The climate in French Guiana is characterized by the alternation between dry and wet seasons, determined by the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ICZ), which varies throughout the year. The air from the Azores (northern hemisphere) and St. Helena (southern hemisphere) circulates differently from month to month.
This article goes into detail in order to try to specify what temperature in French Guiana you can expect as well as what type of weather.
You will be able to choose when to go to Guiana with full knowledge of the facts, as the department can be visited throughout the year according to your objectives.
Due to its geographical location, French Guiana's weather is equatorial. However, the year is not simply divided into two seasons, one dry and one wet, but into 4:
From mid-July to the end of November, it is the great dry season;
From December to February, it is the small rainy season;
From March to mid-April comes the short summer;
From mid-April to the end of June, it is the big rainy season.
Still because of this equatorial regime, the temperature in Guyana varies little during the year in the air or in the water as well as between day and night. It generally remains between 25 and 33°C.
And the cyclones in all this ? No risk in French Guiana: the French department in Latin America is not in their path, located further north!
The great dry season starts in July. Rains are scarce and it is often more than 30°C while the humidity level drops below 50%. However, don't forget warm clothes when preparing your trip to French Guiana, as the nights can remain cool. This is where the thermal amplitude between day and night is the most important.
In August, the climate in French Guiana is even drier and you can enjoy up to 8 hours of sunshine per day. If you want to limit the risk of rain as much as possible, September or October is the best time to discover French Guiana, as these are the driest months. However, thunderstorms can occur, especially inland. These rainfalls are generally brief but are worth covering yourself with a raincoat!
From December to February, it is the return of showers. The weather in French Guiana in December is subject to the passage of the intertropical convergence zone from the north to the south, which induces a slight drop in temperatures and an increase in the activity of the northeast trade winds. As a result, the sea can be rough along the coast. This is undoubtedly the period when sport fishing in French Guiana is the most uncertain.
In December, January and February, you can expect daily showers. December is more of a transition month, the real short rainy season being in January and February.
Between the short and the long rainy season, the sun returns for a few weeks. March is generally designated as the month of the little summer. However, it can already appear in February, depending on the fluctuation of the intertropical convergence zone. This little summer is due to the Intertropical Convergence Zone, which then passes to the south of the department. The weather in French Guiana can then see the air get loaded with sand from the Sahara! However, this period is short, which makes it difficult to circumscribe it to a precise month. Moreover, it is more marked in the northwest of the territory. It can be the ideal period for all your visits around Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni and the ascent of the border river! On the other hand, the light summer is less noticeable towards the south.
Finally comes the great rainy season, from April to June. May and June are the rainiest months. You can expect an average of 500 mm of rainfall, especially in the eastern part of the country (more like 300 mm in the west). Heat and humidity come up from the Amazonian forest and can make the atmosphere stifling, especially as the wind weakens. It is thanks to this rain and this heat that you can admire the exceptional flora of the jungle!
Water is abundant but this does not mean that French Guiana has nothing to offer. For example, it is the peak season for leatherback turtles to lay their eggs, which you can observe on the beaches! The climate in French Guiana is an integral part of the charm of the territory and contributes to its extraordinary biodiversity.
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