Vanuatu’s climate varies with latitude, from wet tropical in the northern islands, which receive over 4,000 millimeters (mm) of annual rainfall to the dryer subtropical in the southern extremes of the archipelago, where annual average rainfall measures 1,500 mm. Average temperatures range from 21°C to 27°C, and unlike many of the Pacific island nations, seasonal temperatures in the capital city of Port Vila exhibit high variability with summertime highs exceeding 30°C and minimum temperatures often reaching below 20°C. Seasonal and interannual variations in climate are driven by changes associated with El Niño, which affect every aspect of the climate in the Pacific. Cyclones are common during the warm months of November to April, although two recent cyclonic events were experienced outside of the traditional cyclonic season.
- According to weather station data, mean temperatures in Vanuatu have risen by 0.5⁰ to 1⁰C in the last half of the 20th century. Mean temperatures across the South Pacific have increased by approximately 1⁰C since 1970, at an average rate of 0.3⁰C per decade. Temperatures appear to be increasing more rapidly in the southern reach of the archipelago. Recent evidence places temperature increases for the period of record in two weather stations (Efate and Baerfield; 1937 to 2007) at 0.46⁰C per year, a figure slightly below the global average increases projected.
- The numbers of hot days and hot nights have increased significantly across the Pacific.
- Recent evidence suggests a tendency for wetter conditions during the dry season, as the frequency of heavy storms during this period have increased. This dynamic is most notable during La Niña periods.
This section provides the options to visualize historical climate data for different timeframes via map and annual cycle chart.