Seasons

With only mild temperature changes throughout the year, the concept of Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall lose their significance in the British Virgin Islands. Instead, sailors break the seasons here into charter seasons of High Season, Shoulder Season, and Low Season.

High Season typically runs from December through March. Winds are at their best during these months, typically running 10–20 mph. (Note that during December there are occasionally periods of when the “Christmas Winds” run at sustained speeds in the 30 mph range for a few days at a time.) This is high tourist season, and the increased demand for boats drives prices up. Nothing beats the feeling of escaping to the warm British Virgin Islands during the northern winter.

Shoulder Season runs from April-May. Winds are typically in the 10–15 mph range these months. The big annual race week in the British Virgin Islands usually runs the last week of March and first week of April, so keep in mind that there are lots of events and lots of boats those weeks. The rest of shoulder season is less crowded than High Season, and this is a great time to visit the islands. Rates are cheaper than high season rates, which provide attractive savings.

Low Season runs from June through November. Hurricanes and tropical storms can interrupt charters during these months, although hurricanes are more like from mid-July — October (see Hurricanes and Tropical Storms below 14.3.) Average winds are lighter in these months, typically in the 5–12mph range. But the water is bathtub warm, and the islands are at their least busy. Charter rates are also at their lowest, in some cases 50% below the High Season rates.

Weather/WaterTable

Average Annual Weather
Month Avg. High Avg. Low Precipitation Water Temp Wind
January 28 C

83 F

24 C

75 C

76 mm

3 in

25 C

77 C

NE 15–25 kts
February 28 C

83 F

24 C

75 C

50 mm

2 in

25 C

77 F

E 15–25 kts
March 28 C

83 F

24 C

75 C

50 mm

2 in

26 C

78 F

E 15–25 kts
April 29 C

84 F

25 C

77 C

76 mm

3 in

27 C

80 F

E 15–25 kts
May 30 C

86 F

26 C

76 F

101 mm

4 in

28 C

82 F

SE 15–20 kts
June 31 C

88 F

27 C

80 F

76 mm

3 in

28 C

83 F

SE 15–20 kts
July 31 C

88 F

27 C

80 F

76 mm

3 in

29 C

84 F

SE 15–20 kts
August 31 C

88 F

27 C

80 F

76 mm

3 in

29 C

85 F

SE 15–20 kts
September 31 C

88 F

27 C

80 F

76 mm

3 in

29 C

84 F

SE 5–15 kts
October 29 C

85 F

24 C

76 F

101 mm

4in

28 C

80 F

SE 5–15 kts
November 29 C

85 F

24 C

76 F

127 mm

5 in

28 C

82 F

NE 5–20 kts
December 28 C

83 F

24 C

76 F

101 mm

4 in

27 C

80 F

NE 15–25 kts

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30. Hurricanes are formed over three increasing stages, starting with a Tropical Depression, growing to a Tropical Storm, and finally becoming a Hurricane. Considering a charter during hurricane season? The following data is helpful in understanding your risk of a storm canceling your plans. These are the number of Tropical Storms and Hurricanes that occurred within 2 degrees of latitude of the British Virgin Islands between 1819 – 2001.

Storms By Month, 1819-2001 (NOAA)
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Storms 1 0 0 0 0 0 9 34 38 9 4 0