How’s the Weather Cruising the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico during July?

Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea

Pilot Chart Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea July


Caribbean Sea
Easterly winds mostly Beaufort force 4 (11-16 knots) prevail this month, except forces 4-5 (11-21 knots) prevail over the central Caribbean north of Columbia. Over the southwestern Caribbean the wind will back east to northeast and diminish to forces 3-4 (7-16 knots) and over the northwestern Caribbean, winds tend to be from the east forces 3-4 (7-16 knots).  There is a low (about 1%) risk for encountering gale forces 8-9 (34-47 knots) over the central Caribbean north of the Columbian coast during July. 

Gulf of Mexico
East to southeast winds, mostly forces 3-4 (7-16 knots) prevail, except becoming more variable in direction forces 2-3 (4-12 knots) over the Northeast Gulf and southeast to south forces 3-4 (7-16 knots) over the Northwest Gulf. 

Generally waves average 2-5 feet (0.5-1.5 meters), however, over the Central Caribbean 6-8 foot (2-2.5 meter) waves will prevail. The risk for rough seas of 8 feet (2.4 meters) or higher is less than 10% across the Gulf of Mexico, the northwestern and the easternmost Caribbean, however, the risk increases to 30-45% over the central Caribbean Sea, especially north of Columbia. 

Over the Gulf of Mexico air temperatures average around 82-84 F (28-29 C) over the Gulf of Mexico and 81-83 F (27-28.5 C) across the Caribbean. 

Land Temperature
Overall, most Caribbean destinations see morning lows of 74-80 F (23-27 C) during July with daytime highs mostly 86-92 F (30-33 C). The hottest locations are Aruba, Cancun, Cozumel and the Caymans with afternoon high temperatures averaging at or above 90 F (32 C). 

Tropical Cyclones
The risk for tropical cyclones increases gradually during July with the highest risk area located in the north-central Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical Cyclone Frequency

July Pilot Chart Tropical Cyclone Frequenc


Rainfall during July varies quite a bit from 1.2 inches in Aruba to about 9.6 inches in Belize. The wettest locations include Belize, Bahamas, Trinidad, Dominica, St. Lucia and Martinique.  Drier locations include Aruba and Curacao, Cancun, Montego. St. Maarten, and St. Thomas.  

Fred Pickhardt
Ocean Weather Services

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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