Here's a memorable old saying... "The Bahamas' climate is what you expect and Bahamas weather is what you'll get". What do I mean?...
This page describes how we experience climate and weather in the Bahamas. I am talking to you from Eleuthera island in the heart of the Bahamas where my wife and I have lived since 1997.
How do you like this?... In the Bahamas the sun shines about 340 days out of 365...
The Bahamas' climate is the weather averaged over an extended period of time.
The weather, on the other hand, is the condition of the atmosphere at any particular time and place, for example when you are on vacation.
The climate in The Bahamas consists of just two seasons.
Rain mainly comes in short-lived, intense showers accompanied by strong winds which are then followed by clear skies.
The official hurricane season runs from June to November. But...
The probability of hurricanes striking the Bahamas in June, July and August is relatively low. All hurricanes we have gone through from 1997 to 2010 occurred in September/October, with one in early November.
Don't think of the Bahamas as just a winter destination because...
The Summer months are ideal for a vacation, too. The ocean is warm and most of the time it's calm. The cloud formations are often awe-inspiring. Really spectacular!
The colors of the sky and water are intense and beautiful. It's an ideal time for snorkeling and swimming. Just make sure to rent an air-conditioned house.
Winters - November through May - are pleasantly warm. Cold fronts sometimes bring strong winds from the north, a bit of rain, and lower temperatures, particularly from mid-January through February.
You'll notice how warm the water is even in Winter. I made these measurements myself. Why?...
The official sources gave low temperatures that were at odds with our own experience. So we created our own table based on actual measurements taken near shore, where people swim.
The official measurements were probably based on satellite data taken far from shore where no one will swim or snorkel anyway.
Temperatures and rainfall do vary slightly between the northern islands Grand Bahama (Freeport), Abacos (Marsh Harbour), Bimini and the more southerly Cat Island, Long Island and the Exumas.
Remember what I said above? "Weather is what we are getting". In other words... You might get weather during your vacation that is different from what you expect. The reason is that you based your expectations on the long-term Bahamas' climate information - the averages of the past.
Long story short...
You take a chance with the weather. But don't worry, compared to New York or Toronto, the weather in the Bahamas will always be warm.
The following is a presentation of the Bahamas' climate as we experienced it in the central Bahamas - over more than 10 years.
Centrally situated islands like Andros, New Providence (Nassau) and Eleuthera all have about the climate as described below.
========== Sidebar ==========
The northwest Bahamas islands are a bit cooler than the islands in the center, and the southwest islands are a better warmer. But not by much.
Many of the cold fronts - which bring rain - don't reach the southern Bahamian islands. Crooked Island, Acklins and the Ragged Islands - in the south - are therefore drier. But they are more important to adventurous bone fisherman and yachtsmen than to general vacation tourism.
======== End of sidebar ========
January: The first two weeks are still warm and pleasant for swimming. Later on air temperatures drop and the sea can be a bit rough.
February: The first half is usually much like the second half of January. In the second half of February air temperatures start to rise.
March: Getting warmer and winds dying down unless a cold front passes.
April: Dry and warm.
May: Water warming up. Still little rainfall.
June: Humidity and temperature considerably higher as rainy season is starting with short pop-up showers.
July: Air temperatures still rising slightly. Look at the water temperatures on the table above... 91°F/33°C. You would think that cooling down with a swim in the ocean would be impossible. Right?...
Wrong! Because the water temperatures are still below body temperature... a half hour in the ocean will cool you off nicely. You can swim and snorkel for ever. And when a thunder storm builds up, you'll have ample time to get back to your rental place.
August: About as hot as July. Calm apart from some thunder storms.
September: Very much like August. But highest probability of hurricanes.
October: The Bahamas climate's worst month. Highest rainfall of the year. Rain can last for over a day.
November: Considerably less rain and slight drop in temperature. Probability of hurricanes is very low even though the official hurricane season does not end until Nov. 30.
December: Little rain. Air and water temperatures decreasing. Generally very pleasant weather, with occasional hot days.
Enjoy your island's weather. The sun shines about 340 days out of 365... Yes, that's a 93% chance. You can't expect the Bahamas climate to get any better than that!