Weather and yearly events

Roatan's Tempreture

 

Roatan has wonderful weather as far as I am concerned.  A few days a year a cold front hits, dropping the temperature by 10F/5C and it gets cold enough to wear long sleeves and trousers. That's just us locals as you will still see tourists happily swimming and sunbathing while we are shivering. The fact is that the temperature is fairly consistent with a low of around 77F/25C. High around 88F/31C. What might make it cooler is clouds/rain and wind. 

 

If you are used to summer days of endless light and winter days of constant darkness then you will be shocked at the lack of change here. The shortest night is 8hs 12 mins and the longest is 10hrs 16 mins which means that sunrise and sunset only move about an hour a year. The earliest sunrise of the year is 5:12 am and the latest is at 6:17 am. Similarly, sunset varies from 5:11 pm to 6:22 pm. 

 

The tides usually only vary daily by a fraction of a foot and over the year by only a few feet. Essentially that means that the beaches seem to look the same almost every day except when there is a storm and the low pressure pulls up the level of the sea.

Rainfall Charts

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YEarly rainfall for Roatan Honduras from 2008 to present day. Shows rainfall in inches for each month

Slightly more recent one

Rainfall 2011 to October 2022.jpg
Every Hurricaine since 1864.png

Rainfall details

Above is a rainfall chart recently published by Mike the Weather Guy. He is my go-to on all things about Roatan weather. He has a Facebook page and a daily blog.  You can see that the most rain falls in our rainy season which is October to January which accounts for two-thirds of the year's rain. Of course, those are only averages and you can see from his charts there are always exceptional months.  

 

It is not by accident that we consider October to December excluding the Christmas/New Year period our slow season. However, the weather can be wonderful during those months with glorious sunshine but without being too hot. No one can be sure what the weather will be like when people arrive, however it is one of the most common questions people ask on Facebook groups. Hopefully, these figures give you a general idea.

 

The Pacific Hurricane Season begins on the 15th of May and ends around the 15th of November. However, no one seems to have told the hurricanes that, so they can come earlier or later. It is extremely rare for a storm to form further south than Honduras and if Honduras is hit it is, unfortunately, the mainland that is mostly affected. Large amounts of rainfall can cause terrible flooding. There hasn't been a bad hurricane in the Bay Islands for over 20 years and it seems with the seas warming that the hurricanes are being pushed further and further north towards the USA.

I just discovered an excellent new video channel for the weather in our area. Great in hurricane season.

This is the weather station where I live.

Hurricanes how scared should we be on Roatan?

I often get asked about hurricanes as they seem to be an aspect of fear if you plan to relocate here. On Roatan, though I do not think we have much to fear. That is not to say that the islands de Bahia and the Honduras mainland have not suffered terribly at the hands of Hurricanes as you can read from this international report from UNHCR the UN refugee agency. Mainland Honduras in the last few years has had hurricanes pile on top of hurricanes causing a large death toll. The deaths are mainly caused by the massive flash flooding and mudslides caused by such dramatic downpours in such short periods.

Likely route of hurricanes that form and might effect us


Roatan though is sheltered from Hurricanes that come from the west as they tent tend to lose a lot of their power pushing through the mainland.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Climate change and the warming of the Caribbean

Climate change is warming the oceans and every year regardless of if it is an "El Nino" or "La Niña" year the average temperature is gradually increasing. This is terrible news for other islands and the south and east coast of the USA but good news for us. The warmer water means the Hurricanes form faster and stronger, It also causes them to curve North

This map below plots every hurricane path that has passed by since  1851 including hurricane Mitch which did so much damage to Guanaja. Superficially it looks scary but there is a simple fact that all those lines obscure. Warmer waters mean stronger hurricanes that tend to curve northwards. Click on the image for more historical details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In summary hurricanes in Roatan are not a major concern. (Famous last words)

It would take a hurricane passing the tip of Honduras to go due west to come close to us on a very unlikely path. 
So though climate change is going to mean many worse and more significant disasters humanitarian disasters for the Honduras mainland, the islands to the north of us, and as I said the USA. it looks like it will benefit from the change.

 

Typical routes of Hurricanes that come close.jfif