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Anguilla Weather Hazards - Know The Best Time To Travel


Anguilla weather is best described as tropical with warm temperatures, sunny conditions and light north-easterly winds. It also has less rain than most other Caribbean islands. The only other region in the Caribbean with less rainfall are the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, in the Dutch Caribbean. Geographically, Anguilla is located within the tropics approximately 2000km (1240 miles) north of the equator.



Anguilla Facts

Anguilla is a relatively small flat island, about 26km long and 5km wide. It has an area of approximately 102 km² (94.4 square miles). Due to the lack of topography, Anguilla weather conditions are fairly constant across the whole island. Even the middle of the island will have a similar temperature regime to the coast since there's no mountains to prevent the cooling effects of the easterly trade winds.







Rainfall


Even though Anguilla is a little drier than the surrounding Caribbean Islands, it still receives its fair share of heavy downpours. The long-term average annual rainfall is 1017mm (40 inches), and this rainfall is evenly distributed across Anguilla since the island is so flat.

The good thing about Anguilla weather is that you can visit all year round since the rainfall isn't excessive like some parts of the Caribbean, even in the wet season (as long as there's no hurricane approaching!) The Anguilla wet season extends from May-November with the wettest month being October.

However, you must be aware of the possibility of hurricanes during May to November (particularly August-November). It's possible that the wet season may never arrive in the year that you're planning to visit. Why? Well...that's Anguilla weather for you. Its rainfall totals can vary greatly from year-to-year.

If you're planning to visit Anguilla and want to avoid the wet Anguilla weather, then travel during January, February and March. These months coincide with Anguilla's dry season. But as I've already mentioned previously, Anguilla's wet season doesn't normally get wet enough to disrupt your travel plans.

Both January and April are the transition months since the weather is in a state of limbo and can't make up its mind.



Historical Tropical Cyclone (Hurricane) Information for Anguilla from 1955-2000

Year Date of occurrence Name of cyclone Rainfall Facts
Millimetres(Inches)
1955
2nd January
Alice
171
(Recorded in 20 hours)
6.75
(Recorded in 20 hours)
Hurricane Alice was the first hurricane ever recorded officially during the winter months in the Caribbean-Atlantic region. This hurricane formed well outside the usual Caribbean hurricane season dates. This hurricane was relatively weak and recorded an approximate central pressure of 987 millibars (mb) at its peak. It passed within 14 miles (23 kilometres) of Anguilla on 2nd January 1955 and produced sustained winds of around 120km/hr (75 miles/hr) during this time. There was no loss of life but 626 houses were either destroyed or badly damaged. The islands agriculture was ruined and shipping facilities were severely damaged.
1960
5th September
Donna
N/A
N/A
Hurricane Donna devastated Anguilla in early September 1960 with sustained winds of around 210-220km/hr (130-137 miles/hr). Thankfully, it began to weaken by the time it passed by Anguilla. Hurricane Donna destroyed nearly every building including the lighthouse and shipping facilities. It also completely devastated the islands crops. As a result of this hurricane, the building code in Anguilla was changed so nearly every house after this time is made out of concrete and other buildings are low-level apartments.

1990
5th October
Klaus
250
(Recorded in 48 hours)
10
(Recorded in 48 hours)
Hurricane Klaus was relatively weak (central pressure 987mb) in comparison to other hurricanes. Most ships moored along the coast were severely damaged, but on land, there was no structural damage, only severe flooding. No one died due to the effects of hurricane Klaus in Anguilla.
1995
5th September
Luis
N/A
N/A
The southern part of the eyewall of Hurricane Luis hit Anguilla on Tuesday 5th September, 1995. During this time, the wind speed peaked at approximately 132 mph (212 km/hr). For at least eight hours, Anguilla was battered by 180 km/hr (112 mph) north west winds (winds coming from the north west). The hurricane caused severe water damage to houses, ships and destroyed communications, but thankfully no one was killed. Anguilla was lucky since the hurricane reached maximum strength the day before.
1999
21st October
José
380
15
Hurricane José made it presence felt when it passed right over Anguilla on 21st October 1999. It attained wind gusts of up to 160 km/hr (100 miles/hr) which damaged crops, houses and shipping facilities once again. This hurricane produced the highest amount of rain recorded for the month of October since meteorological records began in 1931 in Anguilla.
1999
18th November
Lenny
490
19
Hurricane Lenny hit on the 18th November 1999 and the estimated 24-hour rainfall total was 410 mm (just over 16 inches). The total rainfall from 17-19th November was 490mm (19 inches). The people in Anguilla were just getting over Hurricane José when Lenny paid them a visit. Windspeeds from Lenny exceeded 225 km/hr (140 miles/hr). These hurricane force winds combined with the storm surge wrecked many coastal hotels. The island's capital 'The Valley' was under 4.3 metres (14 ft) of water which as you can guess made life miserable for the Anguillian's. Hurricane Lenny was the only hurricane to track completely west to east across the Caribbean since the 1890's.




Is Anguilla weather nice and warm all year round?


No matter what time of year you plan to visit Anguilla, you'll find the temperature very warm. Both the daytime and nigh time temperatures remain fairly steady throughout every month of the year.

The coldest month is January where the minimum temperature is around 22°C (around 71.5°F) and the maximum reaches 28°C (82.5°F).

The hottest month occurs in September where it ranges from a minimum of nearly 26°C (78°F) to a maximum of 32°C (89.5°C).

If you're planning to visit during the summer months, like all regions in the tropics, Anguilla weather will be very humid. You'll need to be in air conditioning especially at night since you'll feel too hot otherwise. Also, at night, the sea breeze normally disappears so you'll need some form air circulation to cool things down for you.

Occasionally, daytime maximum temperatures exceed 35°C (95°F). This only occurs when there's no sea breeze too cool things down. If you're travelling in the summer months, then you may be unlucky enough to experience a short term heat wave. This normally occurs in the months of July and August (where it only lasts a couple of days) but it can last a week in September!



Anguilla weather hazards


The only time the Anguilla weather can turn nasty is in the late spring and summer months. Since Anguilla has no mountains and rainforest, it doesn't normally attract rain-bearing weather systems but occasionally receives very heavy rain. Hailstorms are rare in Anguilla thankfully.

Hurricanes do effect Anguilla but do not occur every year. Anguilla is essentially flood-proof since it has no streams and the soil is made up of limestone. This limestone quickly absorbs any rain that hits its surface and thus prevents build up of water.

The only regions on Anguilla that may experience flooding is in areas surrounding the coastal ponds and in the capital city called The Valley. This town is situated in the heart of a large natural bowl-shaped basin. When there is extremely heavy rain, the water flows into this basin and has no means of escape. That's why Hurricane Lenny did so much damage to The Valley. The soil was already saturated from visitation of Hurricane José only four weeks prior and so the soil couldn't hold anymore water.

In conclusion, the Anguilla weather conditions are quite nice but you need to use common sense if you're going to spend long periods in the sun. Even in the winter, the sun's rays and the associated heat can cause sunburn and dehydration. Please don't allow your family to go out into the sun without wearing adequate sun protection. Also make sure you and your family has plenty of water to drink.





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