy day, it will rain off and on for the entire day. All day downpours over numerous days are not common. The driest months of the year are typically February and March.
HURRICANES: The curse of Caribbean weather, the hurricane season lasts - officially, at least - from June 1 to November 30. But there's no cause for panic: Satellite forecasts give enough warning that precautions can be taken.The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th, with the highest occurrences of storms in August and September. (The table below indicates tropical storm and hurricane activity which occurred within two degrees of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico from 1819 to 2001. Source: NOAA).
STORM ACTIVITY (number of storms) from 1819 - 2001
Jan-1; Feb-0; Mar-0; Apr-0; May-0; Jun-0; Jul-9; Aug- 34; Sept-38; Oct-9; Nov-4; Dec-0.
As reflected above, the most likely times that hurricanes may affect the BVI are clearly the summer months of August and September (the Low Season). The last major hurricane that affected the Virgin Islands was Hurricane Marilyn in September, 1995. Previously, there was Hurricane Hugo in September 1989. There have been smaller hurricanes that have passed over the Virgin Islands like Hurricane Georges in September, 1998, and Hurricane Lenny in November, 1999, but none as severe in recent years as Marilyn and Hugo.
MONTHLY AVERAGE TEMPERATURES & RAINFALL
The charts below represent average monthly temperatures, humidity and rainfall in the British Virgin Islands, as measured on Tortola.* On the first chart, the red bars indicate the average high temperature for a particular month, the blue bars the average low temperature for the month. The green line is the average overall for each month. On the second chart, the pink bars indicate the average number of days each month when there is some recorded rainfall (measured against the left side index). *Tortola receives more annual rain than does Great Camanoe Island.
Both charts courtesy of the Caribbean Weather Centre (www.caribwx.com).
To read reviews submitted by guests since March, 2011, or to write your own review, please click on: "Read or Write Reviews" below.