Map from Google - Micronesia
In the Federated States of Micronesia, the climate is equatorial
, ie hot, humid and rainy throughout the year.
The temperature is definitely stable throughout the year, around 22/25 °C at night and 30/32 °C (86/90 °F) during the day; it rarely drops below 20 °C (68 °F), while sometimes it can reach 34/35 °C (93/95 °F).
Here are the average temperatures of Palikir.
Average temperatures - Palikir
The islands are located just north of the Equator, and are affected by the northeast trade winds, at least in the cooler "winter" months.
The amount of sunshine
, given the frequent rains, is never excellent but neither too low, as the rains occur in the form of short and intense showers.
The annual precipitation
is abundant, and ranges from 2,500 to 5,000 millimetres (100 to 200 inches), but in the windward slopes of the larger islands (such as Pohnpei and Kosrae), in which there are some hills, it can exceed 6,000 mm (235 in) per year, that is, six metres (20 feet)! Mount Nahnalaud, 750 metres (2,450 ft) high, on the island of Pohnpei, is one of the wettest places on Earth, with 10,160 mm (400 in) of rain per year, and is often covered by clouds.
The capital Palikir
, in the island of Pohnpei (ex Ponape), receives almost 4,800 mm (190 in) of rain per year, with a minimum of 260 mm (10.2 in) in February and a maximum of 490 mm (19.3 in) in May. Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation - Palikir
The driest islands are the flat atolls, where there are no hills and mountains which could enhance the formation of thunderclouds: in these cases, precipitation can drop below 4,000 mm (157 in) per year, and in some cases even below 3,000 mm (118 in).
However, the rainfall pattern is quite irregular from year to year, because the country is affected by the so called ENSO
cycle: in particular, the phenomenon known as El Niño
can cause drought in this area of the Pacific.
In the westernmost island, Yap
, 3,000 mm (118 in) of rain per year fall; the period from February to April is (relatively) drier, not exceeding 160 mm (6.3 in) per month.
the total rainfall is 3,500 mm (138 in) per year, from 170 mm (6.7 in) in February to 360 mm (14 in) in May. From January to March, precipitation drops below 250 mm (10 in) per month.
In the southern island of Nukuoro
, the annual rainfall amounts to 4,000 mm (157 in), and the trend is different, because it drops below 300 mm (12 in) per month from September to December; in the even more southerly Kapingamarangi
the total amounts to 3,000 mm (118 in), and it drops below 250 mm from August to December, and below 200 mm (8 in) in September and October.
Micronesia may be affected by the tropical cyclones
of the North Pacific Ocean, known in this area as typhoons, which occur in the period from June to November. Sometimes typhoons have developed outside of this period, as has been the case with Pamela (May 1976), Isa (April 1997), Mitag (February-March 2002) and Sudal (April 2004). An exception is the southern atoll of Kapingamarangi, which is sheltered from typhoons, because it's located near the Equator.
in Micronesia is pleasantly warm all year round, and has a very stable temperature, as we can see in the following table.
Sea temperature - Palikir
When to go
The best time
to visit Micronesia is from February to April in the westernmost islands (Yap Islands), and from January to March in the central-eastern islands (Caroline), being the driest (or rather the least rainy). Typically February is the driest month of all. However, considering the risk of typhoons, which as mentioned have occurred, though rarely, from late February, to be sure, you can choose the period mid-December to mid-February.
What to pack
All year round, tropics-friendly, loose fitting clothing, sun hat, a scarf for the breeze, a light sweatshirt for the evening, light raincoat or umbrella.