Located in the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles, St. Kitts and Nevis experiences warm and humid conditions throughout the year. As with most Caribbean islands, the climate of St. Kitts and Nevis is heavily influenced by the marine environment. The average temperature is 26-28°C in summer months and 24-25°C in the cooler months of December to February. Seasonal and diurnal variations in temperature are small and only at higher elevations do temperatures drop below 17°C. The islands of St. Kitts and Nevis have a wet season between July and December, during which the islands receive up to 150-250 mm of rainfall per month, and a drier season between January and April. Mean annual precipitation on Nevis is about 1170 mm, while the average rainfall in St. Kitts is strongly related to altitude. The central mountain range in St. Kitts receives an annual average of 2,500-4,000 mm in rainfall, while coastal areas receive a more modest annual average of 1,016 mm. Furthermore, in St. Kitts, along the South-East Peninsula (SEP), mean annual precipitation ranges from 990mm on peaks to 864 mm at Cockleshell Bay. The hurricane season extends from June to November when low pressure systems and tropical disturbances pass through the area. The occurrence of hurricanes is strongly linked to the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), with more frequent hurricane activity associated with La Niña events, and less frequent events occurring in El Niño years. Heavy rainfall associated with storms and hurricanes contributes significantly to wet season rainfall totals. Key historical climate trends are summarized below:
- Mean annual temperature has increased by around 0.5°C since 1960, at an average rate of 0.12°C per decade. Warming has been more rapid in the June-August and September-November periods, at a rate of 0.16°C per decade, compared to 0.08-0.10°C per decade in the December-February and March-May periods.
- There is insufficient daily observational data to identify trends in daily temperature extremes such as the frequency of ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ days and nights.
- Mean rainfall over St. Kitts and Nevis has not changed with a significant trend since 1960.
This section provides the options to visualize historical climate data for different timeframes via map and annual cycle chart.