Barbuda has a tropical maritime wet and dry type climate. The main
drivers of the climate are tropical sea surface temperatures of the
Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The islands experience neither frost,
snow, sleet, hail nor extremes of temperatures. A unique exception
to that, however, occurred on April 16, 1993, when parts of Antigua
experienced showers of hail over a 3 hour interval around sunrise.
There are two
main seasons: the dry season - January to June and the wet season -
July to December; these seasons account for 36 and 64% respectively
of the annual total rainfall. The normal annual rainfall total is
1187.5 mm (46.75 in) but ranges from 574.5 mm to 1764.0 mm (22.62
to 69.45 in). The driest and wettest months are March, with 51.8 mm
(2.04 in), and October, with 161.0 mm (6.34 in),
temperature seldom falls below 15 °C
(59 °F) and seldom rises
above 35 °C (95 °F). On record, the extremes are 11.6 °C (52.9 °F)
and 35.7 °C (96.3 °F). Meanwhile, the mean daily temperature is
26.9 °C (80.4 °F). The warmest and coolest months are February
with 25.2 °C (77.4 °F) and August with 28.3 °C (82.9 °F).
sea surface temperature (SST) ranges between 24.2 °C
(75.6 °F) and 29.9 °C
(85.8 °F) with the mean being 27.6 °C (81.7 °F). The mean
rises to around 28.9 °C (84.0 °F) in September and falls to around 26.2 °C
(79.2 °F) in February.
Hours of Sunshine
The hours of
bright sunshine ranges from 8 to 9.5 hours on average. There is
seldom ever a day without bright sunshine. The length of day (the
interval between sunrise and sunset) varies from 11 hours and 6
minutes in December to 13 hours and 9 minutes in late June.
fairly high and uniform from month to month. The mean relative
humidity is around 75% ranging from around 70% in March to around 80% in October. The
relatively high humidity values are fairly deceptive as the trade
winds continuously bring refreshing breezes across the islands.
Thus, the high humidity is often not an issue for most persons.
winds basically blow continuously across the area from the east at a
mean (surface) speed of 11.5 knots (13.2 mph). The windiest month is July with
13.6 knots (15.6 mph) and the calmest is October with 9.2 knots
(10.6 mph). The winds seldom exceeds 21 knots (24 mph) and are hardly
Stronger winds do occur over open waters and elevated terrains by as
much as 4 knots (4.6 mph) more than mentioned above.
Wave heights varies little - significant wave heights ranges between
1 and 2 metres (3 to 6 feet). Occasionally, seas would exceed 2.5
metres (8 feet), mainly due to long period swells generated by
extra-tropical cyclones during winter and spring.
occur any time from June through November; however, historically,
the most likely time is mid August to mid September. There is a 25%
chance of a hurricane affecting Antigua in a given year or once
every four years.
Droughts are a
regular occurrence of the climate of Antigua and Barbuda. Rainfall
is highly variable especially from month to month. From time to
time, these droughts can be quite severe and occasionally last for multiple
Under climate change, Antigua is projected to get drier and warmer.
However, the record for both rainfall and temperature show an upward