Kingston, Jamaica - Geography and Climate

Geography and Climate

Kingston is surrounded by the Blue Mountains, Red Hills, Long Mountain and the Kingston Harbour. The city is on the Liguanea Plain, an alluvial plain alongside the Hope River. Kingston experiences frequent earthquakes, including the 1907 earthquake.

Kingston has a tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet-and-dry climate, characterized by a wet season from May to November, which coincides with the hurricane season, and a dry season from December to April. During the dry season, there is not much rainfall, however, cold and stationary fronts occur at this time, and often bring heavy showers, especially in March. Kingston is in the rain shadow of the Blue Mountains; therefore, little to none of the moisture carried by the Northeast Trade Winds falls over Kingston, causing Kingston to be very dry in comparison to Portland and Saint Mary on the windward side of the Blue Mountains. Kingston is on a coastal location, hence it comes under the influence of the sea, though dense urban development can negate this effect. In the 21st century, Kingston has experienced temperatures as high as 36°C (97°F) and as low as 14°C (57.4°F). Between 1895 and 1990, the total average rainfall was recorded at 909.7 mm (35.81 in), the highest monthly average rainfall recorded in October at 181.1 mm (7.13 in), and the lowest monthly average rainfall recorded in March at 22.7 mm (0.89 in).

Climate data for Kingston
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 34
(93)
33
(91)
34
(93)
34
(93)
34
(93)
35
(95)
36
(97)
36
(97)
36
(97)
36
(97)
36
(97)
36
(97)
36
(97)
Average high °C (°F) 30.3
(86.5)
30.2
(86.4)
30.7
(87.3)
31.1
(88.0)
31.6
(88.9)
32.1
(89.8)
32.8
(91.0)
32.7
(90.9)
32.1
(89.8)
31.7
(89.1)
31.2
(88.2)
30.6
(87.1)
31.43
(88.57)
Average low °C (°F) 21.1
(70.0)
21.0
(69.8)
21.6
(70.9)
22.6
(72.7)
23.6
(74.5)
24.2
(75.6)
24.3
(75.7)
24.2
(75.6)
24.0
(75.2)
23.4
(74.1)
22.8
(73.0)
21.8
(71.2)
22.88
(73.19)
Record low °C (°F) 14
(57)
15
(59)
14
(57)
17
(63)
19
(66)
20
(68)
19
(66)
20
(68)
20
(68)
18
(64)
17
(63)
14
(57)
14
(57)
Precipitation mm (inches) 18
(0.71)
19
(0.75)
20
(0.79)
39
(1.54)
100
(3.94)
74
(2.91)
42
(1.65)
98
(3.86)
114
(4.49)
177
(6.97)
65
(2.56)
47
(1.85)
813
(32.01)
% humidity 74 73 72 72 74 72 70 73 77 79 77 74 73.9
Avg. precipitation days 5 5 5 7 8 7 6 9 11 14 10 6 93
Mean monthly sunshine hours 257.3 240.1 260.4 258.0 254.2 237.0 260.4 257.3 213.0 223.2 222.0 235.6 2,918.5
Source #1: Meteorological Service (Jamaica)
Source #2: BBC Weather
Average Sea Temperature
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
79 °F

26 °C

79 °F

26 °C

79 °F

26 °C

81 °F

27 °C

81 °F

27 °C

82 °F

28 °C

84 °F

29 °C

84 °F

29 °C

82 °F

28 °C

82 °F

28 °C

81 °F

27 °C

81 °F

27 °C

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