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Climate - Fiji

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


United States version (°F - inches - feet). See also the metric version (°C - mm - meters)

Flag - Fiji



Fiji, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, located north of the Tropic of Capricorn, has a tropical climate, with a hot and humid rainy season from December to April, and a cooler season from June to October. The latter is relatively dry, especially in the small and flat islands, and in the north-western slopes of the main islands (Viti Levu and Vanua Levu), while in the slopes exposed to the south-east, the trade winds may cause showers and thunderstorms even in this season.
For example, in the capital Suva, located in the south-eastern side of the island of Viti Levu, and therefore exposed to the trade winds, even 115 inches of rain per year fall, of which more than 10.6 inches per month from December to April, when it rains more than one day out of two, while it still rains on average every second day in the least rainy months, with a minimum of 4.7 inches in July. Therefore, here we can speak of equatorial climate, because there is no dry season. Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation Suva
Suva J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (in) 11.0 10.6 14.2 11.8 9.8 6.7 4.7 8.3 7.5 8.3 9.4 12.2 114.6
Days 18 18 21 19 16 13 14 15 16 15 15 18 198

The daytime temperature in Suva, around 86 °F from January to March, drops down to 79/81 °F from May to October; even the minima drop slightly, from 73.5 °F to 68 °F. However, in the cooler months, sometimes at night the temperature can go down to 54/55 °F, so it can get quite cool.
Here are the average temperatures.
Suva average temperatures
Suva J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°F) 73 73 73 72 70 68 68 68 68 70 70 72
Max (°F) 86 86 86 82 81 79 79 79 79 81 82 84

The sea temperature decreases a bit in the winter months, although it remains pleasantly warm for swimming, as can be seen in the following table.
Sea temperature in Suva
Suva J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sea (°F) 82 82 84 82 81 79 79 77 77 79 81 82

In Nadi, on the western slope of the same island Viti Levu, it rains a lot less, 81 inches per year, and while it rains a lot in the rainy season, from December to April, it rains much less from May to October, when precipitation drops below 4 inches per month; the driest month is June, with 2.2 in of rain. Even the rainy days are fewer: 7/8 days per month from July to October, and a dozen per month in May and June. On the contrary, the temperature is a little higher, because the winds blow from the inland hills, especially in the cooler months, when the maximum temperature is around 82 °F, instead of 79 °F. Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation Nadi
Nadi J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (in) 12.0 11.6 16.5 8.7 4.1 4.1 2.2 2.6 3.3 2.4 5.1 8.3 80.9
Days 16 16 19 15 10 10 7 7 8 8 11 12 139

Even the amount of sunshine is higher in the leeward side than in the windward side: about 7/8 hours a day in Nadi, compared with 5/6 in Suva.
These differences between the two sides are also found in the other main island, Vanua Levu. In the smaller islands, especially the flat ones, the difference is smaller, because the trade winds do not find hills upon which they could discharge the humidity on one side, so that throughout the year, about 67/71 in of rain fall, with a minimum in the cool months. An exception is represented by the island of Rotuma, because it is located far to the north and is very rainy because of the latitude: with its 138 in of rain per year, it has an equatorial climate, with a minimum from June to September, when around 8 in of rain per month fall anyway.
Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation Rotuma
Rotuma J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (in) 13.3 12.8 13.1 10.5 10.7 8.7 8.1 7.4 7.4 11.1 11.2 12.0 126.4
Days 18 18 20 19 19 19 20 19 18 18 17 16 221

This island is also warmer, as we can see from its average temperatures.
Rotuma average temperatures
Rotuma J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°F) 75 77 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75
Max (°F) 88 88 88 88 88 86 86 86 86 86 88 88

Even the sea temperature remains high throughout the year in Rotuma, as can be seen in the following table.
Sea temperature Rotuma
Rotuma J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sea (°F) 84 84 84 84 84 82 82 82 82 82 84 84

Fiji can be affected by tropical cyclones, during the period from November to mid-May (although Cyclone Bebe made an exception, having being formed in the second half of October 1972): one more reason to avoid the most muggy and rainy season of the year.

Fiji

When to go

The best time to visit Fiji is from mid-May to mid-October: it's the most dry, cool and sunny, especially in the northern slopes of the main islands, which are preferable also because they are more sheltered from the wind.

What to pack

In winter (June to August): light clothes for the day, a scarf for the breeze, a sweatshirt for the evening; light raincoat or umbrella. For the reef, equipment for snorkeling, water shoes or rubber soled shoes.
In summer (December to February): light clothes, of natural fibers, sun hat, a scarf for the breeze, a light sweatshirt for the evening; light raincoat or umbrella.
In Rotuma, all year round, light clothing, of natural fiber, sun hat, a scarf for the breeze, a light sweatshirt for the evening, light raincoat or umbrella.



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