Knowing Jamaica

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Climate & Weather

Jamaica is a small country … only 146 miles long and 58 miles at its widest part. Actually, the width varies from 22 to 58 miles. But Jamaicans do not really see the country as being small. After all, we are the third largest in the region and the largest English-speaking island. Regardless of size, Jamaica has a huge impact! And weather to die for.

We are a mountainous country (not hills, mountains) with more than half the island being above 1,000 feet. The impact of the mountains on our weather is that it evens out the rainfall. But the hilly areas do get a bit more rain (close to 300 inches per year compared to 30 inches on the plains). And some months, like April/May and September/October do get a bit more rain.

We do not have snow!

Like the poem says:

We have neither summer nor winter, neither autumn nor spring; We have instead the days when the gold sun beats on the lush green cane fields, magnificently!

Nature by H.D. Carberry

The trouble is, we do have the occasional hurricane! Like the rest of the Caribbean, the hurricane season runs from June to November.

Jamaica is considered to be a tropical country, but some would argue that because of the distance from the equator (just south of the Tropic of Cancer), and the mountainous terrain, we should be considered semi-tropical.

The average temperature is about 78°F(25°C) with places in the mountains being much cooler.

For example, "Cool, cool Mandeville" often experiences 60°F(16°C) weather, while Kingston is experiencing 80°F(27°C) weather. On the whole, though, Jamaica does not have extreme weather, and most would consider it healthy.

Today's Weather