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Water Temps and Weather for US and British Vigin Islands/January vs March

Water Temps and Weather for US and British Vigin Islands/January vs March

Jul 23rd, 2007, 10:15 AM
  #1  
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Water Temps and Weather for US and British Vigin Islands/January vs March

I have just reviewed previous posts on this subject, but still can't get a good feel for my question: Will the water temperature, for snorkeling, be appreciably warmer in March than in January? We can travel any time during Jan-March, but don't want to encounter water temps that are too cool, when by waiting another six weeks we could have significantly warmer waters. We would be on a Windstar cruise that visits St. Thomas, St. John, St. Martin, St. Barts, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda.
marthag is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 10:36 AM
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It's not as if you are going to the Bahamas, where there can really be a huge difference based on seasonal water temperaturs. The water is certainly cooler in January, but the water temps in the Caribbean don't vary that much. I've never felt too cold going snorkeling in January, but the water will definitely be a tad warmer in March, though the real difference isn't felt until May or June.
doug_stallings is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2007, 04:41 PM
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Doug, thanks so much for the helpful answer. I now feel confident to book a cruise any time during the January-March time frame. I'll probably aim for late February. I sure appreciate your quick reply.
marthag is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 05:00 AM
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I'll trust Doug since he has that Fodor's Editor Star but, normally, I would think the water would be cooler in March than January, after the seas have had the entire winter to cool down. At least that's been my experience in Florida and the Bahamas.
JarredK is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 05:24 AM
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This is actually an interesting question, and I hope some other people will chime in. I've always found that the water temperatures start dropping noticeably by October but then start getting warmer again around March. But the really noticeable changes come in April and May, and then by June the water is nice and warm again and will be that way for the rest of the summer. I know we have some island residents on these forums, so it would be nice to hear from them.
doug_stallings is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 06:44 AM
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Here's a rough chart showing water temps and coral bleaching. It shows that Sept./October actually have the warmest water temperatures (which would seem to justify why hurricanes coincide with these months) and March the coolest. (sst stands for sea surface temperatures).

http://ccmaserver.nos.noaa.gov/produ...s/Figure_1.jpg
JarredK is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 06:46 AM
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I meant to say Feb/March appear to have the coolest.
JarredK is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 04:53 PM
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We swam in sea in both USVI and BVI in late Dec and the sea water temp was lovely - not cold and not warm but very pleasant. The water was clear enough for excellent snorkelling.

We also swam in sea in one of the Bahama's out islands on 31 Dec and the water was too cold for our liking.

You'll do fine, marthag, with either Jan or March. Just pick the cheaper cruise!

We snorkelled in Virgin Gorda and it was excellent - we saw turtles flying underwater! And those parrot fish!

BlueSea is offline  
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