Weather Overview for Port Louis
Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius on
the island’s north-western coast, enjoys a maritime tropical climate. Hot
temperatures avoid extremes and there is little seasonal variation in
temperature. However, the year can be split into a hot, wet summer, from
November till April, and a milder, drier winter from May till October. Port Louis is drier and
warmer than southeast of the island. Mauritius
sits in the Indian Ocean, to the east of Madagascar
off the east coast of Southern Africa. The
island is susceptible to hurricanes during the summer; risk is at its highest
in January and February.
Summer in Port
Louis, from November till April, sees temperatures
sidling up from the mid 20s to the high twenties. The average high temperature
at the beginning and end of the season is around 26°C, peaking in January and
February just below 30°C. Even the sea temperature gets up into the high 20s. Visitors
at this time of year will really feel the heat as humidity is at its highest. Night
time temperatures remain in the low 20s and visitors will discover new depths
of feeling for their air-conditioners. Rainfall begins to increase from the
beginning of the season, peaking with the heat. February is the wettest month.
Rainfall is typical of tropical islands; it falls in dramatic downpours, often
short-lived but incredibly intense. The whole season is prone to hits from
tropical cyclones, but the hottest and wettest months are at greatest risk.
Anyone travelling to the island should research hurricane activity in the area
before they leave; these violent storms can cause devastating damage and do not
make for the best holiday experience. All in all the summer season is
unpredictable from moment to moment. However, Port Louis is still a great holiday
destination in its summer. The heat can be relied upon and due to the brevity
of storms the summer actually sees an extra hour of sunshine a day in
comparison to the winter; after the rains the sky usually clears. Most of Mauritius’ rain falls on its southern side and
central plateau leaving Port Louis
Winter in Port
Louis, from May till October, sees a drop in rainfall
and an easing off of high temperatures. It is a tropical island and so still
receives frequent rain, but the amount that actually falls is greatly reduced.
Temperatures at either end of the season are still in the high 20s but begin to
relent slightly. The average high temperature is at its lowest in July and
August at 23°C. Humidity decreases with rainfall so while the winter does see
one hour less of sunshine per day, it is almost certainly the best time to
visit. Night times can get quite cool, reaching an average low of 17°C in July.
The beginning and end of winter are probably preferable to the July and August,
as the 23°C average high in the daytime is not quite as hot as most people hope
for their dream tropical holiday.
Port Louis owes its idyllic
climate to Mauritius’
southerly position in the Indian Ocean and to Mauritius’ topography. Despite
being a small island, Mauritius
experiences large regional climate variation. The low coastal areas are usually
about 5°C hotter than the elevated central plateau. Port Louis is protected from south-easterly
weather fronts by the mountains that circle the plateau. These trap humid air
and cause precipitation to form over the south eastside and central plateau.