What to expect with the weather on Bonaire.
Bonaire is quite balmy, no matter what time of the year you’re here. Much of that can be attributed to the fact Bonaire is located just a little north (about 12 degrees) of the equator. The other contributing factor is a steady wind from the east that blows over the island most of the year (with September and October known for lesser winds and even occasional wind direction reversals).
The average year-round air temperature is 85 degrees Fahrenheit, with a +/- 2.5-degree seasonal variation, and an average daily variation of 5 degrees Fahrenheit. The highest temperature recorded since 1948 has been 96.4 degrees, and the lowest 67.6 degrees. The surrounding ocean’s temperature fluctuates from a chilly 78 degrees in February to a balmy 86 degrees in October, for a year-round average of 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remains fairly constant through the year, averaging 76%. It varies from a maximum of 85% at daybreak to a minimum of 66% in the afternoon.
The wind direction is easterly more than 95% of the time, averaging 12 knots. This is 15% lower than on Curacao, and 40% lower than on Aruba. The winds blow strongest in February, March, and June. The lightest winds are in September, October, and November. The wind rarely exceeds 39 knots.
Bonaire’s average rainfall is 20.5 inches, with 65% occurring from October through January. This is 11% less than Curacao, but 13% more than Aruba. The frequency of thunder is low, averaging 18 days per year. The average total cloud cover ranges from 25% in February to almost 50% in October (100% means total overcast). The average duration of sunshine during the day is 67.5% and is fairly constant throughout the year.
The average pressure is 1011.8 millibars (Mb) (29.88 inches of mercury), with a daily variation of 3.3 Mb (.1 inches) and a seasonal variation of 2.7 Mb (not much in inches).
While Bonaire’s climate may sound appealing (and it is), it’s important not to lose track of the fact that the sun is very powerful here. It’s very easy to get a sunburn here if you’re not careful, which is why we recommend you wear sunscreen and keep your exposure to the sun within reason. If you’re coming to visit, start slowly and limit your sun exposure on the first few days of your trip to let your body get used to the sun’s strength, and then you should be able to increase your exposure gradually, but always use common sense. For information on which sunscreen you should use, click to learn which ingredients to avoid.
Bonaire’s Weather Prediction
While some weather services and news sources may claim to offer accurate weather, it’s nearly impossible to do with Bonaire. With the island being as small as it is, and with the winds generally holding steady, weather systems tend to pass over or by very quickly. So, one moment you can have clear skies, the next a small cloud break, followed shortly by clear skies again. It’s best just to assume you’ll have quite a bit of sunshine, some fluffy clouds, and possibly a small drizzle once in a while.