This page presents Kiribati'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.
Kiribati has a hot, humid, tropical climate with an average temperature of 28.3°C and average rainfall of about 2,100 mm per year in Tarawa (1980 - 1999). Its climate is closely related to the temperature of the oceans surrounding the small islands and atolls. Across Kiribati the average temperature is relatively constant year-round. From season to season the temperature changes by no more than 1°C. Kiribati has two seasons - the dry season (te Au Maiaki) and the wet season (te Au Meang). The periods of seasons vary from location to location and are strongly influenced by the seasonal movement of the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) and the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ).
The six-month dry season starts in June, with the lowest mean rainfall in October. The wet season starts in November and lasts until April; the highest rainfall occurs from January to March, peaking with a mean of 268 mm in January. The Walker Circulation and associated El Niño and La Niña with their marked opposite conditions of flooding and drought for different parts of the South Pacific and the wider tropical region of the globe are predominating phenomena that determine Kiribati climate. These phenomena have also marked conditions on the temperature and movement (east to west) of the waters of the Central Pacific Ocean, and on wind direction.