The Truth about Belize Weather
Get the real story about Belize’s weather, including how our weather is changing, real statistics about rain and temperature, and the best months to travel.
Guests often write me utterly confused about Belize’s weather. When I looked online, I saw why–most of what is out there was apparently written by someone who’s never lived in Belize. Accordingly, I thought I’d give you all the inside guide on Belize’s weather.
NEW WEATHER PATTERNS
One reason there is a great deal of confusion about our weather is because it has been undergoing a great deal of change over the past few years. Whereas we used to follow traditional seasonal patterns, we haven’t had a real rainy season for nearly 4 years. To get accurate data, I actually setup a NOAA certified weather station on our beach last year. Remarkably, in 2019, we only had 12 days where we had any day-time precipitation, and it totaled less than 11 hours of rain and accumulated less than 2 inches!
Another cause of confusion is that we are a country of microclimates. What is happening in the mountains often has little to do with what is happening on the coast or on the islands. Beaches and Dreams is located in Hopkins, Belize on the mainland coast, along the longest beach in Belize and also the closest one to all the inland jungle and cultural adventures. Because of that, we tend to get a nice combination of the heat from the jungle during the day and the breeze from the ocean at night. We also experience way less rain than the mountains.
The temperatures here on the coast of Belize are remarkably consistent. For over 300 days last year, our low and high temperatures were between 75 and 85 degrees. Our absolute low was 64 degrees on Christmas morning (our high for that day was 80), and our high was 96 degrees in late August. Overall, we had 27 days that reached a high in the 90s and 12 days where the low was in the 60s.
Our rain is perhaps the least understood aspect of Belize’s weather. When looking online, most resources simply state that we have a rainy season from June to October. This is at best misleading. As I explained above, we only had 11 total hours of day-time rain in all of 2019! To understand this, we must first remember the microclimates. The north of Belize borders Mexico, so the inland there looks almost desertous like much of Mexico; whereas, in the far south, there is actually a small region that gets enough rain to be classified a rain forest.
In general, our mountains get the vast majority of our rain. As systems move from west to east, they hit the mountains, dump their rain, and then dissipate before reaching the coast. On the coast and the islands, our storms come from the ocean. As such, they are very much like tropical storms that are fierce, but brief. In fact, 90% of our rain storms last year were less than 30 minutes. Most importantly (and best for our guests), over 95% of our rain occurs at night, as the Belizean sun is just too intense for most daytime clouds. Remarkably, according to our solar radiation data, 96.8% of our daytime was sunny.
In the past 100 years, Belize has experienced 8 hurricanes that causes any real damage. Of those only hurricane Hattie in 1961 caused any extensive damage to the Hopkins area. As with most weather patterns, we’ve also seen significant change over the past decade. Although a short period of time to establish any trends, hurricanes have been moving further north, leaving Belize south of the hurricane belt and making New York City more likely to experience a hurricane than Belize.
OUR BEST WEATHER
Obviously, what our best weather is depends on what you’re looking for, but for this I’ve taken into account rain, wind, and temperature. Remarkably, our best two 30 day periods of weather in 2019 occurred during our “rainy” season. The first was in the spring from mid-May to mid-June and the second was most of the month of September. During these two periods, we had essentially no day-time rain, we had extremely calm seas, and the temperatures ranged from 81 to 84 degrees.
With less than 11 hours of daytime rain, 97% of a daytime sunny, and over 300 days where the low and high were between 75 degrees and 85 degrees, our best weather is almost every day, so my first piece of advice is to come when it’s most convenient for you. My second piece of advice is to never ask me when to come, because I can guarantee you that if I recommend a date, that will be the worst week of weather we have all year!