Map from Google - Bahamas
The archipelago of the Bahamas is extended along a northwest-southeast axis, from the sea east of Florida to the waters north of Cuba and Haiti, and has a subtropical climate
in the north, and a fully tropical climate in the south, so it's not tropical everywhere. The islands are caressed by the trade winds, and have a warmer and rainy season that runs from late April to early November.
Proceeding from north-west to south-east, we can witness an increase in winter temperatures and a decrease in summer precipitation. This means that the north-western islands (Grand Bahama, Little Abaco, Andros, New Providence, where the capital Nassau is located) are cooler in winter and rainier in summer.
In fact, in Freeport, in the north-west, almost 1,500 millimetres of rain
per year fall, while precipitation goes down to 1,200 mm in Nassau, 1,100 mm in Eleuthera and San Salvador, 800 mm in Mayaguana, and just 650 mm in Great Inagua. In the south-eastern islands, not only the total quantity of rainfall is quite scarce, but there is also a decrease in the rains in the month of July.
Here is the average precipitation in Nassau.
Average precipitation - Nassau
Now let's see the average rainfall in Matthew Town, in the arid southern island of Great Inagua.
Average precipitation - Matthew Town
Let us now follow the average temperatures, starting from the northwest. Here are the average temperatures of Freeport, in the northwestern island of Grand Bahama.
Average temperatures - Freeport
In the coldest months
(January and February), the average daily temperature is around 20 °C in the northern islands (Grand Bahama, Abaco), while it rises to 21 °C in New Providence and Eleuthera, 22.5 °C in San Salvador, 23 °C in Mayaguana and 24.5 °C in Great Inagua. During winter, from December to March, cold air masses
from the United States can lower the temperature, especially in the north-western islands, for a few days, so that at night it can get even cold, at times below 10 °C in Freeport and Nassau; in addition, the weather fronts can bring some clouds and wind.
Average temperatures - Nassau
The temperatures in the warmest months
(July and August) vary less from north to south, in fact they range from 27/28 °C in the northernmost islands, to 28/29 °C in the south. Summer in the Bahamas is hot, but above all it's muggy.
Here are the average temperatures of Abrahams Bay, in the southern island of Mayaguana.
Average temperatures - Abrahams Bay
The amount of sunshine
in the Bahamas is good throughout the year, because the summer rains fall mainly in the form of showers and thunderstorms, in late afternoon or evening, so the sky doesn't remain overcast for long.
From June to November, however, the Bahamas can be affected by hurricanes
, which are more likely from August to October.
is warm enough for swimming all year round, even though it's slightly cooler in the northern islands, at least in the winter months: at Nassau the water temperature ranges from 24 °C in February and March, to 29 °C from July to September, while in the southern islands it does not drop below 26 °C even in winter.
Sea temperature - Nassau
When to go
In general, the best time to visit the Bahamas is the dry season, from late November to mid-April. However, in the north-western islands, from December to March the temperature is often not high enough for a beach holiday, and we must also put into account some cool and windy days. In the southern islands, however, and particularly in Inagua and Great Inagua, winter is warm enough to enjoy the sun and the sea, while in the northernmost islands you may prefer April (the best) and May (still good but with the first summer rains).
In the rainy season, the heat is sweltering, and thunderstorms can be intense, even though the sun is still frequent. If you really want to choose the summer, it is preferable the month of July, because there's a relative break in the rain (but not in Nassau and in the westernmost islands). During summer, however, the greatest danger comes from hurricanes.
What to pack
From November to April, in the northernmost islands: light clothing, but also a sweatshirt or sweater, a scarf for the breeze, jacket and umbrella; in the southern islands: light clothes, a sweatshirt for the evening, a scarf for the breeze.
From May to October: light tropical clothing, possibly a light sweatshirt and a light raincoat for thunderstorms.
For the reef, equipment for snorkeling, water shoes or rubber soled shoes.