In Barbados, the easternmost of the West Indies, there's a tropical climate, hot and humid all year round, a bit cooler and more pleasant from December to April, and more hot and muggy from May to October. However, the heat is tempered by the breezes.
The temperature does not vary by much throughout the year, as you can see from the averages of the capital, Bridgetown.
Bridgetown - Average temperatures
Min (°C)212121222324232323232322
Max (°C)282930303131303130303029
Min (°F)707070727375737373737372
Max (°F)828486868888868886868684

Along the coast, annual rainfall amounts to 1,200/1,400 millimeters (47/55 inches), while it's slightly more abundant in inland areas (though not by much, since there are no high elevations that could force air masses to rise). In Bridgetown, more than 100 mm (4 in) of rain fall per month from June to November; the wettest period runs from September to November, with around 170/180 mm (6.7/7.1 in) of rain per month, while the driest runs from February to April, when rainfall drop to 35/50 mm (1.4/2 in) per month. Here is the average precipitation.
Bridgetown - Average precipitation

The rains, however, are quite irregular from month to month, which means that even in the rainy season, the weather may be good for entire weeks. The rains in Barbados occur especially in the form of downpours or thunderstorms, which could be intense, but generally do not last long, so they do not reduce too much the sunshine hours; sometimes, however, there may be a more intense wave of bad weather.
In fact, the amount of sunshine is good all year round, as can be seen in the following table.
Bridgetown - Sunshine


The sea in Barbados is warm enough to swim in all year round, as we can see from the following table.
Bridgetown - Sea temperature
Temp (°C)272626272828282829282828
Temp (°F)817979818282828284828282


Barbados may be affected by tropical storms and cyclones, which are called hurricanes in the Caribbean, and can affect this area from June to November, although they are more likely from August to October.
Barbados is located outside of the Caribbean Sea basin, and also quite to the south, so it is generally affected by tropical depressions when they are not very strong, at the level of a tropical storm or of a low-category hurricane (1 or 2). However, some hurricane in the past have brought significant damage, as happened with the "Windward Islands Hurricane" of September 1898, with Hurricane Janet in late September 1955, Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, and Hurricane Dean in August 2007.

Best Time

The best time to travel to Barbados is from February to April, since it is the least rainy of the year, but after all, also December and January are acceptable months, with a few more showers. In May, heat and moisture increase, but the rains are still not too abundant, and it's still out of the hurricane season.

What to pack

All year round: bring light clothes made of cotton or linen, a sun hat, sunscreen, and possibly a light sweatshirt and a light raincoat for thunderstorms. From December to March, you can add a light sweatshirt for the evening.
When going to the reef, you can bring snorkeling equipment, including water shoes or rubber-soled shoes.