South Pacific Weather

Tuvalu beachCompared to parts of North America and Europe, the seasonal climatic variations in the South Pacific are not extreme. There is a hotter, more humid season from November to April and a cooler, drier time from May to October. These contrasts are more pronounced in countries closer to the equator such as Samoa and Solomon Islands and less noticeable in the Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, and New Caledonia. Hurricanes can also come during the “rainy” season but they only last a few days a year.

In recent years climatic changes have turned weather patterns upside down, so don’t be surprised if you get prolonged periods of rain and wind during the official “dry season” and drought when there should be rain. The belt of storms and winds has shifted eastward, making Tonga and Melanesia drier and French Polynesia wetter. Hurricanes are also striking farther east and El Nino (the movement of warm water east toward South America) is recurring more frequently.

Temperatures range from warm to hot year-round; however, the ever-present sea moderates the humidity by bringing continual cooling breezes. The sun sets around 6 pm year-round and there aren’t periods when the days are shorter or longer. There’s almost no twilight in the tropics, which makes Pacific sunsets brief. When the sun begins to go down, you have less than half an hour before darkness. For specific information on the climate of individual countries, turn to South Pacific Weather.