Our Climate

 

Antigua and 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.

Rainfall

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 681.48 mm to 1764.0 mm (26.83 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), respectively.

Temperature

The air temperature seldom falls below 20°C (68°F) and seldom ever rises above 32°C (89.6°F). On record, the extremes are 16.1°C (61.0°F) and 34.9°C (94.8°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) respectively.

The mean sea surface temperature is around 27.6°C (81.7°F) with mean rising to around 28.9°C (84.0°F) in September and falling to around 26.2°C (79.2°F) in February and March.

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.

Humidity

Humidity is fairly high and uniform from month to month. The mean relative humidity is 76% ranging from 73% in March and 79% 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 a issue for most persons.

Winds

The trade winds basically blow continuously across the area from the east at a mean 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 hardly ever calm.

Hurricanes 

Hurricanes may 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

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 last for more than a year.

Climate Change

Under climate change, Antigua is projected to get drier and warmer. However, the record for both rainfall and temperature show an upward trend.