In Jamaica, the climate is tropical, hot all year round, with little difference between winter and summer (just a few degrees). Even in winter, daytime temperatures are around 27/30 °C (81/86 °F) and night-time temperatures around 20/23 °C (68/73 °F). The southern coast, where Kingston is located, is slightly warmer in the winter months, in fact the maximum temperature is around 30 °C (86 °F) even in January.
Here are the average temperatures of Kingston.
Kingston - Average temperatures
Min (°C)212122232424242424232322
Max (°C)303031313232333332323131
Min (°F)707072737575757575737372
Max (°F)868688889090919190908888

The main difference between the seasons is found in rainfall and air humidity: the rainy season, from late April to October, is hot and muggy. Rainfall occurs mainly in the form of thunderstorm in late afternoon. In almost all of Jamaica, except on the west coast (see Negril), in July there is a relative lull in precipitation, and in any case, there are two peaks in May and October, that is, at the beginning and the end of the period.
The rain pattern is also due to the north-east trade winds, which are typical of the Tropics, and blow from November to March. Along the northern coast of Jamaica, rainfall ranges between 1,200 and 1,800 millimeters (47 and 70 inches) per year. The southern coasts and plains are not as rainy as the northern slopes because they are sheltered from the trade winds, either by the Blue Mountains or by the hills of the west-central part of the country. These elevations receive a lot of rainfall and are covered with forests (especially the Blue Mountains in the east and the southern part of the Trelawny Parish in the west). Therefore, the capital, Kingston, is not very rainy, in fact it receives about 800 mm (31.5 in) of rain per year; the Pedro Plains in the west receive little rainfall as well, around 800 millimeters (31.5 inches) per year.
Here is the average precipitation in Kingston.
Kingston - Average precipitation

The amount of sunshine in Kingston is good even during the rainy season (when there are still around 8 hours of sunshine per day).
Kingston - Sunshine

On the north coast, exposed to the northeast trade wind, the rainfall pattern is quite different, as you can see from the average precipitation of Ocho Rios. Here there is even a peak in the first months when the trade winds blow, that is, in November and December, when the sea retains the heat of the summer.
Ocho Rios - Average precipitation

From December to March, sometimes the island is affected by the Norte, a cool wind from the United States, which, however, at this latitude does not lower the temperature too much; in fact, it can bring at most a bit of cool weather in the evening and at night.


The sea in Jamaica is warm enough for swimming all year round, since it ranges from 27 °C (81 °F) between January and April to 29 °C (84 °F) between July and November.
Jamaica - Sea temperature
Temp (°C)272727272828282929292828
Temp (°F)818181818282828484848282


Like the rest of the Caribbean, in the period from June to November, Jamaica can be affected by hurricanes, the tropical cyclones of the Atlantic Ocean, which, however, are more likely between August and October. Some hurricanes that hit Jamaica in full force, causing great damage, were: the «Jamaica hurricane» of August 1903, Hurricane Charlie in August 1951, Ivan in September 2004, and Dennis in July 2005.

Best Time

The best time to visit Jamaica as a whole, whether you intend to visit cities and go on excursions, or to swim and sunbathe, runs from January to April. In fact, it is the driest and coolest period. The least rainy months are February and March, while December is still quite rainy in the easternmost region and on the northern slopes of the Blue Mountains (otherwise, in the south December would be fine as well).
In summer, and in general during the rainy season, the heat is sweltering and annoying, but the breeze blows and the sun shines for a few hours per day; in addition, in Kingston and on the southern coast, in July it usually does not rain much, so if you want to choose the summer, you can go in this month, also because the risk of hurricanes is lower than in August.

What to pack

From November to April: bring light clothes, sun hat, sunscreen, but also a sweatshirt for the evening. For the mountains, bring a jacket and hiking boots.
From May to October, bring tropics-friendly, lightweight clothing, and possibly a light sweatshirt and a light raincoat for thunderstorms. Sun hat and sunscreen can be useful too. For the mountains you can add a sweatshirt or sweater.