The Bahamas are one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Americas for a good reason. The average temperatures in the islands are warm to hot the entire year, the sea temperature ranges from pleasant to extremely comfortable, the number of average sunshine hours is very high, and the beaches are spectacular. But does it rain a lot in the Bahamas?
In this article I’m going to share with you the average rainfall in three different cities on three different islands in the Bahamas, roughly representing three regions of the archipelago. I’m also going to talk about the rainy season, the number of rainy days in each of the three places, and the hurricane season.
Average Rainfall and Average Rainy Days in the Bahamas
Here’s a quick table with three places in the Bahamas that have climate data available online. I provide average rainfall in mm and inches and the number of rainy days. From this data, we can identify the rainy season as well as the months that have the highest precipitation.
Freeport can account for the climate approximation in the northern Bahamas, including the northern islands of Grand Bahama, the Abaco Islands, and the Berry Islands.
Nassau can account for the climate found roughly in the central Bahamas, including New Providence, the Andros Island, and Eleuthera.
Meanwhile, Matthew Town can provide the climate approximation for the most southerly islands in the archipelago, mostly including Inagua Islands.
|Freeport average rainfall (mm/inches)||83.1 (3.27)||72.6 (2.86)||93.5 (3.68)||66.8 (2.63)||104.7 (4.12)||176.0 (6.93)||165.4 (6.51)||207.8 (8.18)||217.4 (8.56)||142.8 (5.62)||93.0 (3.66)||73.7 (2.9)||1,496.8 (58.92)|
|Freeport average rainy days||10||9||9||7||12||17||18||19||19||16||11||10||157|
|Nassau average rainfall (mm/inches)||45 (1.76)||48 (1.9)||54 (2.13)||74 (2.91)||139 (5.48)||220 (8.66)||158 (6.23)||211 (8.31)||196 (7.7)||151 (5.93)||87 (3.41)||43 (1.7)||1,426 (56.12)|
|Nassau average rainy days||7||5||6||7||10||15||16||18||17||13||9||7||130|
|Matthew Town average rainfall (mm/inches)||49.8 (1.96)||37.3 (1.47)||34.5 (1.36)||40.9 (1.61)||82.6 (3.25)||28.7 (1.13)||21.1 (0.83)||49.5 (1.95)||84.6 (3.33)||119.4 (4.7)||72.4 (2.85)||37.3 (1.47)||658.1 (25.91)|
|Matthew Town average rainy days||6||5||4||5||6||4||4||5||7||10||8||6||70|
The Average Rainfall on Grand Bahama and New Providence Island
As you can see, the hot and rainy season in Freeport and Nassau brings up to 18-19 days of rain, with over 200 mm (7.9 inches) of precipitation a month. These are the months between May/June and November which also happen to be considered off-season.
Thankfully, this doesn’t mean that it rains the entire day. Usually rain falls abundantly during a thunderstorm, particularly in the afternoon or overnight. So while it may rain a lot quantity-wise, it doesn’t mean it will ruin your vacation.
There may be some days with several hours of rain but it’ll be rare not to see any sun for two days in a row, even in the rainy season. In fact, quite the opposite.
According to data available for Freeport and Nassau, the months with the highest average rainfall still have some of the highest number of sunshine hours. Instead of rain, you’ll be more worried about the average temperature which gets hot and very humid (or you’ll be more worried about the hurricane season but more on that in a second).
As for the comparison of rainy days on Grand Bahama vs New Providence, the latter has 27 fewer days of rain a year. In the coolest months, the most populated island has up to 4 fewer days with precipitation than Grand Bahama.
The Driest Island in the Bahamas
Matthew Town, located in the southern Bahamas on the island of Great Inagua, is much luckier in terms of weather. It not only features a higher average high temperature (as well as a higher average low temperature) than the first two cities. It also has much lower average rainfall and no pronounced rainy season, except for 8-10 days of rain in October and November.
Because Matthew Town is located further from the wet western side of the North Atlantic subtropical anticyclone, it has a hot semi-arid climate. Compared to the much wetter tropical rainforest climate on Grand Bahama, Great Inagua is a paradise island for those who want to avoid rain as much as possible.
When Is the Hurricane Season in the Bahamas?
As all countries in or near the Caribbean, the official start of the hurricane season is on June 1 and lasts until November 30. These are the hottest months in the Bahamas and the rainiest ones in Freeport and Nassau. Hurricanes may form in other months than in the official hurricane season but they’re much less rare.
August, September, and early October are the months carrying the highest risk of a hurricane. While the weather forecast can predict them before they make landfall, who would want to escape in a rush from such powerful incoming force of nature?
These months are best to be avoided, not only because of the risk of hurricanes but also because they feature oppressively hot weather with the average high temperature climbing to 33 °C (91 °F) and the average low temperature at extremely sticky 24-25 °C (75-77 °F).
The Best Months to Visit the Bahamas
The best months to visit the Bahamas, considering the high average temperature in the rainy season and the risk of hurricanes, are between December and April.
If you want a quieter time, avoid the spring break season between March and April. This leaves you with winter months between December and February.
The average high temperature in these months will reach about 24-25 °C (75-77 °F) in Freeport, 26-27 °C (79-81 °F) in Nassau, and 28-29 °C (82-84 °F) in Matthew Town.
The average low temperature (average temperature at night) in these months will reach about 16-17 °C (61-63 °F) in Freeport, 18-20 °C (64-68 °F) in Nassau, and 20-21 °C (68-70 °F) in Matthew Town. You may need warmer clothes for Grand Bahama for rare cooler days while the further south you go, the less you’ll need to pack.
If you want warm weather and fewer days of rain, going to New Providence or to the southern islands is a better idea than heading to Grand Bahama (or the Abaco Islands) which may have relatively low morning and evening temperatures in the cooler season.
The shoulder months of late November and early May may be the best options for lower prices, higher temperatures, not that rainy weather, and a relatively low risk of hurricanes.
Frequently Asked Questions
The rainiest month in Freeport on Grand Bahama is September, with 19 days of rain. The rainiest month in Nassau on New Providence is August, with 18 days of rain. The rainiest month in Matthew Town on Great Inagua is October, with 10 days of rain.
In the rainy season, it may rain up to 18-19 days a month. It doesn’t mean that it’ll be raining the entire day, though. Abundant rainfall may fall during a short thunderstorm in the afternoon, with the rest of the day being free of precipitation.
Particularly the northern islands of the Bahamas get lot of rain. They experience up to 157 average rainy days and average rainfall a year reaching almost 1,500 mm (59 inches). The central islands are slightly less rainy, with 130 days of rain and about 1,426 mm (56 inches). The driest island of the Bahamas, Great Inagua, gets only 70 days of precipitation, with just 658 mm of rainfall (26 inches).
The most popular time of year to visit the Bahamas is between December and April. The best months to avoid crowds but still enjoy great weather with a low risk of hurricanes is early May and late November.
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