Climate and Average Weather Year Round in French Polynesia French Polynesia
The climate in French Polynesia is hot, oppressive, windy, and partly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 72°F to 88°F and is rarely below 68°F or above 90°F.
Based on the beach/pool score, the best time of year to visit French Polynesia for hot-weather activities is from late May to mid October.
Climate in French Polynesia
The temperature in French Polynesia varies so little throughout the year that it is not entirely meaningful to discuss hot and cold seasons.
Average High and Low Temperature in French Polynesia
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Average Hourly Temperature in French Polynesia
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
In French Polynesia, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in French Polynesia begins around May 15 and lasts for 5.2 months, ending around October 22.
The clearest month of the year in French Polynesia is August, during which on average the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 77% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around October 22 and lasts for 6.8 months, ending around May 15.
The cloudiest month of the year in French Polynesia is December, during which on average the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 77% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories in French Polynesia
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in French Polynesia varies significantly throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 5.9 months, from November 1 to April 29, with a greater than 32% chance of a given day being a wet day. The month with the most wet days in French Polynesia is December, with an average of 14.8 days with at least 0.04 inches of precipitation.
The drier season lasts 6.1 months, from April 29 to November 1. The month with the fewest wet days in French Polynesia is August, with an average of 3.6 days with at least 0.04 inches of precipitation.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. The month with the most days of rain alone in French Polynesia is December, with an average of 14.8 days. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 53% on December 17.
Daily Chance of Precipitation in French Polynesia
To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. French Polynesia experiences extreme seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
Rain falls throughout the year in French Polynesia. The month with the most rain in French Polynesia is December, with an average rainfall of 6.9 inches.
The month with the least rain in French Polynesia is September, with an average rainfall of 1.0 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall in French Polynesia
The length of the day in French Polynesia varies over the course of the year. In 2023, the shortest day is June 21, with 11 hours, 14 minutes of daylight; the longest day is December 21, with 13 hours, 1 minute of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight in French Polynesia
The earliest sunrise is at 4:39 AM on November 22, and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 7 minutes later at 5:46 AM on July 8. The earliest sunset is at 4:56 PM on June 1, and the latest sunset is 1 hour, 1 minute later at 5:57 PM on January 20.
Daylight saving time (DST) is not observed in French Polynesia during 2023.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight in French Polynesia
The figure below presents a compact representation of the sun's elevation (the angle of the sun above the horizon) and azimuth (its compass bearing) for every hour of every day in the reporting period. The horizontal axis is the day of the year and the vertical axis is the hour of the day. For a given day and hour of that day, the background color indicates the azimuth of the sun at that moment. The black isolines are contours of constant solar elevation.
Solar Elevation and Azimuth in French Polynesia
The figure below presents a compact representation of key lunar data for 2023. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the colored areas indicate when the moon is above the horizon. The vertical gray bars (new Moons) and blue bars (full Moons) indicate key Moon phases.
Moon Rise, Set & Phases in French Polynesia
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
French Polynesia experiences some seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.
The muggier period of the year lasts for 11 months, from August 29 to July 21, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 84% of the time. The month with the most muggy days in French Polynesia is March, with 30.9 days that are muggy or worse.
The month with the fewest muggy days in French Polynesia is August, with 25.0 days that are muggy or worse.
Humidity Comfort Levels in French Polynesia
dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.
The average hourly wind speed in French Polynesia experiences mild seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 4.7 months, from May 30 to October 21, with average wind speeds of more than 11.5 miles per hour. The windiest month of the year in French Polynesia is July, with an average hourly wind speed of 12.5 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 7.3 months, from October 21 to May 30. The calmest month of the year in French Polynesia is April, with an average hourly wind speed of 10.5 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed in French Polynesia
The predominant average hourly wind direction in French Polynesia is from the east throughout the year.
Wind Direction in French Polynesia
French Polynesia is located near a large body of water (e.g., ocean, sea, or large lake). This section reports on the wide-area average surface temperature of that water.
The average water temperature experiences some seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The time of year with warmer water lasts for 3.6 months, from January 18 to May 6, with an average temperature above 83°F. The month of the year in French Polynesia with the warmest water is March, with an average temperature of 84°F.
The time of year with cooler water lasts for 3.3 months, from July 9 to October 19, with an average temperature below 80°F. The month of the year in French Polynesia with the coolest water is August, with an average temperature of 79°F.
Average Water Temperature in French Polynesia
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in French Polynesia throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.
The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit French Polynesia for general outdoor tourist activities is from mid June to late September, with a peak score in the third week of August.
Tourism Score in French Polynesia
The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit French Polynesia for hot-weather activities is from late May to mid October, with a peak score in the last week of August.
Beach/Pool Score in French Polynesia
For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.
Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.
Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.
Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.
Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.
Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).
Temperatures in French Polynesia are sufficiently warm year round that it is not entirely meaningful to discuss the growing season in these terms. We nevertheless include the chart below as an illustration of the distribution of temperatures experienced throughout the year.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in French Polynesia
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.
Growing Degree Days in French Polynesia
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences some seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 2.7 months, from September 14 to December 5, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 6.1 kWh. The brightest month of the year in French Polynesia is October, with an average of 6.5 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 3.1 months, from April 22 to July 26, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 4.8 kWh. The darkest month of the year in French Polynesia is June, with an average of 4.4 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in French Polynesia
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of French Polynesia are -15.000 deg latitude, -140.000 deg longitude, and 0 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of French Polynesia is essentially flat, with a maximum elevation change of 0 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 0 feet. Within 10 miles is also essentially flat (0 feet). Within 50 miles is also essentially flat (0 feet).
The area within 2 miles of French Polynesia is covered by water (100%), within 10 miles by water (100%), and within 50 miles by water (100%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in French Polynesia, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
The details of the data sources used for this report can be found on the Fa'a'ā International Airport page.
The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.
We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.
We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.
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