Climate and Average Weather Year Round in Santa Marta Colombia
In Santa Marta, the wet season is overcast; the dry season is partly cloudy; and it is hot, oppressive, and windy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 75°F to 89°F and is rarely below 73°F or above 92°F.
Based on the beach/pool score, the best time of year to visit Santa Marta for hot-weather activities is from late December to mid March.
Climate in Santa Marta
Average Temperature in Santa Marta
The temperature in Santa Marta varies so little throughout the year that it is not entirely meaningful to discuss hot and cold seasons.
Average High and Low Temperature in Santa Marta
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 Santa Marta
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 Santa Marta, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in Santa Marta begins around December 9 and lasts for 3.9 months, ending around April 4. On January 13, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 51% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 49% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around April 4 and lasts for 8.1 months, ending around December 9. On September 27, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 95% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 5% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories in Santa Marta
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 Santa Marta varies significantly throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 6.3 months, from May 8 to November 18, with a greater than 25% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 50% on October 18.
The drier season lasts 5.7 months, from November 18 to May 8. The smallest chance of a wet day is 0% on January 18.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 50% on October 18.
Daily Chance of Precipitation in Santa Marta
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. Santa Marta experiences extreme seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
The rainy period of the year lasts for 8.5 months, from April 8 to December 24, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around October 14, with an average total accumulation of 5.3 inches.
The rainless period of the year lasts for 3.5 months, from December 24 to April 8. The least rain falls around January 27, with an average total accumulation of 0.0 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall in Santa Marta
The length of the day in Santa Marta does not vary substantially over the course of the year, staying within 47 minutes of 12 hours throughout. In 2021, the shortest day is December 21, with 11 hours, 28 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 20, with 12 hours, 47 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight in Santa Marta
The earliest sunrise is at 5:32 AM on May 30, and the latest sunrise is 49 minutes later at 6:21 AM on January 26. The earliest sunset is at 5:29 PM on November 17, and the latest sunset is 55 minutes later at 6:24 PM on July 11.
Daylight saving time (DST) is not observed in Santa Marta during 2021.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight in Santa Marta
The figure below presents a compact representation of key lunar data for 2021. 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 Santa Marta
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.
The perceived humidity level in Santa Marta, as measured by the percentage of time in which the humidity comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable, does not vary significantly over the course of the year, remaining a virtually constant 100% throughout.
Humidity Comfort Levels in Santa Marta
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 Santa Marta experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 5.3 months, from November 25 to May 3, with average wind speeds of more than 12.7 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is February 10, with an average hourly wind speed of 16.9 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 6.7 months, from May 3 to November 25. The calmest day of the year is October 5, with an average hourly wind speed of 8.6 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed in Santa Marta
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Santa Marta is from the east throughout the year.
Wind Direction in Santa Marta
Santa Marta 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 3.0 months, from August 19 to November 17, with an average temperature above 83°F. The day of the year with the warmest water is September 28, with an average temperature of 84°F.
The time of year with cooler water lasts for 3.4 months, from January 1 to April 13, with an average temperature below 79°F. The day of the year with the coolest water is February 9, with an average temperature of 78°F.
Average Water Temperature in Santa Marta
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Santa Marta 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 Santa Marta for general outdoor tourist activities is from late December to early March, with a peak score in the third week of January.
Tourism Score in Santa Marta
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 Santa Marta for hot-weather activities is from late December to mid March, with a peak score in the third week of January.
Beach/Pool Score in Santa Marta
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 Santa Marta 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 Santa Marta
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 Santa Marta
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 significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 3.0 months, from January 14 to April 13, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 5.8 kWh. The brightest day of the year is March 19, with an average of 6.4 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 2.4 months, from August 27 to November 8, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 3.9 kWh. The darkest day of the year is October 6, with an average of 3.2 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in Santa Marta
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Santa Marta are 11.241 deg latitude, -74.199 deg longitude, and 39 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Santa Marta contains very significant variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 961 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 102 feet. Within 10 miles contains very significant variations in elevation (5,174 feet). Within 50 miles also contains extreme variations in elevation (18,684 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Santa Marta is covered by grassland (67%), water (18%), and trees (11%), within 10 miles by water (59%) and trees (23%), and within 50 miles by water (67%) and trees (18%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Santa Marta, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Temperature and Dew Point
There is only a single weather station, Simón Bolívar International Airport, in our network suitable to be used as a proxy for the historical temperature and dew point records of Santa Marta.
At a distance of 14 kilometers from Santa Marta, closer than our threshold of 150 kilometers, this station is deemed sufficiently nearby to be relied upon as our primary source for temperature and dew point records.
The station records are corrected for the elevation difference between the station and Santa Marta according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
Please note that the station records themselves may additionally have been back-filled using other nearby stations or the MERRA-2 reanalysis.
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Algorithms 2nd Edition , by Jean Meeus.
All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for airports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.
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.