The climate

Mauritius enjoys a tropical climate all year round with hot and humid summers followed by mild, dry winters.

 

Summer
Winter
Oct to May
Jun to Sept
Long, hot and humid
Short and dry
Average temperature 25°C
Average temperature 20°C
Average max temp: 29°C
Average min night temp: 16°C

 

As you can see from the table above, there is only a 5 degree swing between the average temperature of each season. However, extreme temperatures, especially in summer, will significantly increase the difference. In Port-Louis, the capital, it is not uncommon for the temperature to reach 35°C in summer. It is hotter on low-lying coastal regions that on the central plateau which is on higher ground.

Temperature year round

 

Months
Mean Temperature (°C)
Jan
27
Feb
26
Mar
26
Apr
25
May
23
Jun
21
Jul
20
Aug
21
Sept
21
Oct
23
Nov
25
Dec
26

Sea water temperature is a few degrees warmer throughout the year.

 

Although summer sees more rainfall than winter, it is not rare to have long periods of droughts. When rain falls in summer, it is often brief but powerful. These short spells of rainfall in the afternoon are known as convectional rain. More prolonged periods of rain occur when the Intertropical convergence zone approaches and with the passage of cyclones.

What this means for holidaymakers is that they are unlikely to get any rain during their stay in summer. If it does rain, it will more probably be intense but brief and get dried quickly afterwards. If they are really unlucky, then they may get caught in the heavy summer downpours or in a cyclone but these are not frequent.

Rain is more frequent on higher grounds – the central plateau – than on coastal regions and more frequent in the east and south-east than in the west which is on the leeward side.

Cyclones

Summer is characterized not only by its high temperature but by the formation of cyclones in the Indian Ocean which then may approach the island. The official cyclonic period is from November to May. Outside of this period, the country is unlikely to see any cyclones. Over the years, the country has prepared itself very well against the destructive power of cyclones and in fact relies on the rain they bring to fill the reservoirs every summer.

A cyclone warning system has been created to warn people of the proximity of a cyclone: the closer it is, the more powerful are its gusts. These alerts are issued in the form of class warnings. It is important that you familiarise yourself with them and pay attention to them when they are issued.

 

 

Warning
Occurence
Class 1
Issued up to 2 days before 120 km/h gusts may be felt.
Class 2
Issued to allow up to12 hours of daylight before 120 km/h gusts.
Class 3
Issued to allow 6 hours of daylight before 120 km/h gusts.
Class 4
Issued when 120 km/h gusts have been recorded and are expected to continue.

 

After the passage of the cyclone, it is unlikely to reverse direction and come back so once the wind speed drops, the class warnings are entirely removed, meaning it is safe to venture outside.

When a class 4 is in force, the cyclone will be over the island or very close to it.

After the passage of the cyclone, it is unlikely to reverse direction and come back so once the wind speed drops, the class warnings are entirely removed, rather than lowered one by one in reverse order. With no warning in force, it means it is safe to venture outside.

Precautions in cyclones

When a class 2 warning is issued, schools sent their pupils home. Offices close when a class 3 warning is issued. Schools are turned into refugee centres during a cyclone in case a house is damaged or flooded. However, it is advisable to stay indoors as much as possible during the passage of a cyclone. Close fully all windows and doors and secure any loose items outside.

What does this mean for the tourist?

If you are living in a hotel, then you will be well-looked after and only need to follow directions. Stay out of the sea throughout. Hotels might even organise special events to entertain their guests who won’t be able to go out or hit the beach.

If you are living by yourself in a self-catered accommodation, then you might have to stock up on some candles and torches in the event of a power cut, unless the owner provides you with them. Power cuts are one of the first things to occur during a cyclone as electrical lines are damaged by broken branches and trees or the electricity company simply decides to cut power for safety reasons. Also stock up on food and water as you do not know how long the shops will close and make sure you have enough batteries to listen to the radio for further updates.

Anti-cyclones

If in summer you get cyclones, then in winter you get anti-cyclones. An anti-cyclone as its name suggests is the opposite of a cyclone in always: different rotational direction, weak wind, light rainfall, occurs in winter from the cold southern seas.

The drizzly winter rain that falls over the island during this season is often due to the influence of one or more anticyclone in the region. winter might be the dry season statistically compared to summer but rain is more frequent albeit as light showers. Anti-cylcones are also responsible for temporary drops in temperature during that time.

That’s about all the extent of the influence of anti-cyclones in Mauritius, unlike cyclones. They cause no danger, there exists no class warning system and there are no precautions to take.

For more in-depth information on the weather and climate in Mauritius, visit the official website of the Mauritius Meteorological Services at http://metservice.intnet.mu. And for further information and precautions on cyclones, visit their page.