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Weather

The Whitsunday Islands are perfectly placed within the tropics at latitude 20 degrees south. The islands are influenced by the South Pacific trade winds and consequently enjoy predominantly south-east and east winds. In the tropics, there is not a lot of difference between summer and winter but on average:

 

January to March

March to May

August to November

are the wettest monthsare the windiest monthsare the driest months

 

 

Although the average wind direction during the year is from the south-east and east, it is not uncommon during the months of September through to March to experience winds from the north and north-east.

Real-Time Weather Info

See the live weather forecast for the next few days right here

http://www.willyweather.com.au/qld/mackay/airlie-beach.html

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Sea Temperature

The average sea temperature is quite warm all year round. Even in winter it rarely drops below 22°C!

 

Current sea temperature

Sea water temperature

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Average temperatures

  • average daytime temperatures range from 23o to 30oC
  • average night time temperatures range from 15o to 27oC
  • seawater temperatures range from 22o to 27oC

Whitsunday Wind Direction Observations

 

Incidence of winds in given direction, 1500 hours, Hayman Island.

 

Calm

N

NE

E

SE

S

SW

W

NW

JANUARY

2%

7%

22%

31%

21%

2%

1%

4%

10%

FEBRUARY

2%

5%

11%

32%

33%

6%

1%

2%

8%

MARCH

1%

2%

13%

35%

37%

6%

1%

*

5%

APRIL

3%

1%

6%

30%

46%

7%

*

3%

4%

MAY

4%

*

4%

24%

46%

18%

1%

2%

1%

JUNE

3%

1%

3%

14%

41%

25%

4%

5%

4%

JULY

3%

1%

6%

23%

40%

16%

5%

3%

3%

AUGUST

3%

4%

15%

26%

35%

5%

1%

4%

9%

SEPTEMBER

2%

5%

19%

33%

25%

2%

2%

5%

7%

OCTOBER

*

6%

20%

32%

21%

2%

4%

14%

NOVEMBER

1%

10%

22%

27%

16%

1%

3%

18%

DECEMBER

*

10%

21%

29%

17%

1%

3%

16%

Source: Whitsunday wind direction table from ‘100 Magic Miles’ by David Colfelt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weather Forecasts

The Whitsundays are covered under the Mackay Coastal Waters Forecast: Bowen to St Lawrence.

The seven day wind forecast is also a useful link.

Cyclones

The east coast of Queensland is at risk of tropical cyclones during the summer months of December through to April. Tropical cyclones vary in size and intensity and are generally slow moving with an average speed of six to twelve knots.

Queensland is a very large state, and while the weather forecast may predict a cyclone somewhere off the coast, oftentimes these systems are over 1000km away and highly unlikely to affect the Whitsunday area.

Australia has state of the art forecasting. Ample notice is given of any impending weather systems, and we will have several days’ warning, and sufficient time to bring you safely back to shore. In the unlikely event of an approaching storm, all boats will be asked to make their way to a safe anchorage at either Abell Point Marina or Hamilton Island Marina until the storm passes. Whitsunday Escape recommends that you take out travel insurance. QBE Travel Insurance offers cyclone warning cover via this link.

TRAVEL INSURANCE QUOTE

The Best Time to Charter

Mid April to mid December is a traditionally a safe time to book a holiday in the Whitsundays. Keep in mind that every week can and will be different. Even though the traditional “Wet Season” occurs January to March many people enjoy boating at this time.

If it rains, the rain is warm and it normally comes in short heavy showers that pass over quickly and many of the desirable south facing anchorages can be visited, the waters are less crowded and the charter rates are very good!

Tides

Tides affect everything you do when cruising the Whitsunday Islands.

For more information and links see our Tides page.