There are only two general seasons in Belize. Winter (Mild and
relatively dry) and Summer (Warm and occasionally hot and humid. The
official monsoon rainy season is June through August). Summers in San
Pedro Town and the other Cayes strung out along the Barrier Reef are
much milder than on the Belizean mainland, due to the proximity to the
Sea and the cooling effects of the easterly trade winds and cloud cover
which hold temperatures to the upper 80’s and lower 90’s during day
time and mid to lower 80’s nights.
The optimal location to live is literally on the edge of an upwind
beach in a structure that encourages flow through ventilation, on the
second or third floor. Off the beach, by a block or more, and one needs
excellent mosquito proofing during the rainy season and good
ventilation and/or air conditioning during Summer. Some folks with
northern latitudinal origins find it more comfortable to have a small
air conditioner in their bedrooms for sleeping comfort, no matter their
location in Belize. Weather on the Cayes is usually quiet bearable year
round. Inland is pretty hot and downright steamy during Summer.
Winters are a delight with their average 70’s and very rare 60’s
when cold fronts push down from the north. Winters anywhere in Belize
are a fact that attracts ever growing uncounted thousands of visitors
during the (high) Tourist Season from mid-December through the end of
May. The Caribbean Sea maintains an average 80 to 82 degrees water
temperature year round which brings divers from the world over, to the
famous Barrier Reef, on the eastern seaboard, especially in the winter.
For Belize in general, here is climate information:
The overall climate of Belize can be described as sub-tropical, with
a brisk prevailing wind from the Caribbean Sea. The humidity while
high, is seldom oppressive for long and is most noticeable along the
coast. The mean annual humidity is 83%, but many days the humidity is
masked by the cooling sea breezes.
Southeast tradewinds, averaging 10-13 knots, blow along the Belize
coastal area and on the cayes most of the year, keeping temperatures
pleasant even in the hottest months, except for a few weeks, generally
around mid-August. They attain an uncanny consistency during the month
Temperatures in Belize range from 50°F to 95°F with an annual mean
of 79°F. Winter storms may bring the temperature down to the low 60’s
and it can reach the mid-90’s on the mainland in the hottest part of
summer. November to January are traditionally the coolest months with a
75°F average and May to September are the warmest at about a 81°F
average. Location is a big factor for temperature as Cayo to the west
can be several degrees colder then along the coast and during November
at night, temperatures can fall to a beautiful 46°F in Cayo. In the
mountains, the coldest days and nights might seem relatively very cold
and blankets will definitely be needed at night. However, the mean
annual temperatures on in the mountains is a perfectly comfortable
There are definite wet and dry seasons. Rainfall is heaviest in the
south and the jungle areas, lightest in the north and on the Cayes. The
onset of the "dry" varies widely from year to year, but once the onset
of the dry commences, the actual amount of rain falling during the
"dry" is a predictable amount. This is not necessarily so for the
remainder of the year though. As a general rule though, the higher the
average rainfall, the greater are the departures from the norm. For
example, rainfall in Punta Gorda to the south in September maybe 12
inches one year and 36 inches the following.
The number of rainy days varies considerable from place to place.
The Cayo District has an average of 125 rainy days per year; Belize
District averages about 171 rainy days, the Stann Creek District 183
days per year while in Punta Gorda they often have over 200 days of
rain every year. Many of these rainy days are insignificant though,
with early morning showers (called "night rain" by the locals"
blossoming beautiful rainbows. These "night rains" are caused by cool
air moving down from the mountains which cools the air along the cost
causing a light rain.
Hurricanes occasionally occur; they are most likely to hit in
September and October. Water temperature averages between 79 and 83
CLIMATE PATTERNS BY MONTH
The seasonal march of weather
patterns in Belize is of considerable interests to vacationers and
local farmers. While the following descriptions vary from year to year,
once the pattern begins, the following weather conditions are usually
predictable. Much of the following is taken from the classic book on
Belizean Natural History by Charles Wright called "Land in British
In January, the northeast tradewinds are normally
established. In the Toledo District, except for a narrow coastal strip,
the days are usually free from rain. On the upland Maya Mountains, the
rainfall is only about 9 or 10 inches and almost all of the north of
the country receives less then 3 inches of rain. In the south, the
Mayan bean crops are maturing while in the north, the sugar cane
harvesting is in full swing.
February is the most consistent month of the year in all
districts except in Toledo. The dry easterly tradewinds blow steadily
and the morning showers along the coast are gentle and infrequent. The
Toledo coast gets about 6 inches of rain. Most of the northern part of
the country gets only about an inch of rain. This is the month when you
will see most of the clearing of forest by farmers throughout the
March is another reliable month. The pattern of rainfall is
similar to February and the northern parts of the country often go all
month without rain.. The steady trades are beginning to fluctuate a
little and thunderstorms start to form over the Maya Mountains. Toledo
has its first "dry" month of the year (averaging about 4 inches) and
the eager Mayan farmers are beginning to burn their "Milpas" and sow
their corn - though most will wait for April.
April ushers in the onset of the rains caused by the
heating of the land. Huge thunderstorms begin to build over the hot
Maya Mountains. The easterly trades are losing their force and the
thunderstorms often move toward the coast. These afternoon buildups are
beautiful to watch, with most of the lightening hitting deep within the
Maya Mountains. Toledo has another dry month of only about 4 inches of
rain, and the Mayan farmers wait till after the ground is soften by the
rains to begin to plant their corn or burn the bush. In the north, the
rainfall is very sporadic and go by the local name of "Iguana Rains".
During May, every part of the country can be assured of at
least 2 inches of rain. The most striking characteristics of May are
the majestic towering thunderheads. Strong convection currents caused
by the heated land make these thunderheads daily occurrences.. By the
end of the month, stormy conditions are becoming general throughout
Belize and rainstorms are frequent in the south. The rainfall in Toledo
may jump to 10 inches and storms blow in from the south east often
lasting for three days.
During June, easterly winds become fairly strong and steady.
Rainfall in Toledo rises to 24 inches average. The rains are fairly
consistent throughout the country, though the coast may get more rain
then the land immediately behind. The rains are warm and quick, with
plenty of sunshine - perfect growing conditions for the vast tropical
forests which cover the country. Most of the Mayan farmers stop farming
operations as well as loggers. Even the north part of the country gets
7 or 8 inches of rain.
July closely mirrors June and the rainfall is similar. The
extreme northern part of the country may receive a little less rain
then June, but Toledo still gets about 24 inches of rain during the
month. This rainfall is highly variable from year to year, but no part
of the country receives less then 6 inches of rain during the month.
August sees the dying away of the southeasterly rains, and
rainfall drops about 2 inches throughout the country. A dry westerly
wind dominates the weather. Toledo still receives plenty of rain. These
dry conditions around the country which may last for a couple of weeks
are locally referred to as the "Little Dry". August is a fairly
reliable month and westerly winds may become quite strong. The citrus
harvest begins in the Stann Creek Valley with the sweetest juices you
September is the month of dying breezes. North and west
winds are light and variable. Most of the rains fall on the mountains
where the warm moist sea breezes meet the cooling land mass at the
close of the day. Evening and night rains are common. Toledo receives
about 22 inches of rain and even the northern part of the country
receives between 5 and 7 inches. Mayan farmers are harvesting their
corn while planting early crops of beans.
In October, the "northers" increase. These northers bring
in cold air from the north which meets the warm tropical air over
Belize, causing rainfall and heavy northern winds. Strong "northers"
blow right across the Maya Mountains and dump heavy rains on Toledo.
Light "northers" drop heavy rains on the northern side of the Maya
Mountains in the Cayo District. The northers can often be quite cool
and cause light craft warnings throughout the country. They seldom last
for more then 3 days at a time.
November sees the northerly winds at their most
strongest and coldest. The east winds are very light and weak. Land
breezes with cold air move down toward the coast where they meet the
warm moist sea breeze increase rainfall along the barrier reef. There
is a long rain shadow area extending for almost the entire length of
the coastal plain along the foothills of the Maya Mountain Range. Grass
fires in the savannas are common during the month of November within
this rain shadow.
During December, the dry season should arrive and talk
turns to the coming planting season. There is an increase in easterly
winds and the northers are dying away. As the northers die, a slow
moving belt of gentle rains move across the country and are known
locally as the "mid-winter rains". The southeasterly trades begin to
blow, carrying the cycle back into January.
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