Sea Fiji Travel - Your Fiji Experts


What's the weather like in Fiji?


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Beautiful Fiji weather

Fiji's weather is generally pleasant year-round, lacking excessive temperature variation. The tropical maritime climate tempers large fluctuations from the wet to the dry season.

 

During all seasons the predominant winds over Fiji are the trade winds from the east to south-east. On the coast of the two main islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, day-time sea breezes blow across with great regularity. Winds over Fiji are generally light or moderate; stronger winds are far less common and are most likely to occur in the period June to November when the trade winds are most persistent. However, tropical cyclones and depressions can cause high winds, especially from November to April when the trades die down.weather

 

At lower levels around Fiji the temperatures are fairly uniform. In the lee of the mountains on the largest islands however, the day time temperatures are often 1° to 2°C (2° to 4°F) above those on the windward sides. Also, the humidity on the lee side tends to be somewhat lower. Due to the influence of the surrounding ocean, the changes in the temperature from day to day and season to season are relatively small. The average temperatures change only about 2° to 4°C (4° to 7°F) between the coolest months (July and August) and the warmest months (January to February). Around the coast, the average night-time temperatures can be as low as 18°C (64°F) and the average day-time temperatures can be as high as 32°C (90°F). In the central parts of the main islands, average night-time temperatures can be as low as 15ºC (59°F). Past records, however, show extreme temperatures as low as 8ºC (46°F) and as high as 39.4ºC (100°F) have been recorded in Fiji. South-eastern coastal areas and the high interior often experience persistent cloudy and humid weather.

 

The water temperature tends to run between 23°- 26°C (75°-79°F) in July and 26°- 28°C (80°-84°F) in January and February. The warmer water often brings a plankton bloom that decreases visibility, but increases the chances of seeing pelagic activity.

 

Rainfall is highly variable from region to region and is mainly influenced by the island topography (orography) and the prevailing south-east trade winds. These trades are often saturated with moisture, and any high land mass lying in their paths receive much of the precipitation. The mountains of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu create wet climatic zones on their windward sides and dry climatic zones on their leeward sides resulting in wet and dry zones with that are fairly well defined. On the outer islands and other small islands nearby the climatic differences from one part to another of individual islands is negligible.

 

Fiji experiences a distinct wet season (starting as early as November to April) and a dry season, controlled largely by the north and south movements of the South Pacific Convergence Zone, the main rainfall producing system for the region. Much of the Fiji 's rain however falls in heavy, brief local showers. Rainfall is usually abundant during the wet season, especially over the larger islands, and it is often deficient during the rest of the year, particularly in the 'dry zone' on the north-western sides of the main islands. Annual rainfall in the dry zones weather in Fijiaverages around 2000mm (79 in.), whereas in the wet zones, it ranges from 3000mm (118 in.) around the coast to 6000mm (236 in.) on the mountainous sites. The smaller islands receive various amounts according to their location and size, ranging from around 1500mm (59 in.) to 3500mm (138 in.). The south-eastern parts of the main islands, generally receive monthly total rainfall of 150mm (6 in.) during the dry season, and 400mm (16 in.) during the wettest months. These parts of the islands have rain on about six out of ten days for the dry season, and about eight out of ten days for the wet season. The north-western parts of these islands are in the rain shadow and receive generally less than 100mm (4 in.) per month during the dry period. The variation in the monthly totals between the two zones during the wet season is little. The wettest month is usually March and the driest month is almost always July. During the wet season, brief heavy afternoon showers and thunderstorms are common in the lee of the main islands.

 

Occasionally traversed by tropical cyclones, they are mostly confined to the wet season, with greatest frequency around January and February. On average, some ten to fifteen cyclones per decade affect some part of Fiji, and two to four do severe damage. Specific locations may not be directly affected for several years but the dominant north-west to south-east cyclone track gives some increased risk of damage in the outlying north-west island groups. Large-scale flooding in Fiji is mostly associated with the passage of a tropical cyclone or depression resulting in prolonged heavy rainfall. Normally urban centres situated near the mouth of the four main rivers on the main island are affected the most. Localized flash flooding during the wet season is common on a small scale. Storm tides and heavy swells can also result in flooding of low-lying coastal areas during the pass of a severe cyclone.

 

Droughts in Fiji can be closely linked to the ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) phenomenon, which results in generally below average rainfall for Fiji. A strong ENSO episode is likely to result in a major drought over the country, as happened during 1982/83 and 1997/98 ENSO events. Otherwise, even in a normal year the rainfall in the 'dry zones' of the country is so low during the Dry Season that an incident of below average rainfall for a few months can cause a drought effect.

 

In summary, the wet and dry seasons can each be excellent times to visit. The dry season is cooler anFiji weatherd weather is more predictable (increasing your chances of sun-drenched days), but water temperatures are also cooler with increased visibility. In the higher altitudes and sometimes even the coastal areas a sweater is a welcome addition after sunset. During the wet season the lush rainforest springs to life, and everywhere things are a deep green. River rafting and kayaking are at their peak of excitement and waterfalls are abundant on many islands. Since there is such a diversity of climates throughout Fiji, even during the wet season the outer islands are frequently bathed in sun and receive relatively little rainfall. Mosquitoes are rarely a problem in resort areas due to the persistent trades, but during the wet months can be more of a nuisance, especially away from coastal areas. It is unusual in the outer islands at any time of year to have continuous rainfall with brief and sometimes strong afternoon or nighttime downpours being more common. Of course the Suva area, south eastern Vanua Levu and even Taveuni can experience prolonged wet spells during the wet season, so plan your trip accordingly if you want to enjoy greater amounts of sunshine. But please remember that being tropical, storms can occur in Fiji at any time of the year, as can the perfect day!


Source: Fiji Meteorological Service
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