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Tetiaroa, French Polynesia. Author Supertoff. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike
Tetiaroa, French Polynesia. Author Supertoff

French Polynesia climate: when to go to French Polynesia

Extending between the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn, for 2.5 million sq km of ocean, and on 5 main archipelagoes, the climate of French Polynesia has specific climatic peculiarities of the various island groups that compose it.

In general we can say that French Polynesia has a warm and humid season from November to April, and a cool, dry season from May to October. During the hot and humid season, so between November and April, the islands of French Polynesia may be affected by occasional tropical cyclones on average less than one cyclone a year in the Society Islands (0,8 / 0,6), and in the Austral islands (0,8 / 0,5), even less in the Tuamotu islands (0,4 / 0,1), while the Marquesas archipelago is practically off the beaten track of the cyclones (0.1 / 0, 0).

Society Islands Climate

Bora Bora, French Polynesia. Author Taka-0905. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike

Bora Bora, French Polynesia. Author Taka-0905

The climate of the Society Island, is tropical oceanic, with two distinct seasons: the fresh and dry season runs from May to October, during this period the average minimum temperatures range between 20°C and 22°C, while the average maximum temperatures are between 29°C and 28°C, this is the dry and better suited season to visit the archipelago.

The warm and rainy season runs from November to April, during this period the average minimum temperatures range between 23°C and 22°C, while the highest average temperatures vary between 29°C and 31°C, this is the period of hurricanes. The rainiest months are December and January, the rains are most intense along the coastline exposed to the trade winds that usually blow from the north and north-west.

The sea water surface temperature varies between 26°C and 29°C.

Tahiti Climate.

Moorea Climate.

Bora Bora Climate.

PAPEETE, TAHITI (2 metres)
Month Average low (°C) Average high (°C) Precip. (mm) Precip. days
January 24,2 31,0 253,7
February 24,3 31,1 209,9
March 24,4 31,5 195,2
April 24,1 31,2 111,4
May 23,2 30,4 117,4
June 22,2 29,5 72,7
July 21,6 29,0 61,9
August 21,5 28,9 52,1
September 22,0 29,3 58,8
October 22,7 29,7 101,5
November 23,4 30,3 125,4
December 23,9 30,4 327,7
YEAR 23,1 30,2 1687,7
VAITAPE, BORA BORA (2 metres)
Month Average low (°C) Average high (°C) Precip. (mm) Precip. days
January 25,1 30,2 268,7
February 25,3 30,8 233,2
March 25,5 30,5 176,9
April 25,5 30,3 182,7
May 25,1 29,5 129,8
June 24,2 28,6 98,2
July 23,8 28,1 83,8
August 23,8 28,1 59,7
September 24,0 28,6 65,5
October 24,3 29,1 99,8
November 24,6 29,4 203,7
December 24,8 29,6 280,6
YEAR 24,7 29,3 1882,1
TAHITI, SOCIETY ISLANDS
Month Sea Water Temperature °C
January 27
February 27
March 27
April 28
May 28
June 27
July 26
August 26
September 26
October 26
November 27
December 27

Tuamotu Islands Climate

Pink sand beach, Rangiroa, French Polynesia. Author Daniel Julie. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution

Pink sand beach, Rangiroa, French Polynesia. Author Daniel Julie

The climate of the archipelago of the Tuamotu islands is tropical-humid, with relatively well distinct seasons, very similar to that of the Society Islands, although less rainy due to the absence of relief. The warm and rainy season runs from November to April, with maximum rainfall in the months of December and January. The fresh and dry season runs from May to October, this is the best time to visit the archipelago.

TAKAROA, TUAMOTU ISLANDS (2 metres)
Month Average low (°C) Average high (°C) Precip. (mm) Precip. days
January 25 30 200
February 25 30 190
March 26 30 140
April 26 30 120
May 26 30 80
June 25 29 90
July 24 28 85
August 24 28 60
September 24 28 80
October 25 29 130
November 25 29 190
December 25 30 210
YEAR 1575
RANGIROA, TUAMOTU ISLANDS
Month Sea Water Temperature °C
January 27
February 27
March 27
April 28
May 28
June 27
July 26
August 26
September 26
October 26
November 27
December 27

Climate of Marquesas Islands

The Marquesas islands being nearest the equator have a sub-tropical climate, warmer and humid compared to the Society Islands, and with little marked seasons. The precipitation vary considerably depending on exposure to prevailing winds, the annual average is maintained between 1000 and 3000 mm. The warmer and humid season is between the months of January and August, while the fresh and less rainy season goes from September to December.

HIVA OA, MARQUESAS ISLANDS (52 metres)
Month Average low (°C) Average high (°C) Precip. (mm) Precip. days
January 23 30 114
February 24 31 91
March 24 31 137
April 24 31 117
May 24 29 122
June 23 29 175
July 23 28 122
August 23 28 100
September 23 29 81
October 23 29 79
November 23 30 66
December 23 30 89
YEAR 23 29 1293
HIVA OA, MARQUESAS ISLANDS
Month Sea Water Temperature °C
January 28
February 28
March 28
April 29
May 28
June 28
July 28
August 27
September 27
October 27
November 28
December 28

Austral Islands Climate

The Austral islands have the worst climate of the whole French Polynesia, in fact during the cool season the climate is similar to that of temperate zones, and during the warmer seasons, the climate resembles that of the tropics, this combination give frequent and abundant rainfall in all seasons, a high humidity and temperatures average less than 25°C, in addition to strong winds.

TUBUAI, AUSTRAL ISLANDS (5 metres)
Month Average low (°C) Average high (°C) Precip. (mm) Precip. days
January 22,8 27,8 199,2
February 23,3 28,3 175,3
March 23,0 28,5 176,3
April 22,1 27,5 174,2
May 20,4 25,8 137,5
June 18,5 24,4 107,8
July 18,1 23,7 144,9
August 18,0 23,5 148,7
September 18,0 23,9 98,7
October 18,9 24,5 120,1
November 20,3 25,7 121,8
December 21,5 26,8 187,7
YEAR 20,4 25,9 1493,5
TUBUAI, AUSTRAL ISLANDS
Month Sea Water Temperature °C
January 26
February 26
March 26
April 25
May 25
June 24
July 24
August 23
September 24
October 24
November 24
December 25

Gambier Islands Climate

The climate of Gambier islands is very similar to that of the Austral, in fact they have a maritime climate, relatively fresh, with constant rain throughout the year.

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