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Turks and Caicos Weather and Climate
A beautiful day at the Bight Beach, Providenciales.
The archipelago nation of the Turks and Caicos typically experiences excellent weather, with sunny days, little rain, and a refreshing trade wind breeze.
Heavy rain, winds, and cloud cover in the islands are the exception rather than the norm, and are typically associated with passing fronts and regional disturbances.
During normal conditions, weather forecasts may show a little rain, yet such showers are often quite brief, localized, and usually won’t impact vacations, as the sun returns in minutes. Many guests worry about the forecast, but shouldn’t.
About 8-10 times per year, extended periods of rain and heavy cloud cover may occur for a few days. Such weather can dampen a visit to our Beautiful by Nature country, yet it’s important to differentiate these fronts from normal conditions when reading forecasts and planning your vacation.
Climate Across the Turks and Caicos
The Turks and Caicos is a relatively small country, and the distance between the western-most land (
West Caicos), and the eastern-most (
Martin Pinzon Cay) is less than 100 miles (160km), so the weather conditions are generally similar across our archipelago on any given day.
The greatest difference in localized conditions are the later afternoon cloud cover and light rainfall that sometimes occurs over North Caicos, parts of Providenciales, and on Parrot Cay and Pine Cay. These conditions are created by the
extensive marine wetlands that are found on the southern coasts of the central Caicos Islands. As the morning and mid-day sun heats the saline tundra, the surrounding hot air rises and condenses moisture in the atmosphere into rain.
This localized rainfall tends to be brief, with showers of under 10 minutes being the norm.
What Does the Forecast Really Mean?
When planning your vacation (and for the peace of mind!), it’s important to understand how the weather forecast relates to actual conditions on our islands.
Rain and Clouds
As a small archipelago that’s exposed to the open Atlantic, the Turks and Caicos often experiences rapid changes in the weather.
It may be disappointing to see a forecast for rain during your stay, but the truth is that showers are often brief and localized. In the case of the island of Providenciales, the typical projection for rain often coincides with a very short duration drizzle at either the eastern
Leeward area, or at the
remote wetlands at the west coast.
Some weather forecast websites display a percentage for precipitation or rainfall. This is based off the chance of any rainfall for the given period of time. More often than not, low percentage numbers are experienced as barely noticeable rainfall. Likewise, an icon of rainy clouds is based off the same metric.
Calm conditions at Sapodilla Bay Beach, Providenciales.
Our different islands see a slight variance in rainfall patterns. North Caicos, Middle Caicos, Parrot Cay and Pine Cay collect the most rain. Providenciales, South Caicos and East Caicos follow next, and due to their isolated location upwind on the far eastern side of the Turks and Caicos
subterranean plateau, Grand Turk and Salt Cay see the least.
Occasionally, (we’d estimate once every month or two), the country does experience a
heavy rainfall that may last for a few hours, however, the majority of the annual rainfall is brought by one or two passing tropical cyclones during the summer
Atlantic hurricane season.
Unless the forecast shows heavy rainfall throughout the entire day, our advice is to not worry and enjoy your vacation.
As our stunted and low-height vegetation can attest to, the Turks and Caicos receives some of the
lowest rainfalls of any Caribbean nation.
Ocean Water Temperature
Generally, the water temperature at the beach will be higher than what predictions show due to localized heating by the sun.
Unless a serious storm is blowing, it’s typically possible to find a beach that’s sheltered. Generally, the coast on the opposite side of the island (the leeward side) from where the
wind is coming from will have the smoothest conditions.