Puerto Rico is made up mostly of mountains with a coastal plain belt in the north. The mountains jut out to the sea on the west coast, but there are sandy beaches along most coastal areas. It is cooler than many other Caribbean islands due to the northeast trade winds, heavy precipitation, and altitude of most of the island. The trade winds also bring in showers from the Atlantic and make the northern coast of Puerto Rico wetter than the south.
Sea, land, and mountain breezes are fairly constant, helping to keep temperatures all over Puerto Rico at a comfortable level, and the climate is fairly stable year-round, with an average temperature of 76 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius). The only real variations in weather can be found in the mountain regions, where the temperature fluctuates between 66 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit (19 - 24 degrees Celsius), and on the north coast, where the temperature ranges from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 - 27 degrees Celsius). There is no significant difference between the wet or dry season, but August is the wettest month.
...does lie in the hurricane belt...
Puerto Rico does lie in the hurricane belt, and the official hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, with August and September being the peak months. However, the Caribbean region is more vast than most people think, and the chances of any single island being hit directly by a hurricane are very slim.
Most often, islands will only receive the heavy rains that come on the outskirts of a hurricane. Direct hits by major storms are so rare, in fact, that many elder inhabitants of the islands still relate events in history to being before or after "the storm" because they may have only seen one or two of significance in their lifetimes.
Additionally, with today's meteorological technology, advanced warnings for hurricanes reach the islands before residents and vacationers are ever in danger, so keeping an eye on the weather reports before you leave will go a long way toward keeping you prepared.
If you hear that a hurricane has hit before you are to arrive, all is not lost. You may not have to alter your trip at all, but do call ahead to verify current atmospheric conditions and extent of damage to the island; you may also want to get a statement from local business owners as to whether they are conducting business or when they think they will be operational again.
The table below contains selected climate data for Puerto Rico as reported from San Juan. Keep in mind that temperatures and humidity may differ with altitude, and these values may not hold true for a village in the Cordillera Central, for example. This will, however, give you an idea of what the weather will be like on the coast in a given month and what trends to expect throughout the island.
|Month||Average Daily |
|Average Daily |
|Average Monthly Precip. |
|% Days with Rain|
For all its consistency, Puerto Rico has one of the more dynamic climates in the region, but that doesn't mean any one season is better than another to plan a visit.
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