Galapagos Weather Conditions

 

 

Jan.

Feb. 

March

April

May

June

July

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Max. Air Temp

84

86

88

86

82

78

76

74

76

77

78

80

Min Air Temp

70

74

74

72

72

68

66

64

62

64

66

68

Avg Sea Surface Temp

74

76

76

76

74

74

72

66

68

70

72

74

Avg Rainfall

1

1

2

1.5

0.75

0.25

0.5

0.25

0.5

0.25

0.5

0.5

The Galapagos Climate

The Galapagos climate is heavily effected by cold water currents. Generally speaking, the days are warm and the nights are cool. Humidity is low. The climate is very similar to that of California.

There are two primary seasons during the year. Each offers a good time for visiting the islands, but the character of each season is somewhat different.

 

Hot Season (warm-rainy) - From December through May

Air Temperature:  Average air temperature in December is 25.4°C ( 77°F ), while in May is 26.8°C ( 80°F ). Peak month is March with 29.1°C ( 84°F ). Humidity fluctuates between 65% - 80%.

Water Temperature: Average surface water temperature in December is 23.2°C ( 74°F ), while in May is 24.5°C ( 76°F ). Peak month is March with 25.5°C (78°F). Visibility of the water ranges from 30 to 80 feet. In unusually warm years (like El Niño years) waters can even reach 29°C (84°F).

Precipitation (rainfall): ranges from 38 mm (December) to 62 mm (May), with its peak rainy at 87 mm (March). Overall pattern: while this season is the one that gives rain to the islands, it should not be sold as the "rainy" season. Tropical showers are not too overwhelming, and a typical day may include a shower or two that will only last for an hour or so. There are times where for a whole week not a raindrop is experienced.

The ocean is generally calm due to the absence of the south east trade winds.

Biological implications: all species which are land-based (like finches, mockingbirds, lizards, land iguanas, tortoises) will reproduce at this time of the year since there are plenty of food sources available: plants for insects, seeds for finches, flowers for iguanas, etc. Perhaps one of the few exceptions to this rule are the Great Frigatebirds on Tower Island which being seabirds

reproduce during the hot season.

Snorkeling conditions: since the water temperature reaches the "true" tropical range, one can expect generally calm waters, virtually non strong currents, and high chances of visibility.

 

Cold Season (windy-dry) - From June through November

Air Temperature:  Average air temperature in June is 25.2°C ( 77°F ), while in November is 24.4°C ( 76°F ). Peak month is September with 23.1°C ( 74°F ). Humidity fluctuates between 35% - 60%. This time of year is sometimes referred to as the "cold" season but this term does not apply well to a geographically tropical location.

Water Temperature:  Average surface water temperature in June is 23.3°C ( 74°F ), while in November is 22.8°C ( 73°F ). Peak month is September with 21.6°C (70°F) . Visibility of the water ranges from 15 to 50 feet. In unusually dry years (like La Niña years) waters can even reach 16°C (61°F).

Precipitation  (rainfall): ranges only from 35 mm (June) to 13 mm (November), with its peak dry at 9.9 mm (September). Overall pattern: this season is the one that gives the islands their totally untropical look: dry, windy, barren.

There's hardly any rain, but the islands may seem somewhat moist as an early mist called "garua" covers the sky. Usually this layer of fine drizzle burns off by mid morning.

The seas are moderately strong; with surge, choppy waters and some waves should be expected. This is all due to the active presence of the south east trade winds.

Biological implications: all species which are land-based, but depend entirely upon the ocean's productivity (food available, like plankton) will reproduce during this season. This includes blue-footed boobies, waved albatrosses, sea lions.

Snorkeling conditions: since the water temperature reaches the "untrue" tropical range, one can expect generally waters with some current, and a slight decrease in visibility due to the amount of plankton particles suspended in the water column. This is the snorkeling season where a wet suit is likely to provide a higher comfort in the water.  Note that wet suits are available for rent on some vessels.

© 2014 by Galapagos Adventures