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The climate of Réunion
Réunion is a tropical island lying east of Madagascar and south of the African continent. Officially it is not an independent country but an overseas department of France. The Isle of Réunion is often mentioned in the same breath with the nearby Mauritius. Similarities between these islands are definitely to be found, but differences as well. Thus Réunion has fewer sandy beaches and far fewer luxury hotels than Mauritius. Nature of Réunion is more impressive, not in the least because large parts of the island display samples of rough untouched natural areas.
Determining for the island are two volcanic massifs, the Piton de Neiges with a summit of no less than 3069 meters and the much younger Piton de la Fournaise where there is still volcanic activity. Regularly you can read newspaper reports about lava-streams that damage roads and sulphur-fumes that form a threat for the neighboring people.

Tropical monsoon climate
Réunion has a tropical monsoon climate, type Am according to the Köppen-Geiger classification. On a yearly basis there is on an average approximately 1400 millimeters of rainfall whereas the driest months (September and October) stay below 60 mm. per month. So obviously there is a question of a dry period and a rainy period (monsoon) with average 24 hours’ temperatures of over 18 degrees centigrade, essential for this type of climate.

Due to the many differences in height Réunion has a large number of microclimates, according to some sources no less than two-hundred. Particularly on and around the massifs there are many microclimates where specific differences occur in the amount of precipitation, the overgrowth and the temperature. On some spots there are large concentrations of trees or plants which are typical for that particular place because of the specific local conditions.


Climate information of places and areas in Réunion
The climate information on this page is only brief. Specific information about weather and climate can be found on the climate pages per area or town. As for Réunion the following climate information is available:

Le Port
Saint Denis
Saint Gilles Les Bains
Saint Leu
Saint Pierre

Summer in Réunion
The summer in Réunion is from December up to and including March. That is opposite to our summer because Réunion is on the Southern hemisphere. The summers are considerably wetter than the winter months. Along the coast in the winte rmonths there is approximately 150 to 250 millimeters of rainfall per month but in the more elevated areas this is sometimes a multiple. Particularly the Piton de la Fournaise in the south-east of the island is very wet. Here on the weather-side the amount of precipitation can mount up to no less than one-thousand to two-thousand millimeters per month(!). That is about two to three times as much as what occurs in the Netherlands in a whole year. With that this small area (appr. twenty square kilometers) belongs to the wettest areas in the world. The temperatures on Réunion are along the coast between 27 and 31 degrees in the daytime. Inland the temperature quickly drops to about 10 to 15 degrees on the highest peaks.

The winter months (on Réunion from June up to and including September) are the best months to visit the island. The chance of rain is then much smaller than in the summer months, storms and severe depressions only seldom occur and along the coast it is still agreeably warm with 20 to 24 degrees in the daytime and 14 to 18 degrees at night. Who wants to discover nature should bring sufficient warm clothing, because the difference in temperature between the coastal areas and the most elevated places inland are about 12 to15 degrees throughout the year. That means in the winter temperatures around or even just a little below freezing-point on the highest spots and cool weather on the massifs and in between. The advantage of the winter period is that the extreme amount of precipitation in the winter is reduced to a somewhat normal amount.

Réunion is situated on the supply route of hurricanes and tropical depressions that develop above the relatively warm seawater of the Indian Ocean in the period of December up to and including May. These depressions are the main cause that in the summer there is more rainfall than in the winter. Within a 24 hours’day considerably large amounts of rain may fall if indeed a hurricane or a tropical depression travels over or close along Réunion. Although the hurricane season is officially from December up to and including April, the chance of heavy tropical storms is the biggest in the months of January, February and March. Réunion is seldom heavily hit. On an average this occurs six to eight times per century and thanks to the present-day techniques hurricanes are predicted in good time and the necessary measures can be taken in order to reduce damage and the number of victims. Seldom tourists get into danger due to hurricanes (or cyclones as they are locally mentioned).

In the Isle of Réunion there are big differences concerning the amount of rain on a yearly basis. Along the west-coast this is on an average 525 to1000 millimeters. Inland the amount quickly increases with a peak of ample 10.000 millimeters yearly on the weather-side of the Piton de la Fournaise. This is the side on the eastside where regularly a lava-stream runs towards the Indian Ocean. The large amount of rain-water combined with the hot lava sometimes provides an impressive spectacle. Saint Gilles les Bains is, with an average of 525 mm. of rain per year the driest place in Réunion.

Due to its situation and the tropical forests there are few days on which there is not a single little cloud to be seen in Réunion. The chance of sunny days is the biggest on the west coast where are also the most hotels, for instance in Saint Gilles les Bains and Saint Leu. The average number of sunny hours on the west-coast is about 2600 to 2900 hours yearly. The town of Saint Pierre in the south-west is the sunniest with 2923 hours of sunshine per year.Inland it is much less sunny. The mountains and hills retain a considerable amount of clouds and the tropical forests also cause fresh clouds and sometimes areas of fog. Inland the sun shines on an average 1500 to 2000 hours per year with Petite-France as the lowest point with only 1391 sunny hours per year.

The sea-water temperature is always between an agreeable 23-24 degrees and even more agreeable 28 degrees. Ideal temperatures for watersports and for swimming.The lowest temperatures are reached in the period of June up to and including October, after which the sea-water warms up rather quickly to reach 28 degrees again in January.

The power of the sun in Réunion is great. A large part of the year there is a question of the very highest sun-power (UV-index 11), with which staying in the sun unprotectedly is actually irresponsible, unless for a very short time (10-15 minutes). During the entire year it is recommendable to use a sunburn lotion with a high protection factor (minimal 30), even for people who do not burn that fast. From own experience can be reported that even a morning walk in May with an overcast sky may result in a burnt skin if not properly smeared. In the wintermonths the UV-index in Réunion is between 6 and 9. Still high and sufficient to get burnt heavily if you stay in the sun too long unprotectedly.


Climate figures
The figures below are based on registered long-term weather- and climate data and can be considered an average for the coastal areas in Réunion. Inland it is colder, less sunny and much wetter.Climate information for specific regions or places is given on the special climate pages of places in Réunion.

temperature (°C)


temperature (°C)
hours of sunshine

average days with precipitation
per month
per month
temperature (°C)
January 29 22 7 19 28
February 30 22 7 20 28
March 29 21 6 21 28
April 27 20 6 20 27
May 25 18 7 16 26
June 24 16 6 14 25
July 23 16 6 17 24
August 22 15 6 18 24
September 23 15 7 13 24
October 26 16 8 12 24
November 27 18 7 15 25
December 28 20 7 18 27
= 0-5 mm ● = 6-30 mm ● = 31-60 mm ● = 61-100 mm ● = 101-200 mm ● = over 200 mm
= 0-0.2 inches ● = 0.2-1.2 inches ● = 1.2-2.4 inches ● = 2.5-4 inches ● = 4.1-8 inches ● = over 8 inches

More climate information
Climate figures may come in handy, but do not offer a total image of the climate and the possible weather-conditions within a particular period. How big the chance is of wintry weather, (extreme) heat or hurricanes, cannot often be shown in figures.
That is why we monthly offer useful extra climate information. Information below is an average for the coastal places in Réunion. Inland the chance of hot weather and the guarantee of sunshine are much smaller and there is much more chance of lasting continuous precipitation. There is also a question of a small chance of slight frost in the highest places in the island.

chance of
(very) hot


chance of
(very) cool
chance of

chance of
chance of
sunny days


click here for the explanation of the symbols


The information at this site was carefully composed from climate data collected by meteorological services, meteorological offices, climate experts and other sources. “More climate info” is based on statistics, climate data and personal experience. No rights can be derived from this site. Weather has no memory and gives no guaranties. Nothing is as changeable and unpredictable as the weather. The authors of this site feel in no way responsible for any damages caused by misinterpretation or other circumstances that may influence your holiday or trip to a certain destination. We provide information, it’s up to the reader to use it to it’s benefit.


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