Index:


Introduction



In Guadeloupe, the climate is tropical, hot and humid all year round, with a relatively cool and dry season from January to mid-April, called carême (Lent), and a hot, humid and rainy season from mid-June to mid-November, called hivernage (the root of the word reminds of the winter, although it is a hot season, and also quite sunny). In the former period, the northeast trade winds, constant winds typical of tropical climates, blow steadily and with moderate intensity, while in the latter period, these winds are more irregular, and may have some breaks, increasing the feeling of sultriness. Between them, there are two transitional periods: from mid November to early January (when the northeast trade winds start to blow, the temperature decreases a bit and the weather gets better) and from mid-April to Mid-June (when both the temperature and the frequency of downpours gradually increase).

Guadeloupe, an overseas region of France, is an island, actually, it is formed by two islands connected together: Basse-Terre (the western island, where the regional capital of the same name is located) and Grande-Terre. In addition, we find some smaller islands: Marie-Galante, La Désirade, and the small group of Iles des Saintes.

Temperature and rainfall



Here are the average temperatures of Pointe-à-Pitre, located in the westernmost part of Grande-Terre, where also the airport is located. As you can see, there are little variations between the coolest and the warmest period.
Pointe-à-Pitre - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)202020222324242423232221
Max (°C)292929303131323232313030
Min (°F)686868727375757573737270
Max (°F)848484868888909090888686

Rainfall in Guadeloupe varies greatly in quantity depending on area, but it follows the same pattern, and it's more frequent and abundant from May to November (and especially from July to November) and less frequent and shorter from December to April (and particularly in February and March).
In Pointe-à-Pitre, more than 1,800 millimeters (70 inches) of rain fall annually, of which more than 100 mm (4 in) fall per month from April to December, and more than 200 mm (8 in) from August to November. The least rainy period, when rainfall drops below 100 mm (4 in) per month, runs from January to March. Here is the average rainfall in Pointe-à-Pitre.
Pointe-à-Pitre - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)8565751251501201502002352302201351780
Prec.(in)3.32.634.95.94.75.97.99.39.18.75.370.1
Days151212121413151617181716175

In the interior, the island of Basse-Terre is more humid and rainy on the slopes of Grande Soufrière, a volcano of 1,467 meters (4,813 feet): here, the sky is often cloudy, and the climate is equatorial, that is, humid and rainy all year round; in fact, they are covered by a rainforest. On the summit of the volcano, nearly 10 meters (33 feet) of rain fall per year, and it rains almost every day (340 days a year)! On the other hand, the small islands, being flat, receive a relatively small amount of rain, in fact, the total drops to about 1,200 mm (47 in) per year. In the northern and eastern part of Grande-Terre (see Port-Louis, Anse-Bertrand, Le Moule, Saint Francois, Sainte-Anne), rainfall is not very abundant as well and amounts to around 1,300 mm (50 in) per year.
The rains occur throughout the year as 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.

Sunshine



In fact, the amount of sunshine is good all year round, at least on the coast, as can be seen in the following table.
Pointe-à-Pitre - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours778888887777

Sea temperature



The sea in Guadeloupe is warm enough for swimming all year round, as we can see in the following table.
Guadeloupe - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)272626272728282829292827
Temp (°F)817979818182828284848281

Guadeloupe

Hurricanes



The greatest danger comes from tropical storms and cyclones, called hurricanes in the Caribbean area, which may pass over the island from June to November, though they are most likely from August to October. A very violent hurricane that struck Guadeloupe was Okeechobee in September 1928, and another one was Hugo, which affected the country on September 17, 1989.

Best Time



The best time to visit Guadeloupe is from January to March, since it's the coolest and driest period of the year. In December and April, which are usually acceptable months, the rains can sometimes be abundant. In the May-October period, the weather is hot and humid; there is no shortage of sunshine, but showers and thunderstorms are frequent, and sometimes abundant, especially in the second part, from August to October, when the risk of hurricane increases as well.

What to pack



All year round: bring light, tropics-friendly clothing, 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.
You can bring a sweatshirt, a raincoat and hiking boots when going hiking in La Grande Soufrière.

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