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Average Caribbean Weather: Best and Worst Times to Go

Updated on May 25, 2017
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Scott Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean.

Hurricane Iris, 2001
Hurricane Iris, 2001 | Source

Do You Prefer Sunshine or Hurricanes?

Weather in the Caribbean can give visitors a beautiful experience or a disaster that is best forgotten. It mainly depends on when you go.

Average Caribbean daytime temperatures are in the mid-80s Fahrenheit for most destinations. That average varies by only a few degrees each month. But nothing is average or predictable about the rainfall.

To decide when to go to the Caribbean and avoid most of the rain, visitors need to know what to expect from the annual hurricane season. It officially runs from June 1 through November 30 each year.

6 Quick Climate Tips

  1. Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao have the least rain.
  2. April, June, and July have the best combination of warm temperatures and low rainfall.
  3. May brings with it a brief rainy season in many places.
  4. September and October are the worst months to go, because of the risk of tropical storms or hurricanes.
  5. From December through February, stick with southern destinations such as Antigua, Barbados, and St. Lucia.
  6. The best time to visit almost any island in the Caribbean is January through April.

Best Times to Visit

The best time to visit most islands in the Caribbean is January through April because of comfortable temperatures and low risk of rain.

Seawater is often cool for swimming in January and February, especially in the mornings. So those months are ideal for people who like land activities and excursions.

Tourists who like water activities such as swimming, snorkeling and laying on beaches may want to go in March and April for warmer temperatures.

Although May is even warmer than April, it also has a higher risk of rain for some destinations. For example, historical data shows that Grand Cayman averages two inches of rain in April but six inches in May, according to the National Meteorological Service of the Cayman Islands.

Then the Caribbean hurricane season begins in June.

Average Caribbean Rainfall by Month

The above chart shows the average inches of rain per month for major destinations. Data source: island meteorological services. Graphic copyright Scott Bateman
The above chart shows the average inches of rain per month for major destinations. Data source: island meteorological services. Graphic copyright Scott Bateman

Hurricane Season

The Caribbean is known for a rainy season that brings tropical storms and hurricanes. Some islands can get hit especially hard with rain and heavy winds.

During late spring, summer, and fall, tropical storms often form in the Atlantic, off the African continent, and move west toward the Caribbean.

As they approach the Americas, they tend to swerve to the right, and follow various paths over the Caribbean or the Gulf, often reaching the Eastern US and even Canada or Europe.

Historical Paths of Atlantic Hurricanes

This charts shows the history of category 3 or higher hurricanes in the North Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific.
This charts shows the history of category 3 or higher hurricanes in the North Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific. | Source

Once formed, a storm moving over warm water can grow into a hurricane in a matter of days.

On the average (some years are much more productive) the Caribbean hurricane season has about 12 to 15 major storms each year, and about four or five develop into hurricanes.

A hurricane can drop back in intensity to a storm again for a few days before fading away.

Tropical weather in the Atlantic is closely watched, and Caribbean weather forecasts are fairly reliable because the weather follows a predictable set of patterns.

The season starts slowly, builds over early summer, and doesn't peak until early September. The storm and hurricane threat is why the fewest number of people vacation in the Caribbean in September.

Hurricane Season Peaks in September

This chart shows historical storm and hurricane activity in the Caribbean and Atlantic by month. Note how it peaks in September and October.
This chart shows historical storm and hurricane activity in the Caribbean and Atlantic by month. Note how it peaks in September and October. | Source

Average Caribbean Weather, Month-By-Month

January

Caribbean weather in January is certainly warmer than the U.S., Canada, or Europe, but some places are warmer than others. The warmest destinations include Cayman Islands and St. Lucia; the coolest include the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, and Turks and Caicos. Rain averages about two to three inches per month. Keep in mind that sea temperatures is often cool for swimming in northern locations.

February

Temperatures in February show little movement. In some places they increase a degree while in others they decline. In Dominica, rainfall increases to four inches. Costa Rica reaches a low point for rain, which is good news for western Caribbean cruises.

March

March is one of the most popular months for visiting the Caribbean, not just because of spring break, but because of warming temperatures and low rainfall for many destinations. In Dominica, rainfall climbs again to five inches, but keep in mind that Dominica is a lush island with waterfalls and tropical rain forests. It's a great place for ecotourism, though not so much for lying on a beach. Costa Rica continues to have low rainfall.

March is one of the most popular months for visiting the Caribbean, not just because of spring break, but because of warming temperatures and low rainfall

April

April is another great month to visit the Caribbean, for the same reasons as March, but with some exceptions. In San Juan, Puerto Rico, rainfall reaches its first high point of the year at six inches. It's not the best time for a long-term stay, but it's okay for cruise visitors, who can visit indoors San Juan historical sites and shopping.

May

Caribbean weather in May includes a brief rainy season for many destinations. Aruba is a safe bet because it is the driest island of all. Rainfall at Cancun, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, and Dominica jumps to five inches or more per month.

June

This is a bad month for the Bahamas, with an average of nine inches of rain. Cozumel gets eight inches, while Belize and Costa Rica average more than 10. For people who like hot weather, Cancun, Cayman Islands, and Cozumel have average high temperatures that reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

June is the official beginning of the annual Caribbean hurricane season. But historically it almost no hurricanes and only one tropical storm every other year, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Tropical storms often threaten the Caribbean during hurricane season from June through November.
Tropical storms often threaten the Caribbean during hurricane season from June through November. | Source

July

Hurricane season is starting to make itself known, with six inches or more of rainfall for the Bahamas, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, and St. Lucia. It's a good month for Antigua, Cancun, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. July averages three tropical storms with two that become hurricanes.

August

"Ugh" is a good word to describe rainfall for the Bahamas and Cancun. Every major destination except for the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao averages four inches or more. On average, August has three tropical storms with two that become hurricanes.

September

September is the worst month of the year for Caribbean weather because it’s the worst month of the annual hurricane season. An average of four tropical storms occur in September with two that become hurricanes. Avoid Caribbean destinations, except possibly the ABC islands—Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao—and maybe the Dominican Republic. But at least September is warm.

September is the worst month of the year for Caribbean weather because it’s the worst month of the annual hurricane season.

October

October is barely better than September, usually the second worst month of the year for Caribbean weather. All of the major destinations average five inches or more of rain. On average, four tropical storms develop, but they rarely grow into hurricanes.

November

The Bahamas finally get a break from the rain and wind, but the temperatures are starting to drop too. Barbados, Cancun, and Jamaica are becoming better options. St. Maarten has the heaviest rain of the year. On average, only one tropical storm forms every other year. Hurricanes are rare.

December

The hurricane season is officially over and rainfall declines everywhere. But temperatures are declining as well; the Bahamas, Cancun, and other northern destinations are usually too chilly for swimming. Dominican Republic and St. Thomas are worthy options. Tourist activity starts to increase in the Caribbean as northerners start to flee cold winter weather.

Most storms are brief and passing.
Most storms are brief and passing. | Source

The Best Time to Go to the Caribbean

When is your favorite time to go?

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Caribbean Temperatures By Month

What most people consider the Caribbean ranges from the Bahamas in the north to Aruba, Barbados and Trinidad in the south. The total distance is more than 1,000 miles.

Average Caribbean temperatures in the daytime usually are in the mid to upper 80s Fahrenheit for most destinations throughout the year, except for the Bahamas, which fall into the 70s during the winter. A few locations such as Cozumel and Grand Cayman see average highs above 90 during the summer.

Nighttime lows drop into the mid to upper 70s. Although winter daytime air temperatures stay warm in most places, winter water temperatures become a bit uncomfortable in places such as Cancun.

Average High Temperatures

Location
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Antigua
82
82
83
84
85
86
87
87
87
86
85
83
Aruba
86
87
87
88
89
90
89
90
91
90
90
87
Bahamas
77
77
79
82
85
87
89
89
88
85
82
79
Barbados
83
83
84
85
86
86
86
86
86
86
85
84
Belize
82
82
85
87
89
88
88
88
87
86
84
82
Bermuda
69
68
69
71
75
81
85
86
84
79
75
71
Cancun
82
83
85
88
90
91
92
92
90
87
85
82
Cayman Is
87
86
87
89
90
91
91
91
91
91
90
87
Costa Rica
83
75
77
78
79
78
76
77
78
77
75
74
Cozumel
83
84
87
89
90
90
90
91
89
87
85
83
Curacao
85
86
86
88
88
89
89
90
90
89
88
86
Dominica
82
82
83
84
85
86
86
86
86
84
85
83
Dominican Rep.
81
81
82
83
85
86
86
87
87
86
84
82
Havana
78
79
81
83
85
86
88
88
87
84
81
79
Honduras
78
81
85
86
86
83
82
83
83
81
78
77
Guadeloupe
84
84
84
86
87
88
88
88
88
88
86
85
Jamaica
82
82
83
85
86
87
88
88
88
86
85
83
Martinique
82
83
83
85
86
86
86
86
87
86
85
84
San Juan
83
83
84
85
87
88
88
88
88
88
85
83
St. Lucia
87
83
84
85
87
87
86
87
87
87
86
84
St. Maarten
82
83
83
85
86
86
86
86
87
86
85
84
St. Thomas
85
85
86
87
88
89
90
90
90
89
87
86
Trinidad
87
88
90
91
91
88
88
89
90
90
88
88
The above chart shows average high temperatures by month for many major destinations.
Rain bands from a tropical storm can spread out over a large area.
Rain bands from a tropical storm can spread out over a large area. | Source

How Weather Affects Cruises and Stopovers

Climate in the Caribbean may pose less of a problem for cruise visitors than for stopover visitors.

Ships can steer away from bad weather, although they may not avoid it entirely. At least cruise staff can deal with rough seas. Passengers can wear motion-sickness patches and adjust their diet to settle upset stomachs.

People who plan a cruise will find it useful to consider the following weather tips:

  • Late spring to mid-summer has the best Caribbean cruise weather, but it's also the most popular time to go.
  • Winter is a good time for southern destinations such as Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao.
  • The western Caribbean is rainy in early fall, especially in Cozumel and the Central American nations that line the Caribbean coast.
  • In the eastern Caribbean, weather is cool during the winter in northern destinations such as the Bahamas.

Stopover visitors—people who stay on an island for a week or so—face a greater risk of a tropical storm or even a full-fledged hurricane making landfall. Vactioners can’t really predict the weather a week in advance; two or three days out is more realistic.

No destination is particularly likely to lie right in the path of disaster from a storm or hurricane. But storms and hurricanes that pass through the region affect islands and coastlines over large areas. A tropical storm can dump large amounts of rain even at its outer edges.

One way to avoid getting entangled in a tropical storm is simply to stay away from the Caribbean, and especially the islands most likely to be hit, during September and October in particular. Another way of preparing for the possibility is to buy travel insurance.

© 2011 Scott Bateman

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      Scott Bateman 2 days ago

      Elizabeth, it's too early to say. But it also depends on which islands you will be visiting. If the cruise includes the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, they should be OK.

      It also depends on what you hope to do when you visit them. I'm sure the cruise staff will have suggestions on the best way to take advantage of each visit despite the damage.

      You may find that the beaches and water excursions are better options than shopping and dining. Good luck!

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      Elizabeth 3 days ago

      The cruise dec 2nd 2017 cape Liberty to South Caribbean with R.C. anthem of the seas...12 days. Is it expected the islands on the agenda will be up and running by them, or is it to early to say,

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      Scott Bateman 2 weeks ago

      Tracey, that's a great question. December weather has a lower risk of rain and almost no risk of major storms or hurricanes than September through November. Temperatures are dropping but still good. In fact, we had great weather for our visit last December.

      The amount of damage is still a big question mark. Dominican Republic didn't get hit as hard as Puerto Rico and islands such as Barbuda. You might wait a week or so for more information on the impact.

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      tracey ohara 2 weeks ago

      Was going to book a thomsons cruise for dec for week in dominican republic and week caribbean cruise. What is weather like around this time and are we better leaving it to see what destruction this hurricane has done??

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      Scott Bateman 3 weeks ago

      Yes, all cruise lines follow strict procedures for handling bad weather. That said, they can do only so much to avoid it.

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      Ginny garrison 3 weeks ago

      Does oceania cruise ships handle bad weather well ?

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      Scott Bateman 3 weeks ago

      Hi, Pamela. November temperatures in the Caribbean are almost always warm. Cruise ship waters are usually calm thanks to ship stabilizers. Have a great trip!

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      Pamela 3 weeks ago

      We have booked a 15 day cruise on celebrity infinity from 8 November to 22 nov 2017

      Is from San deigo to ft Lauderdale

      Will it be calm waters and warm

      Thanks

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      Scott Bateman 5 weeks ago

      Hi, Tammy. Travel insurance is not a bad idea. Take a look at SquareMouth.com or InsureMyTrip.com. Expect to pay 5% or more of your trip costs for the insurance depending on what kind of coverage you want.

      However, the need for insurance is lower on a cruise than for a week-long stay on an island because a cruise ship can alter course away from a hurricane. You may still get rain, but the odds of a cruise cancellation are very low.

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      Tammy 5 weeks ago

      Cruise already paid for Oct 22 thru 29 Cozemel, Falmouth Jamaica, Maybe see Hatti, What should I expect. Wish I had found this before booking. Should I add travel ins? If to late how else can I get ins.

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      Scott Bateman 6 weeks ago

      Hi, SkiLuvr. November is still part of the annual hurricane season, but it's the final month with a lower risk of rain than the previous two.

      Unfortunately, I can't recommend any other places in November for a cruise because most of them get more rain than normal during that time of year. Keep in mind that "more rain than normal" doesn't mean rain is a sure thing.

      I suggest either managing your expectations and accept the possibility of getting some rain or choosing another time of year when the risk is lower such as January through April. Good luck!

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      SkiLuvr 6 weeks ago

      Hi Scott,

      We are planning our first trip to the Caribbean this November. We would like to go on Harmony of the Seas, but not sure if we are thrilled with the destinations of Labadee, Fallmouth Jamaica, and Cozumel. What do you know about those ports during mid-late November? Any other preferences you have during that time that I can research a cruise on? Thank you, and I found your article extremely helpful!

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      Scott Bateman 7 weeks ago

      Hi, Sylvain. Late October to early November has higher than normal rainfall for all of the Caribbean including the places you list. That said, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao don't get as much rain as elsewhere. If your schedule is flexible, you might want to go late November to mid December instead.

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      Sylvain 7 weeks ago

      Hi,

      I hesitate to go cruising in the south of the caribbean in late October and early November. The islands: SAN JUAN, KRALENDIJK-NETHERLAND-ANTILLES, WILLEMSTAD-NETHERLAND-ANTILLES, ORANJESTAD-ARUBA, OCHO RIOS-JAMAICA. Departure from New York and return from Miami.

      Is it a good time for these islands?

      Thank you

      Quebec, Canada

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      Scott Bateman 7 weeks ago

      Hi, Mel. You definitely get the risk of going to the Caribbean during hurricane season. And St. Lucia historically gets more rain in August than previous months. I suggest three options for you:

      1. Go with the attitude that rain is possible and plan on things to do despite any rain. The worst Caribbean weather I experienced was 7 full days of rain in the Bahamas during May. We managed to have fun without the sun. If you do get good weather, you will be all the happier.

      2. Make it a last-minute vacation assuming you can find discounts. Look at the 10-day forecast, especially in the eastern Atlantic where weather forms and moves west toward the Caribbean. If the forecast looks good, then take the jump.

      3. Go to a different island. You didn't mention you had a specific desire to go to St. Lucia versus elsewhere in the Caribbean. If you have some flexibility, consider Aruba or Curacao which historically get less rain.

      Good luck!

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      Mel 7 weeks ago

      Hi, I only have a specific 10 days I can take holiday (due to work commitments, and school term), and that falls in the last 10 days August.

      I can get free flights (reward miles) to St Lucia for those 10 days. I have been once before, and loved it, but that was in Feb. I'm hesitating a bit because of what I read about August weather.

      I know it's tricky to predict, and I fully expect that we'd definitely see rain, but i'm kind of hoping that it would just be a few downpours interspersed with some sun. That wouldn't be so bad, but i've seen some sites that say it could be 80-90% cloud cover the whole time, and rain.

      Any ideas how likely it is that it would be a complete washout with no sun? My other option is to scrap the St Lucia trip and go to the Med instead, Guaranteed sun ... but crazy prices and therefore far far more expensive than the St Lucia trip would be. So i'm trying to work out if it's just going to be likelihood of some rain/ some sun, with a chance of tropical storm / hurricane if we're unlucky ... or very likely to be grey, overcast and cloudy every day, with rain as well?

      Probably impossible to answer? :-) But i'll ask anyway.

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      Scott Bateman 8 weeks ago

      Hi, Suzy. Unfortunately, October is the second worst month of the year for rain throughout the Caribbean. All three of your destinations get higher rainfall than normal that month. But you might get lucky and have a dry spell.

      As far as other places to go, Aruba is always my top pick for that time of year because it gets less rain than other destinations. Again, you might get unlucky and hit a wet spell.

      I don't mean to be wishy washy. It's just that October is a risky month to go. You might consider a last-minute vacation by looking at a 10-day forecast and jumping on any discounts you can find.

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      Suzy 8 weeks ago

      hi - my boyfriends birthday is in October and we wanted to go away either Turks & Caicos, or Bahamas or Jamaica. Do you think that's a bad idea? I've never travelled between September to November due to rainy season, but i was wondering if it's any different for the other islands? I've always travelled in December or end of January.

      Your feedback would be great appreciated, or maybe suggestion of places and when to go?

      thanks a lot!

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      Scott Bateman 2 months ago

      Hi, Amy. Quick! Cancel the cruise! :)

      The odds of a hurricane are quite low. The radar image on the link below shows a current prediction of hurricanes and tropical storms from the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

      https://www.caribeez.com/weather/caribbean_hurrica...

      Caribbean weather patterns usually form in the eastern Atlantic and move west toward the Caribbean. The current forecoast shows a small storm in the eastern Atlantic with a small chance of developing into anything bigger.

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      AmyB 2 months ago

      I am leaving for my cruise tomorrow, lol

      It's a five day cruise to the Bahamas and the private island. The first full day will be at sea. I looked at the forecast and it had scattered showers and thunderstorms but mostly in the morning times or night. The winds are between 10-20 ese. I just found your article. What's the likelihood of a hurricane? Doesn't sound like it would get that bad, but you never know.

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      Scott Bateman 3 months ago

      Hi, Vicky. Over the last 30 years, Caribbean weather in August has had an average of three tropical storms with two becoming hurricanes, according to the National Weather Service. But this August could be better or worse than the average.

      Keep in mind that the Caribbean is a huge region. Any storms that might develop on your trip could easily end up far away from your cruise destinations. And cruise ships will often change course to avoid bad weather.

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      vicky 3 months ago

      Hi were planning our 1st cruise nxt August 4th for 1 week doing eastern carribean at st.thomas, amber cove, puerto rico and grand turk whats the like off hurricanes and really bad weather at sea obviously l know know one can totally predick the weather but usually ?

      thanks

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      Scott Bateman 3 months ago

      Liz, if the weather is good, you will definitely enjoy the water activities in November.

      The chance of a hurricane during the month is very low, even though November is the final month of the annual hurricane season. But the average rainfall is higher than usual for that time of year.

      December has lower average rainfall than November, but it also has slightly cooler temperatures. If you have a choice of going any month of the year, I would recommend April for the best combination of warm temperatures and low risk of rain.

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      Scott Bateman 3 months ago

      Samantha, the exact same thing happened to us with our Bahamas cruise in May. Clouds and rain the entire week.

      You made a smart choice to plan a Curacao trip around the best weather. We had nothing but sunny skies on our visit there.

      My answer to your question is yes, rain is usually brief during this time of year for most Caribbean islands. It's especially true for Curacao, one of the driest islands in the Caribbean.

      The Curacao forecast I use is showing light and patchy rain on a few days. Best of luck!

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      Scott Bateman 3 months ago

      Hi, Renee. St. Thomas temperatures in December are usually warm enough if temperatures reach into the upper 80s Fahrenheit during the day.

      If you plan to go snorkeling, I suggest going in the afternoon when water temperatures are warmer. Sometimes they can feel a bit cool in the mornings during winter.

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      LIZ GONZAGA 3 months ago

      Hello Sir Scott,

      This is Liz from Manila Philippines.

      I was browsing online and checking cruise critics page regarding the best and worst time to travel in Caribbean islands, then I saw your page.. Glad that I found your article.

      Based on your experience, if we travel in Caribbean Islands during November first week-3rd week, do you think we can enjoy the water activities here? How big is the chances of Hurricane during this month? Would you recommend us to pursue this trip during this month?

      Below are the places we are planning to visit.

      Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands

      Grenada

      Dominica

      St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

      Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos

      Princess Cays, Bahamas

      St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

      Antigua, Antigua & Barbuda

      St. Lucia

      Barbados

      St. Kitts, St. Kitts & Nevis

      Thank you very much in advance. :-)

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      Samantha 3 months ago

      Our spring vacation to the Bahamas was nearly a 100% bust due to hurricane. Booked June vacation in Curacao based purely on lowest typical monthly rain-fall. Now see rain is predicted for nearly half the days of our trip. Are rain storms typically brief during this time of year? Please say yes.

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      Renee 3 months ago

      We are looking to go to St. Thomas the week between Christmas and New Year's. Is that a good time to go? Is the water warm enough for swimming and snorkeling?

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      Scott Bateman 3 months ago

      I hate to say it, but my answer is, it depends. I would go to St. Lucia in August for any of the following reasons:

      1. That month was my best month available for a vacation.

      2. I have already been to Aruba and want somewhere new.

      3. Something specific about St. Lucia appeals to me, such as the Pitons.

      4. I got a really good deal on a hotel or resort.

      St. Lucia is riskier in August than Aruba, but you could still end up with good weather. I wish I could give you a better answer, but there is no sure thing when it comes to Caribbean weather in August.

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      Tim forkin 3 months ago

      Is it worth risking a trip to st Lucia in early august? Or just stick to aruba

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      Scott Bateman 3 months ago

      Hi, Tim. I can't make individual recommendations on all-inclusive resorts because there are so many of them and because they cater to many different niches.

      I can say that Jamaica and Dominican Republic are among the best islands for all-inclusives and that both historically have decent weather in July.

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      Tim Howard 3 months ago

      In the month of July do you have suggestions for what island and all inclusive resorts would you suggest? Mid to high price

      Thx so much!

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      Scott Bateman 4 months ago

      Vivian, the weather is usually good during that time of year, which is one reason why western Caribbean cruises are popular from December through March.

      What to do depends on your tastes. We love natural attractions such as Stingray City at Georgetown, Dunn's River Falls at Ocho Rios and a ferry from Cozumel over to Playa del Carmen. Cozumel also is known for beaches and snorkeling.

      The big draw in Nassau is the massive shopping district and the Aquaventure water park at Atlantis Paradise Island, although it may be too cool for swimming in the Bahamas in December.

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      Scott Bateman 4 months ago

      Hi, Lexie. I can honestly say I have never had a problem with rough waves in the Caribbean on any of our trips on beaches or ships except for one cruise. But cruise ships have stablizers, and people prone to seasickness often wear nausea patches.

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      Vivian 4 months ago

      Hi I just booked a cruise from miami to ochos rios ,georgetown ,cozumel,nassau.30 of december for 7 nights.how is the weather that period?is something you recommend us to do when we reach those places?a must see or something

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      lexie 4 months ago

      Hi i just booked a cruise for then end of june and it goes to nassau, st kits, and st martenn. do you think that the waves will be pretty rough? thank you!

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      Scott Bateman 4 months ago

      Hi, KTates. Punta Cana averages 4.5 inches of rain and a high temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit in November. Cancun averages 5 inches of rain and 85 as well. For St. Maarten, it's 6 inches and 86 degrees.

      All three destinations have a higher rainfall than usual in November. It looks like Punta Cana is a slightly better choice.

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      KTates 4 months ago

      Hi Scott,

      What are my best chances for sunshine and warm temperatures the week before Thanksgiving in November between Cancun, Punta Cana and St. Marteen? Looking to try somewhere new.

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      Scott Bateman 4 months ago

      Hi, Markus. I have to recommend Aruba for the weather because it usually has less rainfall in November than other locations.

      That said, the snorkeling in our experience at Aruba was just OK. Better options are Roatan, Belize, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and some areas around the Virgin Islands. But they also have higher rainfall on average.

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      markusfischer 4 months ago

      Hi Scott, we are looking to take a family ocean vacation during Thanksgiving. We don't really have a location preference, however, I was hoping you could help determine the best Caribbean location based on the least amount of rainfall/storms, and best snorkeling. The kids are teenagers and all they want to do is snorkel and ocean activities.

      Thank you,

      Markus

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      Scott Bateman 4 months ago

      Hi, Manj. Cancun rainfall in November is usually better than the previous three months but not quite as good as January through April. Over a 30-year period, Cancun has averaged about 4 inches in November and 12 days with rain.

      No one can predict what will happen this November, but your odds of rain are 50/50. The same is true of Cozumel and other Mexican destinations on the Caribbean coast.

      If you want to visit the Caribbean in November, you might get better weather in Aruba. If you really want Cancun and can wait a while, I suggest going in March or April. Best of luck!

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      Manj 4 months ago

      Hi Scott,

      I am looking to go Cancun (hotel zone area) in November dates 23-30th. is it still high rains in this period? and is it better to avoid mexico in Nov?

      thank you!

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      Scott Bateman 5 months ago

      LORETTA: We just did a similar cruise in December. I suggest land activities in the mornings and beach / water activities in the afternoons for the sake of getting the warmest temperatures. Both Philipsburg and San Juan are great ports for walking around.

      ALI: Any of those months are usually good for low risk of rain. If you plan to snorkel a few times, I would favor the March or April cruises. You might pay more in March if the timing is around spring break for schools.

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      Ali 5 months ago

      Hi, for a Southern Cruise: Barbados / St Lucia / St Kitts / St Maarten / Puerto Rico / St Thomas - would you recommend January 10th / March 28th or April 4th in terms of best weather?

      I love to snorkel, and looking for least amount of rain!

      Many thanks.

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      Loretta 5 months ago

      We plan on a cruise late January into early February and the Ports of Call: Philipsburg, St. Maarten • San Juan, Puerto Rico • Labadee (Cruiseline Private Island), any insight would be greatly appreciated

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      Scott Bateman 5 months ago

      Hi, Eleonora. Absolutely! November historically is a better month to take a cruise than September or October. There are no guarantees that you will have great weather, but the odds are better than the previous two months.

      If you haven't booked your cruise yet and have some flexibility on when you go, consider December because it usually has less rain than November.

      Seasickness should not be a problem for two reasons. One is that cruises ships now have stabilizers that do a fine job of keeping the ship level. The other is seasickness patches that also help.

      Best of luck with the weather and enjoy your cruise!

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      Eleonora 5 months ago

      Hi Scott,

      My husband and I are planning to take a cruise in early November for our 15th aniversary. The cruise we are looking into will start in New Orleans and will visit Cozumel, Belize and Mahogany Bay. I normally get sea sick... would this be a good time for me to take a cruise and enjoy myself?

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      Scott Bateman 6 months ago

      Hi, Ruth. Definitely stay away from Cozumel in October. You might get lucky, but the odds are not good. The Aruba "rainy season" from October through December is not much different than the dry season for many Caribbean islands. Average rainfall during those months is about three inches each. So the chance of rain is higher than normal, but it's much better than everywhere else that time of year. Good luck!

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      Ruth 6 months ago

      Hi Scott,

      I really want to surprise my husband with a trip to Cozumel for his 40th bday. His bday is October 5, dang it. I just learned about hurricane season :(. Snorkeling, diving, turtles, Mayan ruins, hiking trails, the quintessential tropical beaches, & neither of us having ever been to Mexico is the reason I choose Cozumel. However, I kinda hate to run the risk of having to cancel the surprise trip and then have nothing on his bday am.

      Reading previous questions it seems that you often recommend Aruba this time of year. Any suggestions for this situation would be greatly appreciated.

      Thank you, Ruth

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      Scott Bateman 6 months ago

      Hello, Inês! It should be warm in San Juan, St. Maarten and the Bahamas for snorkeling. Yes, the water is very clear.

      The risk of rain is another matter. If you have a choice, I suggest going earlier or later than September because that month has the most rain of the year. If you decide to go anyway, you could end up lucky and get good weather.

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      Inês Ngan - ines.ngan@gmail.com 7 months ago

      Hi Scott!

      I am going to San Juan, St Maarten and Bahamas in next September ( 2017 ) .

      Do you think it is safe to get a cruise in Sepetember?

      And the weather? Is is warm? For snorkeling is the sea clear?

      Thanks for your help

      Inês Ngan

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      Alison 7 months ago

      Hi Scott,

      My sole purpose in visiting an island in the Caribbean is to go swimming. Could you please suggest an island that has warm/hot beach water for March? I have gone to St. Lucia in January and have been disappointed because the water was cold. I'm also interested in somewhere with less bugs, but the main thing is clear warm water, and white sand beach.

      Do you know where I can find a listing of the beach/sea surface temperatures in the Caribbean?

      Thank yoU!

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      Scott Bateman 7 months ago

      Hi, Davu. Curacao is part of the same cluster of islands as Aruba. It also has warm temperatures and low risk of rain during the fall months. My next suggestion would be St. Maarten, but the risk of rain there is somewhat higher than Curacao.

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      Davu 7 months ago

      Hi, I'm looking for an adult family holiday from sep-nov we have been to aruba in October and it was perfect anywhere else you may think would be hot and less rain?

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      Scott Bateman 7 months ago

      Hi, Teri. Yes, March is a good time to take a western Caribbean cruise, especially for Belize, which usually gets a lot of rain. Good luck and enjoy your trip!

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      Teri 7 months ago

      Hi Scott. My family and I are going on a cruise mid March this year to Grand Cayman, Belize, Mahogany Bay and Cozumel. Is this a good Month for the trip?

      Thanks

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      Scott Bateman 7 months ago

      JENNIFER - If you are getting married in October and want to go to the Caribbean, I recommend Aruba rather than St. Lucia.

      No one can predict the weather for certain this far out, but St. Lucia usually gets a lot more rain that month than Aruba.

      JANE - Heat is a factor during the day on land, especially in the interior of the island. It is rarely a factor on beaches or in water. We have never had a problem with bugs.

      Anguilla has been our favorite island for beaches and snorkeling, but it's a small and quiet island. You also might look at Cozumel, Grand Cayman and the British Virgin Islands.

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      Jane 7 months ago

      What are the best Caribbean Islands for snorkeling and quiet beaches in late July-early August? Also concerned about heat and bugs.

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      jennifer 7 months ago

      Hi, I'm trying to plan my honeymoon and would love to go to St. Lucia. We get married in October, but am nervous to about the hurricanes. When would be the best time to go?

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      Scott Bateman 7 months ago

      Hi, Tiffanie. The water temperatures should be fine for snorkeling, especially in the afternoons.

      It's hard to predict the calmness of the water because weather is a factor. But we have always had calm waters on our snorkeling trips. Even if the sea is a bit rough, excursion boats will look for calmer areas. Have fun!

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      Tiffanie Belkin 7 months ago

      Hi. I'm planning a southern Caribbean cruise (St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, and St. Maarten) for the end of April. My son and I are hoping to do lots of snorkelling. Do you know what the water temperatures are like at that time of year? Is the water relatively calm? Thanks for your help!

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      Scott Bateman 8 months ago

      On every trip to the Caribbean when we have experienced rain, it's usually brief and often heavy. You are much more likely to see clouds than rain.

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      Scott Bateman 8 months ago

      It's good news and bad news. Barbados averages nearly six inches of rain in September -- near the high point of the year. But it's not as bad as some other months. I suggest planning a lot of land activities and take advantage of every hour of good beach time when you get it.

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      Hello from KarenF 8 months ago

      Hi there, your article is very informative, thank you. We have booked a holiday in Barbados for the first week in October. I know its the rainy season but historically does it rain all day or does it rain for a short amount of time every day.

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      Hello from Serbia 8 months ago

      Hi there i read your article but still have to ask about Barbados on first half of September? I would have to be there so what are the odds to have nice weather? OR should i bring instant shelter with me? Thank you

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      Lynn Taylor 8 months ago

      We're doing Southern Carribean Cruise for 12 days on Feb 7-19 2017.. Anthem of the Seas. How will the "seas" be while cruising?? Please don't tell me ROUGH...

      EMAIL: lynntaylor007@gmail.com

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      Scott Bateman 8 months ago

      TJ, December weather in the Caribbean has a much lower risk of storms than September through November. Of course there are no guarantees, but we had great weather on our recent December trip.

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      TJWildy 8 months ago

      Planning a family cruise in December before Christmas to Western Caribbean but I' m worried about the weather especially storms. What are your thoughts?

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      Scott Bateman 8 months ago

      Wow, Catherine! That sounds like a great trip. Both air and seawater temperatures will be great. Rain may be more of an issue.

      Although it's impossible to predict the weather this far out, my best guess is that you will see less RISK of rain for Aruba, Curacao and Trinida while higher risk for the other islands.

      Luck may be in your favor. We just got back from a December cruise and had warmer weather and less rain than usual. Good luck!

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      Catherine 8 months ago

      My husband and I are planning a 14 day Princess Cruise Oct 7-20 to:

      St Thomas, St Maarten, Antigua, Martinique, Barbados, Trindad, Curaçao, Aruba AND St Kitts.

      What are your thoughts or experience as far as weather during this time frame and these islands?

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      Scott Bateman 9 months ago

      Hello, Milmil. October is usually the second worst month of the year for Caribbean rain. But going at the end of October and into November is better than going in September or early October.

      We just had a similar trip to yours this month in December and had good weather. If you can go later in November or into December, your chance of good weather improves. If you have to go in late October because of family schedules or other reasons, you could get lucky and see good weather. I wish I could be more exact, but it's tough to predict that far out.

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      milmil 9 months ago

      I am planning a cruise October 28, 2017 for 12 nights. Ports of call: St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Lucia, St Kits, St. Maarten. Is this a good time to sail to these islands late October? What is the chance of bad weather or hurricane during this time. Do you recommend this time frame?

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      Scott Bateman 9 months ago

      Hi, Cindy. The warmest Caribbean cruise in March for western or southern depends on the islands.

      For southern, the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao usually have more warmth than St. Lucia, Barbados and Grenada. For western, Cozumel and the Cayman islands will be warmer than Jamaica.

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      cindy 9 months ago

      warmest cruise in March? southern or western

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      Scott Bateman 10 months ago

      Hi, Brie. I'm afraid I can't be optimistic about the water temperatures in the Bahamas during February. We have been to several Caribbean destinations in February including as far south as Aruba and found chilly waters.

      Bahamas temperatures in February usually reach an average high in the upper 70s Fahrenheit, which is good enough for time on the beaches but tough for water temperatures.

      But you might get lucky. Regardless, your best bet for time in the water is mid afternoon when the water reaches its peak temperature.

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      Brie 10 months ago

      Hi!

      We have a trip booked for Great Exuma from February 8-16. We are staying on Hoopers Bay to hopefully be sheltered from prevailing winds and waves and also perhaps have warmer water. I have heard so many conflicting things about the Bahamas in February. Do you think we will be able to swim without a wet suit? We are coming from the cold Virginia east coast winter. I have read that people sunbathe all day and I have also read that people spent all day wrapped up in their towel. Obviously I'm hoping for the former. The trip is a done deal, so I guess I'm just looking for some reassurance. Thank you!!

      Brie

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      Jen 10 months ago

      I am planning on going to St. Maarten next year. When is the best month to go with the least amount of rain?

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      Scott Bateman 10 months ago

      Marissa, it's easiiest to predict which islands have the lowest risk of hurricanes. Aruba and Curacao belong at the top of the list.

      The next batch with moderate risk includes Antigua, Barbados, St. Maarten. Jamaica and Dominican Republic. The high-risk group includes Cancun, Cozumel, Dominica, Bahamas, St. Lucia and Martinique.

      Keep in mind that these predictions are based on historical averages and will vary from one year to the next.

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      marissa 11 months ago

      which area is mostly at risk with hurricanes in the mid august and mid september

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      Scott Bateman 11 months ago

      It is much safer in June than July through October. June is officially part of the Caribbean hurricane season, but it has fewer tropical storms than those other months and only a rare hurricane.

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      Scott Bateman 11 months ago

      Hi, William. If your kids like beaches and swimming, then go to the southern Caribbean either on a cruise or an island such as Aruba, Barbados or St. Lucia. Good luck!

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      William Ingram 11 months ago

      I am looking to take a holiday in the Caribbean mid November with my kids any suggestions ?

      Thanks in advance.

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      Elvira 11 months ago

      Hello.

      Can you tell me is it safe to go in the beginning of Jun to Jamaica?Hope its not hurricane season.

      Thank you

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      Scott Bateman 11 months ago

      Unfortunately, no. The Caribbean coast of Mexico gets hit especially hard with rain in October (historically). St. Maarten is a possibility, but it gets more rain than Aruba. You might consider a last-minute vacation based on a short-term weather forecast. That opens up more possibilities.

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      Laura 11 months ago

      thank you for Aruba as a recommendation, would you say any part of Mexico has good odds in October? many thanks

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      Scott Bateman 11 months ago

      Hi, Laura. The best choice in October is Aruba, although you wouldn't know it from the rare tropical storm that is dumping a lot of water on the island this week. But I will take a chance and still recommend it as the best place for a combination of warm weather and low risk of rain.

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      Laura 11 months ago

      Hi, we are planning a trip for 4 of us (ladies only!) to the Caribbean for the week of the 21st October 2017, so next year ... which are the best islands to go to for weather and to give us the best possible chance of avoiding a hurricane! Many thanks

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      Scott Bateman 12 months ago

      It is not likely to rain all of the time. Rain usually hits the Caribbean off and on. When it does rain in October, it tends to rain heavily and over a period of days because of tropical storms and hurricanes. Speaking from experience, your odds of good weather are high. But if you get bad weather, you may get a lot of it.

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      Scott Bateman 12 months ago

      Hurricane season officially starts June 1, but it starts slowly and doesn't reach a high point until September. So the odds are in your favor. I hope you have great weather!

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      Heidi 12 months ago

      Thank you, yes he will be 9, so do you think this is early enough to miss hurricane season as well ? I see reviews where they say it starts june 1st but, then I see where People stated they always go in may and it is wonderful .

      Thanks again

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      Scott Bateman 12 months ago

      Hello, Heidi. If you son is young and likes to play in the ocean, I recommend late May over April. Seawaters around the Bahamas are a bit cool for swimming in April. Average rainfall increases in May to about four inches during the month, but it is not nearly as bad as June through October.

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      Heidi 12 months ago

      Hi promisem, we are wanting to plan a trip to the Bahamas at the end of school with are son. The dates we are looking at going is May 28th thur June 2nd. Is this a good time go? are we still clear from the rain and hurricanes? If this isn't good we could go during the first week of April but our first choice is end of may. Your Thoughts, suggestions??

      Thank you for you help

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      Scott Bateman 12 months ago

      Hi, Ena. Bahamas in October is usually toward the end of the rainy season. Average high temperatures should be in the mid 80s Fahrenheit. October is neither one of the best or worst months to go. Good luck with the weather!

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      Ena 12 months ago

      Hi promisem, i'm planning to go cruise with my son this coming October.. what do u think about the weather in Bahamas on mid-Oct.?

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      Scott Bateman 12 months ago

      Lisa, I don't have details about the Virgin Gorda weather in November, but I have it on Charlotte Amalie. It is only 35 miles away and a good indication of the average for Virgin Gorda.

      The average high temperature in November is 87 degrees Fahrenheit, which is good. But the average rainfall is more than 5 inches, which is not so good. That being said, you might get lucky and avoid much rain.

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      Lisa W 12 months ago

      Does anybody know how virgin Gorda in the BVI's are in November?

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      Scott Bateman 12 months ago

      Hi, Nancy. My sources of information show that the Cook Islands are a bit on the cool side in October with an average high temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. But October also is in the middle of the dry season.

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      Xuan pang 12 months ago

      We have just booked a cruise to Eastern Caribbean for late August 2017. Reading about the hurricane season being in August and September has made me a bit worried. Has anyone been in August, how was the weather. Thanks x

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      Nancy 12 months ago

      Hi Scott. Looking at taking a trip to the Cook Islands in October. What do you know about the area? Was looking at the Caribbean but I need sun and beach, I'm escaping the rain and snow of the mountains. Thanks!

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      Scott Bateman 12 months ago

      Lisa, the Caribbean is more than 1,000 miles across. So the odds are good that you will avoid the direct path of a hurricane that will ruin your cruise.

      I went on one cruise that had bad weather. We just made the most out of it by finding plenty of things to do and not spending as much time on the beach. Good luck!