Index


Introduction



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 (72/77 °F) at night and 30/32 °C (86/90 °F) during the day; it rarely drops below 20 °C (68 °F), while it can sometimes reach 34/35 °C (93/95 °F).
The islands are located just north of the Equator, and are affected by the trade winds, constant winds that are able to temper a bit the heat. From a geographical point of view, they are called Caroline Islands, together with the islands of Palau.
Annual precipitation is abundant, and ranges from 2,500 to 5,000 millimeters (100 to 200 inches), but on the windward slopes of the larger islands (such as Pohnpei and Kosrae), which host some elevations in the interior, it can exceed 6,000 mm (235 in) per year, that is, as high as six meters (20 feet)! Mount Nahnalaud, 750 meters (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 it is often covered with clouds.
Given the frequent rains, the amount of sunshine is never excellent on average, but it is neither too low, in fact, the rains occur in the form of intense but short showers and thunderstorms. However, the sun tends to be more frequent in the less rainy months.
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, since the country is affected by the so-called ENSO cycle, the rainfall pattern is quite irregular from year to year. In particular, the phenomenon known as El Niño can cause drought in this area of the Pacific.

Palikir

Here are the average temperatures of the capital, Palikir, located at 7 degrees north latitude, on the island of Pohnpei (ex Ponape).
Palikir - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)232423232322222222222223
Max (°C)303030303030313131313130
Min (°F)737573737372727272727273
Max (°F)868686868686888888888886

Palikir 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.
Palikir - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)3002603604404904304404204004104004004750
Prec.(in)11.810.214.217.319.316.917.316.515.716.115.715.7187
Days211920202019222220212021245

The sea in Micronesia is pleasantly warm all year round, and has a very stable temperature, as we can see in the following table.
Palikir - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)292929292929292929292929
Temp (°F)848484848484848484848484

Pohnpei

Yap

On the westernmost island, Yap, located at 9 degrees north latitude, 3,000 mm (118 in) of rain fall per year. The period from February to April is (relatively) less rainy, since rainfall does not exceed 150 mm (6 in) per month, which, however, is still a considerable amount. Here is the average rainfall.
Yap - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)1851501501452303203703853453052302303045
Prec.(in)7.35.95.95.79.112.614.615.213.6129.19.1119.9
Days171314131720212119201918212

In Yap too, the temperatures are very stable and high throughout the year.
Yap - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)242424242424232324242424
Max (°C)303031313131313131313031
Min (°F)757575757575737375757575
Max (°F)868688888888888888888688

The sun in Yap shines more often in the first months of the year, ie in the least rainy period. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.
Yap - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours788887666666

Chuuk

In the state of Chuuk (called Truk until 1990), located further to the east, between Yap and Pohnpei, rainfall amounts to 3,500 mm (138 in) per year. The least rainy period is from January to March, in which, however, rainfall does not drop below 200 mm (8 in) per month. Here is the average rainfall in Weno, the state capital.
Weno - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)2452052353203153303353603652802902753545
Prec.(in)9.68.19.312.612.41313.214.214.41111.410.8139.6
Days201719212425252422232322265

In Weno too, the temperatures are very stable and high throughout the year.
Weno - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)242525252424242424242424
Max (°C)313030313131313131313131
Min (°F)757777777575757575757575
Max (°F)888686888888888888888888

On the southern island of Nukuoro, located at 4 degrees north latitude, precipitation amounts to 4,000 mm (157 in) per year, though the pattern is different because the rainfall drops below 300 mm (12 in) per month from September to December.
Nukuoro - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)3803403953903703303703252802602702703980
Prec.(in)1513.415.615.414.61314.612.81110.210.610.6156.7
Days171518192019181716151616206

More to the south, in Kapingamarangi, located just 1 degree north of the Equator, rainfall amounts to 3,000 mm (118 in), and it drops below 250 mm (10 in) from August to December, and below 200 mm (8 in) in September and October.

Tropical cyclones



Micronesia can be affected by the tropical cyclones of the North Pacific Ocean, known in this area as typhoons. Typically, typhoons occur from April to December, although they are more frequent between August and November. However, since the sea is always warm, they can sometimes also occur from January to March, although tropical depressions that are formed during this period are usually not intense.
An exception is represented by the southern atoll of Kapingamarangi, which is sheltered from typhoons because it's located practically at the Equator (or at worst, it can be affected in a marginal way).

Best Time



The best times to visit Micronesia are the driest ones (or rather the least rainy): from February to April on the westernmost islands (Yap Islands) and from January to March on the central-eastern islands (Eastern Caroline Islands). Typically, February is the least rainy month of all.

What to pack



All year round, bring tropics-friendly, loose-fitting clothing, a sun hat, a scarf for the breeze, a light sweatshirt for the evening, a light raincoat or umbrella.

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