When it comes to planning your holiday to paradise ‘what’s the Raja Ampat’s weather and climate going to be like?’ is often a primary question. To answer this question for the best time to make a journey to Raja Ampat there are some key weather and climate factors you should keep in mind.
Raja Ampat spans the equator and is a tropical climate; this means there are not four seasons effecting Raja Ampat’s weather and climate. Unlike the northern and southern hemispheres; where yearly climate changes and seasons are recorded and where we see a change in the weather from season to season. Raja Ampat’s weather is almost the same all year round. As Well as the weather in Raja Ampat the day lengths are also the same all year with just over 12hrs of daylight every day.
Many weather reports and weather apps show the regency of Raja Ampat’s weather as Thunder storms every day. This is never true, with Raja Ampat sprawled over a large area of west Papua and spanning the equator each island can experience its own individual micro climate daily. It’s not uncommon to be on the Island of Gam in bright sunshine and see a thunder storm over Wiago just a couple of miles away. The spread of the Archipelago and islands distance from each other makes it almost impossible to have an accurate daily weather report or forward weather prediction for Raja Ampats Weather.
The whole area is dominated by Micro Climates, making for different weather from island to island and hour by hour. It’s not uncommon to have rain for a short period, 5-50mins and then be back in bright sunshine and blue skies.
There is little variation in the yearly air temperatures of Raja Ampat they are reliably constant with a daytime average maximum of 32oC (91oF) and a nightly minimum of 25oC (78oF) although it can often feel hotter than that due to the region’s average relative humidity of 83%. Temperature fluctuations are often dictated more by the wind and rain which affects the humidity, this in turn with higher humidity levels will make the temperatures feel hotter.
- It is often written that the best time to visit Raja Ampat is during the dry October-April period, which is by contrast the rainiest period in western and central Indonesia. Because of Raja Ampat’s tropical climate and micro climates over the islands, rain can unpredictably fall, although much less frequently during the so called ‘dry season’. It is still more than feasible to travel in other seasons, but the weather is often a toss-up as it is in the ‘dry season’: you can be in clear skys and in the sunshine whilst its raining just a few hundred meters away, or be in the rain and see the sunny beach just a next door.
- Don’t let the fact that it’s technically ‘rainy season’ discourage. The wet season in Raja Ampat isn’t as dramatic or consistent as that affecting other destinations in Indonesia like Bali, Java and Komodo.
- There are no days of the year where you can be 100% sure it won’t rain, but there’s far less chance of rainy days during the northwest monsoon between October and April. Although this season sees the least rainfall, Raja Ampat’s heaviest rain usually falls in December and January, leading to those months often being referred to as a second wet season. The southeast monsoon months between May and September deliver the bulk of Raja Ampat’s annual rainfall. June and July are historically the wettest months. Even in the wet season though, it doesn’t rain all day, every day – rainfall is often short-lived and localized.
Understanding Raja Ampat’s weather and climate will help you determine the best time for you to visit.
Raja Ampat: weather and climate for snorkeling and diving
Most visitors to Raja Ampat are coming for diving and snorkeling. The best time to dive is wind is low to zero, this makes for calmer seas and the water will not be choppy, when you have calm seas makes for comfortable boat journeys, weather there is a little bit of rain is falling or when the sun is shining. If you are looking for these conditions, then the best times to visit are from Mid September to Mid June.
From the middle of June to the middle of September, the winds pick up from the south and can be strong in the mornings especially. During this time, you will find that liveboards leave the Raja Ampat area. Nevertheless, regardless of the wind, Raja Ampat always has a place where you can dive, if during the mornings the winds are high its often calm in the afternoon and diving activities can resume. In fact this time of year has the best underwater visibility making for great wide angle shots of the reef and big pelagic that are in the area all year.
So when is the best time of year to visit Raja Ampat?
As far as the weather is concerned, any time of year is a good one to visit Raja Ampat. Raja Ampat’s climate and underwater conditions are good all year round – there really is not a so called “off-season” or a really distinct “wet-season”. Sea travels in smaller boats can be ‘rocky’ in July and August, so if you plan on covering a lot of ocean and islands it would probably be best to pick a different time of year. If you just want to relax in a tropical island paradise and do a bit of snorkeling or diving around your chosen island, or a couple of nearby islands then any time of year is a great time to visit Raja Ampat.
Raja Ampat weather and climate: Averages Temperatures for Sorong
The following data was obtain via http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weatherall.php3?s=20579&units=
** Raja Ampat climate statistics are based on long term observations taken in Sorong – the West Papua mainland. The Sorong averages don’t necessarily apply throughout the islands, as many have microclimates that vary substantially from that of Sorong.
Best resources for knowing Raja Ampat weather and climate
Here are some useful links that we recommend you checking while you staying in Raja Ampat.
https://windyapp.co/ This is by far the best app for the weather, again for the wind, but also tide times and wave heights here