What’s the weather like cruising the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico during February?

NOAA Satellite image

NOAA Satellite Image Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea

If you are planning a cruise or will be sailing during the month of February check out what weather to expect in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. 

 

Wind

Over the Caribbean during February winds tend to be mostly from the east or northeast averaging Beaufort forces 4-5 (11-21 knots) with the lightest winds occurring over the eastern Caribbean and the strongest winds over the southwestern Caribbean off the coast of Colombia. Over the Gulf of Mexico winds tend to be more variable but still averaging mostly Beaufort forces 4-5 (11-21 knots).  The risk for gale force or higher winds is low, generally 1 % or less, except 2% off the coast of Colombia and 2-3 % over the western-most Gulf of Mexico.

February Pilot Chart

February Pilot Chart for Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean

Risk for Rough Seas

Strong to near gale conditions can occur across the west-central Caribbean Sea and western Gulf of Mexico during February. The highest risk of encountering rough seas of 8 feet (2.4 meters) or more is 30-40% over the west-central Caribbean Sea off the coast of Columbia and mostly 10-15% over the Gulf of Mexico. Over the eastern Caribbean winds and seas tend to be lighter and the risk for encountering rough seas is 10% or less.

Temperature

Air temperatures during February average 25 to 26 C ( 77 to 79 F) across the Caribbean, 15C-22C (59 to 72 F) over the northern and western Gulf of Mexico and 22 to 25C (72 to 77 F) across the Bay of Campeche and southern Gulf of Mexico

Air temperature and pressure

Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean February mean air temperature and air pressure

Sea surface temperatures range from 25C-26C (F) in the Caribbean,17-22C ( F) over the northern and western Gulf of Mexico and 22-25C (F) in the Bay of Campeche and southeastern Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical Cyclones

Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean mean ocean temperatures and risk of tropical cyclones.

Tropical cyclones are rare in February with only a 1% risk confined to the Yucatan Channel, southeastern Gulf of Mexico, Florida Straits and northern Bahamas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Fred Pickhardt

I am a marine meteorologist and sailed briefly with American Export Lines in the Far East trade after graduating from State University of New York Maritime College. I have extensive experience in weather analysis, weather forecasting, optimum ship routing, vessel performance evaluations and forensic weather event reconstructions. I founded Ocean Weather Services and as Owner and Chief Consultant currently provide optimum ship routing services and forensic marine weather reports to the maritime industry.
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