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Climate and Weather

Climate and Weather

Vanuatu's climate varies from wet tropical in the north to subtropical in the south with drier areas in between. Between May and September, fresh, dry south-easterly winds blow, making it the best time to travel. The wet season falls between November and April with high temperatures, heavy rainfall and occasional cyclones. The otherwise fairly steady south-easterly trade winds are variable in both wind direction and speed during this time. Storms pick up within minutes and reach speeds of up to 90 km per hour.

Average maximum temperatures in Luganville, North Vanuatu, range from around 27°C in July to 30°C in January. In Tanna in the south it is a few degrees cooler. The minimum temperatures for all of Vanuatu are around 8.5°C below the average maximum. Humidity is high throughout the year: in Port Vila it averages 83% from December to February and between 70 and 74% in the cooler months. On the coast, the cooling sea breezes make it tolerable even during the rainy season. Inland, it is then unpleasantly warm.

From January to March falls by far the most precipitation. On average, there are 21 days of precipitation in March and 13 days in August, the dry season. However, even in the rainy season, long dry periods can occur and it can rain for days. On the most north-eastern islands, there is more than 4000 mm of precipitation per year. On the southern islands there is about 2000 mm per year. The wettest places in Vanuatu are on the east coast of the islands Pentecost and Maewo.

On average, Vanuatu is hit by 2.5 cyclones per year in the period between November and May, and then mainly from December to March. On average, any given area of Vanuatu is severely hit by a cyclone once every 30 years. Vanuatu is thus the most cyclone-prone country in the South Pacific.


O'Byrne, D. / Vanuatu
Lonely Planet

Stanley, D. / South Pacific Handbook

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
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