Suriname’s geographical location just 2-6° north of the equator gives it a warm and moist tropical climate. Mean temperature is 25-27.5°C throughout the year in the north, and a little cooler, at around 23-25°C, in the southern regions. The average daily temperature can vary from 26°C in January to 31°C in October. Inter-annual variations in climate are caused by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). El Niño episodes bring dry conditions throughout the year, and bring warmer temperatures between June and August, while La Niña episodes bring wetter conditions throughout the year and cooler temperatures between June and August. The observed mean in relative humidity is 81%. Average annual rainfall is 2,200 mm; however, localized rainfall varies over the terrain where the coastal plains receive on average 1,500-1,750 mm and the central region receives 2,500-3,000 mm. Suriname experiences two wet seasons: a major wet season between May and July when most of the country receives 250-400 mm per month, and a minor wet season from November to January which brings around 150-200 mm of rainfall per month. The country also experiences two short dry seasons: a short dry season from February-April with mean monthly rainfall of 100 mm and a long dry season from August to December with less than 100 mm of rainfall per month. Suriname is south of the hurricane belt and therefore evades this threat. Key historical climate trends are summarized below:
- Mean annual temperature has increased by 0.2°C since 1960, at an average rate of 0.05°C per decade. This rate of warming is less rapid than the global average.
- The observed rate of increase is most rapid in May-July at about 0.1°C per decade.
- The average number of ‘hot’ days per month in December-February has increased by an additional 24% of days between 1960 and 2003, and the number of ‘hot’ nights per year increased by an additional 28% of nights in the same period.
- Warming is more rapid in the west of the country.
- There has been no statistically significant trend observed for mean annual rainfall since 1960. Long-term trends are difficult to identify due to the large inter-annual variability in rainfall.
This section provides the options to visualize historical climate data for different timeframes via map and annual cycle chart.