Let's talk about the best time to visit Jamaica. What about rainy season, seasons in general and hurricanes?
Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean. So, there is tropical climate with average temperatures around 80 - 89 F (26 - 31 C) all year around.
Yes, the temperature fluctuates a couple of degrees, so it's slightly warmer in summer than in winter, but you can really tell the difference only if you live in Jamaica.
However, There are tourists who believe that it's way too hot in Summer to travel to Jamaica. Is it really true?
85 F (30 C)
all year around
Well, if you go to downtown area in Kingston, for example, at noon, then yes, it's going to be very hot, regardless the season.
But why would you do such a thing anyway? It's best to walk around towns before 11 am or after 3 pm when the heat is gone.
If, however, you're staying by the sea, it's very unlikely that it's going to be way too hot, simply because of trade winds.
Some people always forget, that there are two belts of trade winds encircle the Earth, blowing from the tropical high-pressure belts to the low-pressure zone at the equator. And it just so
happened that Jamaica is in the middle of one of them.
I've spent over four years living in Calypso Villa, a house by the sea, and I must tell you, that during all of this time there were maybe 10 days when we had no wind, but the rest of the time it is always nice and fresh.
Officially, there are two seasons in Jamaica:
People hear that and naturally try to avoid the so-called rainy season thinking that it rains non-stop, and it doesn't. Here is the picture to prove
This illustrates the average sunshine hours in Montego Bay. As you can see, the worst case scenario is in October, with 6 hours of sunshine per day. Compare this with dry season in January with 7 hours of sunshine, which is dry season! Hardly any difference, as you can see.
If you're wondering what's going on, well, I can explain. Rainy season in Jamaica simply means that there is a chance it would rain, but even if the rain comes, it's always in a form of a heavy tropical shower that brings a lot of water, but lasts for just about 10 minutes. Ok, maybe 20 mins in total. Jamaicans call it liquid sunshine.
The truth is, season usually has nothing to do with the weather you're going to experience in Jamaica. It's not like: if it's rainy season, it rains all the time and if it's dry season it never rains". It doesn't work that way, because it's not about the season in Jamaica it's about WHERE you're going to stay, and that's exactly the catch.
It rains relatively often in the mountains, especially in the area of Cockpit Country and Blue Mountains. However, if you're staying by the coastline, rain is not something to worry
It is also strange that people are searching for weather forecast for Jamaica. They are probably assuming it's a small island, but it is not. It's a relatively big island, which also has a very complex terrain.
As a result, I can stay in Montego Bay and there will be perfect sunshine, while only 10 mins drive into hills it might be raining. That's why it's not the season, it's the actual location that you choose for your vacation.
There is a part of Jamaica called Portland and that's the part that usually gets a lot of rain.
At the same time, this parish is probably the most beautiful part of Jamaica, with absolutely mind blowing rainforests, waterfalls, rivers and mountains. Some of the most beautiful beaches are also located there. Yes, Portland has more rain than any other part of Jamaica but in turn you get its beauty.
The driest place in Jamaica would be South Coast, especially the area between Savana la Mar, Black River and all the way to Treasure Beach.
The chance of rain there is pretty low in general, as you can certainly tell by just looking at the scenery, which would be something people are more likely to expect in Mexico than in Jamaica! However, it's just Jamaican South Coast!
The official hurricane season for the Caribbean is from 1 June to 30 November. This basically means that during this time a Hurricane can be formed.
The thing is though, a hurricane usually follows the path either above Jamaica or below Jamaica and hardly ever comes close. Even if it does, it often gets diverted. This natural phenomena seems to happen due to the differences in air temperatures and air pressure caused by the Mountains.
An example of how it works can be illustrated with Hurricane Matthew, that was heading for Jamaica in 2016 and then suddenly changed its path.
This is one of the reasons why Jamaica experiences least hurricanes than most other Caribbean islands. Of course, there can be an exception, like Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 that devastated the island.
Can this happen again? Yes, and this is something that Jamaicans and people who live in Jamaica might worry about.
But is that relevant to you as a tourist? It's not like hurricanes appear out of nowhere. If it's coming you will know several weeks in advance, and you will give you plenty of time if you have
to change your travel plans.
So, in reality is: traveling during the so-called hurricane season is no different to traveling during any other time, but again, I'm just saying it from the weather point of view.
When it comes to prices, there is usually a significant difference.
From the prices point of view I would actually say that "rainy season" is better, because if you're coming in June or September you will be paying half the price for accommodation sometimes, and also prices might drop for airline tickets too.
In tourism industry we call it "low season" in Jamaica because not many tourists are coming, which gives you another advantage - you would have all these beautiful attractions to yourself!
So, if you wish to escape winter, sure, come in winter!
If you're traveling on a budget - come during the low season!
The island is blessed with this absolutely incredible climate.
That's why the best time to visit Jamaica is ALL YEAR AROUND.