A popular Jamaican poem starts by summing up Jamaica weather like this:
We have neither Summer nor Winter
Neither Autumn nor Spring
We have instead the days
When the gold sun shines on the lush green canefields-
And it's absolutely true. This is Jamaica weather! Most of our days are filled with warmth and sunshine, even during the rainy season.
Jamaica has a tropical climate with hot and humid weather at sea level. The higher inland regions have a more temperate climate. (Bring a light jacket just in case you travel to the mountains where temperatures can be 10 degrees cooler or in case you go on a windy boat ride).
Our average annual temperature is between 80-86°F (27-30°C). The coolest months are January and February and the temperature starts going back up in March. July and August are typically the hottest months. Temperature variations between summer and winter is about 10 degrees.
The rainiest months in Jamaica are normally May-June and September-October (lasts until November sometimes).
This so-called rainy season is characterized by brief afternoon showers followed by sunshine. Look at it as a welcome break from the tropical heat! (The family in the photo seem to agree!)
Jamaica's average annual rainfall is 50.7 inches (1,288 mm). However, the distribution of rainfall is quite uneven across the island. (You may want to grab a map of Jamaica to find your bearings.)
The southwestern coast of the island is referred to as semi barren and receives very little rain. (Mandeville and Treasure Beach are located in this region.) The eastern coast of Jamaica is the windward coast and receives the most rain on the island. (This is where Port Antonio is located.)
Generally, the weather in Jamaica is characterized by a cool, caressing sea breeze by day and a gentle breeze from the mountains by night.
April is usually the windiest month. As a result you may be unable to take part in activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling due to strong waves, so please keep this in mind when planning your Jamaica vacation.
Please note that between June 1 and November 30 is the Atlantic hurricane season. Historically, the busiest hurricane months in Jamaica are August and September. (This means if you're planning a June or July Jamaica wedding, hurricanes should not be a problem).
Now listen to this:
Because Jamaica is so blessed with a wide variety of fruits...
...and the annual extremes in temperature difference is only about 12 degrees...
...the year is often divided by the type of fruits in season!
For example, many Jamaicans refer to May-July as mango season instead of Spring!
From all the above it would seem as if the best time to visit Jamaica is during the months of December to early April (also known as the dry season).
As a matter of fact, the winter tourist season (high season) in Jamaica lasts from December 15 to April 14. Christmas and Easter are the busiest weeks.
This is the most popular time to visit Jamaica, and the most expensive. Be sure to make reservations about 2-3 months prior to visiting to get your desired accommodation.
By the way, during the summer season resort rates drop as much as 20-50%... so you may want to keep this is mind to get the best deals.
Here's a month-by-month idea of weather in Jamaica. The weather is perfect most of the year. This month-by-month Jamaica weather forecast will help you in deciding when is the best time to visit Jamaica.
December Weather in Jamaica: It's high season, and a "cool" time of year.
January Weather: Middle of the high season.
February Weather: Still middle of the high season. We're getting warmer.
March Weather: The high season is over.
April Weather: The beginning of the low season. It's getting hotter.
May Weather: It's hot, and it may rain.
June Weather: Simple getting hotter.
July Weather: Wow, it's sizzling!
August Weather: Guess what? The sizzling continues!
September Weather: So hot, so humid. Expect rain.
October Weather: Expect more rain.
November Weather: Let's do it all over again!
Each year thousands of visitors come to Jamaica where they have a good time while enjoying the beautiful Jamaica weather. You will hardly ever be stuck in your hotel or resort or your villa for any length of time... and not be able to enjoy your Jamaica dream vacation! (Click here for a list of things to do in Jamaica.)
You now have useful information about the weather in Jamaica. Hopefully, making an informed decision about the best time to visit Jamaica is now easier.