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Climate - British Virgin Islands

Temperature, rainfall, prevailing weather conditions, when to go, what to pack

See also the US version (°F - inches - feet)

Flag - British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands are located in the Caribbean Sea, in the Lesser Antilles. The main islands are Tortola, Anegada and Virgin Gorda. These islands have a tropical climate, hot and muggy throughout the year, and also influenced by the trade winds, with a more pleasant period, from December to April, when the daily average temperature is around 24/25 °C and a more sultry period, from May to November, when the daily averages are around 28 °C.
Here are the average temperatures of Road Town, the capital, in the island of Tortola.
Road Town average temperatures
Road Town J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°C) 21 21 21 22 23 24 24 24 24 24 23 22
Max (°C) 28 28 28 29 29 30 30 31 31 30 29 28

As regards the rainfall, there is a relatively dry season from January to April, and a rainy season from May to December, the latter having a relative decrease in June and July. The least rainy months, in which precipitation doesn't go above 50 millimetres per month, are February and March. The annual amount of rainfall is around 1,000/1,200 mm per year, and generally is slightly more abundant in the northern slopes of the islands, in particular those with hills or low mountains in inland areas, such as Tortola and Virgin Gorda.
In April and May there's an increase in rainfall, although in June and July there is often a new relative decrease, followed by a recovery from August to November. Generally, the wettest period goes from September to November.
Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation Road Town
Road Town J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (mm) 70 50 50 60 105 75 85 110 145 145 130 80 1105
Days 11 8 8 9 11 9 10 12 14 14 13 12 131

From June to November these islands can be affected by hurricanes and tropical storms, as happens throughout the Antilles. Apart from hurricanes, which can bring strong winds and torrential rains but fortunately occur rarely, normally the weather is nice, interrupted by brief showers and thunderstorms, more likely and more intense during the rainy season, which means that in any case the sun shines all year round.

Virgin Gorda

For swimming, the sea is warm all year round, being about 26 °C from January to April, and 29 °C in September and October, as we can see from the water temperatures at Anegada.
Sea temperature Anegada
Anegada J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sea (°C) 26 26 26 26 27 28 28 28 29 29 28 27

When to go

The best time to visit the British Virgin Islands runs from December to April, being the least rainy and the least muggy. Within this period, the months of January, February and March are the driest and the least hot of all. In summer, June and July are generally less rainy than August and September, but as we said, from June to November there is some risk of tropical storms and hurricanes, which are most likely between August and October, that is, when the sea is warmer.

What to pack

From December to April: light clothes, possibly a scarf for the breeze and a sweatshirt for the evening.
From May to November: lightweight clothing, possibly a light sweatshirt and a light raincoat for thunderstorms; sweatshirt and pashmina for air-conditioned places.

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Near countries:
Puerto Rico
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Martin
Sint Maarten
United States Virgin Islands

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