October 22, 2012

What is the Weather on Okinawa Like?

Weather on Okinawa - What Clothes to Wear for a Visit

Okinawa is a subtropical Pacific island with many beaches and outdoor activities. But what is the weather like and what should people visiting plan to bring and wear?

The Coast of Okinawa - (c) Okinawa Travel Guide

Typical Weather on Okinawa

The weather on Okinawa is very different compared to most parts in the world, especially North America. There is very little fall season, and most people would scoff at calling the colder months on Okinawa, winter.

Generally speaking, the summertime is hot, and the wintertime is cool, but not cold. Here is a breakdown of the average temperatures during the year:

  • Summer - May, June, July, August, September, October - Temperatures in the 80's, with the hottest days reaching the low 90's. Lows in the 70's during these months.
  • Fall - November - Highs in the mid 70's, lows in the mid 60's.
  • Winter - December, January and February - Highs in the 60's and lows in the 50's, almost never below 50 degrees.
  • Spring - March and April - highs in the 70's with lows in the 60's. 
As one can see, the weather on Okinawa is never actually cold, but does cool off during the winter months. 

Okinawa does get plenty of rain year round, with the wettest months being May and June. Average rainfall for these months is around 10 inches per month. 

While the summer is obviously the best time to enjoy the Okinawa beaches, it is also right in the middle of typhoon season which runs from May through November. 

Some years Okinawa gets only a few mild typhoons, but other years I have seen it get hit by 5 or more typhoons in only a few months. To see more about Typhoons, and how to prepare for them, visit the Typhoon Tips Page.

What to Wear when Visiting Okinawa

As one can see from the average temperatures, the winter months do require a few layers and maybe a light jacket to keep warm. Jeans or other long pants are enough to stay comfortably warm.

The summertime, stretching practically from April through October, is warm and worth of shorts and a t-shirt. 

Okinawa tends to be a casual place, with a similar island feel as Hawaii, but without the huge beachfront hotels and excessive tourists. 

For those interested in vacations to Okinawa, I would suggest the fall months as the water temperature is still very warm, as well as the air temperature. But prices and tourists have both reduced from the summer months of June through August.

Water temperature on Okinawa is very comfortable, getting into the 80's in the summer, and down in the 70's in the winter at the surface. While a wet suit is recommended for Scuba Diving, it isn't necessary for snorkeling even in the winter. 

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