This page presents Jamaica's climate context for the current climatology, 1991-2020, derived from observed, historical data. Information should be used to build a strong understanding of current climate conditions in order to appreciate future climate scenarios and projected change. You can visualize data for the current climatology through spatial variation, the seasonal cycle, or as a time series. Analysis is available for both annual and seasonal data. Data presentation defaults to national-scale aggregation, however sub-national data aggregations can be accessed by clicking within a country, on a sub-national unit. Other historical climatologies can be selected from the Time Period dropdown list. Data for specific coordinates can be downloaded for in the Data Download page.
Observed, historical data is produced by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of University of East Anglia. Data is presented at a 0.5º x 0.5º (50km x 50km) resolution.
In Jamaica, peak temperatures occur during summer months of June to September while the coolest temperatures occur during winter between December through March. The Northern portions of the island tend to be exposed to colder temperatures from occasional surges of cool air from continental North America during fall and winter months. There exists a dry season between December through March and a rainy season between April through November which are divided into early rainfall and late rainfall seasons. There exists a mid-summer minimum around July that separates early and late wet seasons. Most of Jamaica’s rainfall occurs during the wet season (May and October) and experiences its driest conditions in February and March. (State of the Jamaican Climate)
- Maximum, mean, and minimum temperatures show upward (linear) trend. Minimum temperatures are increasing faster (~0.27 °C/decade) than maximum temperatures (~0.06 °C/decade). Mean temperatures increasing at a rate of 0.16°C/decade. Daily temperature range has decreased.
- Interannual variability accounts for most of the variability experienced in Jamaica over the past decades.
- There is no statistically significant trend in mean annual rainfall, however there is a noticeable increase in short-term variability.
- Observations show an increase in the intensity and occurrence of extreme rainfall events between 1940-1910.
This section provides the options to visualize historical climate data for different timeframes via map and annual cycle chart.