SUMMER HEAT IN CUBA
CUBA'S SUMMER HEAT
The island of Cuba is located just below the Tropic of Cancer, and therefore does not experience the usual four seasons that we are accustomed to in the U.S. In Cuba there are is the rainy season, and the dry season. However, one thing is constant year round, the heat! With an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius (80 Fahrenheit) the weather is hot during both seasons. The humidity in the 90% range most days doesn’t help much either. The warmest temperature ever recorded on the island was 38.8 Celsius (101 Fahrenheit) in the Province of Oriente. It is common for the temperature in Guantanamo and Santiago to hover around 33 degrees Celsius (91 Fahrenheit).
The natural border created by the Sierra Maestra mountain range in Oriente Province delineates the warmest areas of the country. The extensive mountain range of the Sierra Maestra often prevents precipitation from reaching the southern zone of the Province, and this creates very arid conditions there. The rest of the island receives much more precipitation, and this usually results in a more agreeable climate and temperature. The average temperature is 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) all over the island, with the resulting intense sunlight. It is advisable to avoid direct sunlight on any skin type from the hours of 10:00am until 5:00pm, and if you do happen to be walking around, swimming, or exercising during these hours, a sunblock with a high SPF is recommended. The situation with the heat is often worse on cloudy days, when the temperature may be lower, but the increased humidity makes it feel stifling. The “feels like” temperature is higher on cloudy days, as the sun’s rays continue heating the atmosphere, and the cloud cover causes the relative humidity to increase, making it feel much hotter.
As you can imagine, these conditions make swimming one of the most attractive activities for locals, and Americans visiting Cuba. When in Cuba remember to stay out of the sun and drink plenty of water and juice. See you in Havana!
By Frank Gonzalez