The Cayman Islands is in the northeast trade wind belt of the Caribbean and enjoys a stable climate. Cool winter nights and hot summer days are the year-round norm, influenced only occasionally by winter storms known as Nor'westers, or, a tropical storm or hurricane threat every few years. Summer humidity can be uncomfortable, but the cool sea breezes at night usually bring relief.
Cayman Islands Hurricanes
The Cayman Islands has had quite a few encounters with storms over the past two centuries of recorded history. Although the hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th, the months of September, October and November are typically the most active for our area, the southwest Caribbean. This is the period when storms tend to form in the southern Caribbean and move north, into or close to our area. Visitors to the islands need not worry about being trapped during a hurricane as evacuation plans are in place and have worked well in the past. Major hurricanes that directly impacted the Cayman Islands in recent years were:
Gilbert - September 1988
Mitch - October of 1998
Michelle - November 2001
Ivan - September 2004
Typical Rainfall in the Cayman Islands
Rainfall is seasonal, from May to November, with May/June and September/October typically being the wettest months. The driest months are usually February and March. Rainfall is generally the result either tropical thunderstorms which develop in the summer months, or, localised rain resulting from the evaporation of water in the central mangroves of the main island. "Tropical Waves" drift through the Caribbean in the summer months, often depositing large amounts of rainfall before they dissipate. On occasion they organize to form tropical storms or even hurricanes. Localised rainfall usually results when the summer heat causes evaporation of water in the central mangrove wetlands and rain clouds are formed. These clouds generally drift to the west, depositing rain on the western side of the island. The wettest day on record is November 30, 1993 with 7.8 inches. Although unconfirmed, it is said that a hurricane in 1909 dumped an estimated 12 inches of rain in a 24 hour period.
Cayman Islands Temperature
January and February are the coolest months with daytime high's in the upper 70's to low 80's and nighttime low's in the mid 60's to low 70's. Summer temperatures peak in July and August with daytime highs in the upper 80's to low 90's and nighttime low's in the low 80's. High humidity in the summer months can often make the days and nights feel hotter. On January 19th, 2000, we registered a low temperature of 58°F, with no wind.
Cayman Islands Winter Storms
Occasional cold fronts pass through the islands in the winter months, the remnants of more intense winter weather moving south through the southeast US and northwest Caribbean. If strong enough, the resulting local winter storms known as Nor'westers may be accompanied by extremely rough seas which can cause coastline damage and beach erosion.
Cayman Islands Tides
Grand Cayman's tide table is based on that of Galveston, Texas, minus 8 hours 1 minute. Spring tides range from 10 to 12 inches and autumn/fall tides from 15 to 20 inches.
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