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If you’re considering the expat life in The Bahamas archipelago, you are probably taking a lot of factors into consideration. And the average rainfall might be one of them!
Tropical destinations might boast sunny skies and warm beaches, but they’re also vulnerable to what many North Americans consider extreme weather.
Still, The Bahamas rainy season doesn’t deter millions of immigrants to the country every year.
Let’s talk about thunderstorms, hurricanes, and The Bahamas rainy season — but trust us: the rain won’t be enough to hinder you from enjoying a comfortable, fulfilling life in The Bahamas!
Average Rainfall in The Bahamas
So, how much precipitation can you expect on the Friendly Islands? Probably more than anywhere else you’ve lived.
It’s one of those things that comes with living in the tropics. A little precipitation is a small price to pay for paradise, sunshine, and minimal taxes!
The average rainfall in The Bahamas each year is about 44 inches (11.17 cm), with most of it hitting the islands during the summertime. As a reference, check out the average annual rainfall in these major U.S. cities:
- Seattle, Washington – 37.18 inches ( 94.44 cm)
- Buffalo, New York – 39 inches (99.06 cm)
- San Diego, California – 12 inches (30.48 cm)
Keep in mind that most Bahamas precipitation lasts only a few hours during the rainiest months. Afternoon thunderstorms are quick, and some consider them calming and refreshing.
If you’re not a big fan of the rain, steer away from Grand Bahama and Abaco, as they’re more prone to harsh thunderstorms. Perhaps opt for a sophisticated home in Nassau or a luxury mansion in Bimini.
And, of course, you can always try to avoid The Bahamas rainy season if you choose.
When is The Bahamas rainy season? What is the driest period?
The infamous Bahamas rainy season takes place from May to October. Residents can expect regular yet brief thunderstorms in the afternoon, with 8-10 inches of rainfall per month during the peak. In the summer, The Bahamas is at a higher risk for tropical cyclones.
If you’re one for sailing and watersports, the rainy season isn’t a good time to hit the waves. Instead, scuba dive to your heart’s content during the driest period, from December to March. The absolute driest month is January.
Many expats choose to stay in The Bahamas only from December to May, which accommodates the 6-month stay requirement for residency. It’s also a great way to soak up dry, warm sunshine with less risk of rainfall, thunderstorms, and hurricanes.
But if you choose to stay year-long, don’t worry. The Bahamas Department of Meteorology doesn’t report many issues due to tropical weather events. In fact, the country has incredibly innovative, scientific methods of helping residents prepare for any extreme thunderstorms.
But if you’re staying year-round, it’s still important to have a general idea about what to expect each month.
Bahamas Rainfall by Month
The rainiest month in The Bahamas is in August. Expect to see about 9 inches or 23.6 cm of rain this month— nearly 5X December’s rainfall. Let’s take a look at the average rainfall figures for each month.
- January: 4.7 cm, or 1.85 inches
- February: 4.9 cm, or 1.93 inches
- March: 5.4 cm, or 2.13 inches
- April: 6.9 cm, or 2.72 inches
- May: 10.5 cm, or 4.13 inches
- June: 21.9 cm, or 8.62 inches
- July: 16.1 cm, or 6.34 inches
- August: 23.6 cm, or 9.29 inches
- September: 16.3 cm, or 6.42 inches
- October: 16.3 cm, or 6.42 inches
- November: 8.1 cm, or 3.19 inches
- December: 5 cm, or 1.97 inches
More About The Bahamas Climate
The Bahamas has a tropical marine climate, with both wet and dry months. Regardless of whether it rains or not, there is about 7 hours of sunshine every day, with Bahamas temperatures rarely dipping under 66 degrees Fahrenheit.
The climate is characterized heavily by a trade wind (Bermuda Azores anticyclone) — steadily flowing wind toward the equator. The breeze is usually refreshing, but picks up to 9 mph during The Bahamas rainy season.
Extreme thunderstorms, hurricanes, and cyclones can reach much higher speeds.
When is hurricane season in The Bahamas?
The Bahamas’ hurricane season is from June to November, just like the majority of the Caribbean. The most prominent hurricane months are August, September, and October.
During this time, The Bahamas might be subject to heavy rain, strong winds exceeding 73 mph, flooding, and even tornadoes. They’re particularly vulnerable because the majority of the islands have a low elevation.
The Bahamas isn’t as vulnerable to hurricanes as other Caribbean countries like the Dominican Republic, Barbuda, and St. Maarten. But we’re not discounting the threat of hurricanes in The Bahamas. It’s a part of life Bahamians must prepare for and endure.
The country’s worst hurricane experience was likely Hurricane Dorian — a Category 5, 185 mph hurricane that hit Grand Bahamas and Abaco before moving onto Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia. But the probability of weather conditions like Hurricane Dorian happening are often slim.
Fortunately, because of the extensive hurricane prevention and support, The Bahamas doesn’t report many hurricane-related deaths.
The Bahamas Department of Meteorology manages a sophisticated weather system, including a geostationary satellite and aircraft dedicated to “hunting hurricanes.” Living along one of the country’s 37 mountains makes you less vulnerable to any home damage.
Are you on the coast? Stay updated, listen to the news for guidance on shelter, and keep this handy hurricane handbook close by.
What do you do during a hurricane?
The Bahamian government offers many learning resources to help you prepare for a hurricane.
Here are some tips to follow:
- Listen to the news: The Bahamian government has a sophisticated weather alert system to prepare residents for extreme weather conditions.
- Check the Bahamas Department of Meteorology: They issue special weather reports and outlooks every month.
- Create your own hurricane plan: Listen to authorities but always have your own plan in place, too. Consider where you would go if a hurricane hits, and prepare with flashlights, emergency food and water supplies, and medical documents.
- Evacuate if you hear shaking, shifting, or strange noises: This could be an early sign that a building could collapse.
- Avoid electronics: Laptops, computers, and microwaves have dangerous potential during a hurricane.
- Stay away from the windows: Harsh winds, flying debris, or even high pressure could cause windows to burst, shattering glass and cutting anyone nearby.
- Keep your car’s gas tank filled during the Bahamas rainy season: Be ready to evacuate and drive to safety.
That’s enough hurricane talk. Always consider safety, of course. But don’t forget the main attraction to moving to the Bahamas in the first place: the fabulous weather and temperatures!
What is the average temperature in The Bahamas?
Don’t let hurricanes and thunderstorms hinder the average 7 hours of sunshine you’ll bask in every day in The Bahamas. Even during hurricane season, Bahamas temperatures sit at an average of 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bottom line? Bahamas temperatures are warm, no matter the time of year. Curious about more information regarding Bahamas temperatures? Check out our article to learn more!
The Best Time to Visit The Bahamas
The best time to visit The Bahamas is during the dry months — January is ideal, but anytime between December to May is adequate for avoiding heavy thunderstorms. Additionally, April sees the longest sunshine durations, averaging around 9 hours per day.
However, there’s no reason to limit yourself and completely tune out other months. They all offer an incredible Bahamian experience.
We have plenty of expat clients living a comfortable life year-round in New Providence, Nassau, Matthew Town, Eleuthera, Bimini Island, and other locales despite the rainy season. Afternoon rains are refreshing, nourishing bursts for the land, while hurricane prep keeps everyone on their toes when needed.
Regardless of your budget, location, or timeframe, our team of skilled agents would be delighted to help you find Bahamian land, homes, or rentals.