There are many preconceptions and misconceptions about Belize when it comes to its sub-tropical weather. For instance, how many know that though we are sub-tropical, ice balls in the form of hail have fallen from the sky? How many are aware that on the coast, where most tourists vacation, temperatures have dipped into the high-50s Fahrenheit? These aren’t climate occasions buried far back into the country’s climate history. They occurred within the past 20 years.
Did you know that natives of Belize sometimes have to put on sweaters or jackets to keep from getting chilled? You’d better Belize it! It’s the truth.
Sure, guidebooks will tell the newcomer or visitor that high temps average between 83-87 throughout the year, but the time of year and the air currents from the northwest can lend a much different impression of our climate.
If one flies in from the Upper Midwest of the United States on a typical autumn day there, the visitor may find that forgetting to change into shorts at the airport ended up being a good idea as he or she steps off the plane and down the ramp into a cloudy, 65-degree day at our international airport. Any time between November and the end of January, the popular destinations in Belize can see a high temp in the 60s or low 70s. The annual mean average is 79 during this period, but southeastwardly cold fronts coming from the Continental U.S. occur every 10 days on average during this time, bringing temps into the 60s on occasion.
The average temp that one may read about in the guidebooks is usually more relevant to the day-in, day-out period from April to September. Even then, a rainy spate of days can bring the high temps back down into the low 70s or even high 60s Fahrenheit.
Humidity averages out at 83 percent, but is often masked by sea breezes on or near the coast, averaging 10-13 knots throughout the year.
Even if a vacationer or visitor finds it too warm or dry along the coast, despite the sea breeze, he or she need travel no more than a mere 50 to 100 miles inland and southward, where a comfy 55 to 60 degree evening and a high of perhaps 73 or 75 during the day are easily found amidst the Maya Mountains. Rainfall during this period is much higher than along the coast. So, if you strangely miss the rain from your home up north, just slip down to the southern half of inland Belize, the Toledo District. You are bound to find your liquid sunshine.
As the sea continues to warm due to polar ice melt, much quirkier weather patterns can be anticipated no matter where one lives. Belize will be as predisposed as any nation to these deviations, whiplashes and ultimate results of the world’s warming climate. So, don’t be surprised if the temps here are sometimes not anything like you may have read or heard. And, don’t feel silly for throwing a sweater in your suitcase.