Best and Worst Times to Visit St. Lucia
We picked the perfect day to visit St. Lucia by cruise. The sky was clear and temperatures were perfect for spending time in the sun.
St. Lucia in the eastern Caribbean is one of our favorite islands because of beautiful beaches, Castries harbor and the rolling green landscapes. We picked the right time to go because of a little research into the island’s weather that improved our chances for blue skies.
The average weather for St. Lucia shows the best month to visit is April with two inches of rain and a high temperature of 86 Fahrenheit or 30 Celsius.
But not everyone can visit in April. In fact, April is not one of the three most popular months to visit. Vacation planners have their own reasons to go there during other months. Knowing the historical weather patterns will make it easier to pick which months to go and which ones to avoid.
Tourism Statistics: Most Popular Months
St. Lucia attracts about 1 million cruise and stopover visitors every year, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization. More than 600,000 arrive by cruise ship and more than 300,000 stay multiple nights.
The three most popular months to visit are March, July and December. Tourism spikes during all three months because of time off from schools that allow families to go on vacation together.
The three least popular months are June, September and October, especially the second two. September and October are the worst months for rain, hurricanes and tropical storms during the Caribbean hurricane season. It officially begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30 every year.
Best and Worst Months for Rain
The best months for rain are January through April with an average of about two inches or less. May is another option with an average of less than three inches.
January has the lowest average rainfall of any month. But it also has the coolest temperatures. Caribbean temperatures of course matter for people who love spending time on the beaches and frollicking in the water.
St. Lucia Hurricane Season
St. Lucia has a hurricane season because the Caribbean has one that goes from June 1 to Nov. 30. The worst two months are September and October. The island rarely gets hit directly by a storm or hurricane. But at times it gets heavy rains and strong winds from ones that pass in the area.
According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, the historical averages for Caribbean tropical storms and hurricanes are:
- June: one tropical storm every other year and few if any that become hurricanes
- July: three tropical storms with two that develop into hurricanes
- August: three tropical storms with two that become hurricanes
- September: four tropical storms with that that turn into hurricanes
- October: four tropical storms with only rare hurricanes
- November: one tropical storm every other year with few that develop into hurricanes
Not every Caribbean island gets hit hard with rain in September and October. But St. Lucia does with a historical average of nearly eight inches each, according to the St. Lucia Meteorological Service. November is not far behind with about seven inches. They are the three worst months for rain.
Best and Worst Months for Temperatures
The Caribbean is known for year-round warmth. While it is certainly warmer than more northern cities and countries, it does have lower temperatures in the winter. They make water temperatures too chilly for swimming for some destinations and during certain times of the day.
It’s no surprise that January and February are the coolest months of the year with average high temperatures of less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit or about 29 Celsius.
They sounds plenty warm except for the fact that lower nighttime temperatures, chilly water currents from the north and strong trade winds bring down the wind chill factor. I have visited enough Caribbean destinations to know that many people often stay out of the water during the winter, especially in the mornings. I saw it in February even in Aruba, one of the hottest islands in the Caribbean.
The average high temperatures in St. Lucia reach 87 Fahrenheit or about 31 Celsius from May through October. Even though the average high is only three degrees more than January and February, the nighttime temperatures go up even more and northern water currents are much warmer.
So people who don’t plan to spend much time in the water may want to visit St. Lucia during the winter to get away from northern cold and snow. People who do like the water should visit in the late spring or early summer.
I have visited enough Caribbean destinations to know that many people often stay out of the water during the winter ...
Number of Days with Rain
One more factor makes it easier to choose the best and worst months to go to St. Lucia. The number of days with rain each month increases or decreases the risk with weather.
St. Lucia clearly has a dry season and rainy season based on the number of days with rain. It averages about 15 days a month from January through June. January and April are the two best. The averages jump to 20 days or more from July through November.
Those numbers make it even more clear that the best months to go are during the first half of the year. The worst months to go are during the second half.
St. Lucia Monthly Weather
Tourism drops in January after a robust December. The average high temperature of 84 degrees Fahrenheit or 29 Celsius means seawater is a bit chilly at times in the morning. It's also the start of the dry season.
February temperatures are equal to January. But average rainfall of two inches drops to the lowest point of the year.
Average March temperatures climb by one degree and rainfall increases slightly. Tourism jumps to the highest point of the year.
Average St. Lucia weather in April is another degree warmer and only slightly wetter. Tourism drops to February levels. It's one of the best times to go.
Rainfall in May increases to three inches historically. The average high temperature of 87 degrees Fahrenheit or about 31 Celsius stays near that level through October. It's another good month to visit.
The St. Lucia hurricane season officially begins with the rest of the Caribbean. Average rainfall increases to four inches. Tourism drops to the third lowest point of the year. Schools are out, so it's one of the better months to visit for families despite the higher risk of rain.
The time has come to avoid St. Lucia or at least expect some rain. Average rainfall increases to six inches. The number of days with rain goes up to 21. It's a risky month.
This month historically has nearly the same temperatures and risk of rain as July. It's also a month to avoid.
September is the worst month of the year for the Caribbean hurricane season, and it is one of the two worst months to visit St. Lucia.
September is the worst month of the year for the Caribbean hurricane season, and it is one of the two worst months to visit St. Lucia. The average rainfall jumps to eight inches. Tourism reaches the lowest point of the year. The only people who go this month either don't know the high risk of rain or commit to a last-minute vacation if they see the weather forecast looks good.
October is tied with September for the worst month of the year. It also averages about eight inches of rain. But tourism goes up.
St. Lucia tourism increases again in November even though the island has an average of seven inches of rain, slightly less than September and October. The end of November is the end of the St. Lucia hurricane season.
Tourism jumps to the second highest point of the year. Rainfall is moderate at four inches. It's a popular month for people seeking escape from norther winters. But temperatures are moderate enough to make swimming chilly at times.
Related St. Lucia Vacation Links
- Average Caribbean Weather: Best Times to Go
Average Caribbean weather has temperatures in the mid-80s Fahrenheit for most destinations. They vary only a few degrees each month. Rainfall spikes during the fall hurricane season.
- 10 Best Caribbean Islands Offer Great Sun and Fun
Choosing the 10 best Caribbean islands is fairly easy. Choosing the best of the 10 is not. See which ones made the list.
© 2017 Scott Bateman