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Old 25-03-2011, 21:56   #1
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Weather in the Whitsundays in January/February

We are planning a trip to Australia, where we have never been, for next January/February. A part of that trip will, hopefully, be a bareboat charter in the Whitsundays. In researching the idea, we have come to understand that this is low season, which is a good thing from a cost and, I assume, availability perspective but are a bit worried about any weather issues. We have data about temperature and wind and all that seems reasonably ok but are having a bit of trouble with rainfall. Seems that an average year produces about 10" of rain in January and a bit more in February. If that is coming in relatively intense bursts (shower activity) we are fine with it but, as we are planning the trip in part to escape being drizzled to death in Oregon, we are wondering what the chances are that we are just exchanging cold drizzle for warm drizzle. A week of grey skies and relentless drip would not be our idea of the ideal experience.

Anyone have any insight on what we could reasonably expect for rain conditions or other Wx phenomena that we should take into account?
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Old 25-03-2011, 22:06   #2
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Re: Weather in the Whitsundays in January/February

Hot and humid. It will test you.
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Old 25-03-2011, 22:15   #3
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Re: Weather in the Whitsundays in January/February

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Hot and humid. It will test you.
Plus it is obviously the "off" season for another good reason;that is those intense bursts. I.E., the chances of a cyclone putting an end to the trip. This is really somewhere that looking at averages can distort the real dangers.

Otherwise, if you are a diver or a snorkeler the biggest problem I have found around Christmas and after is that the water is no where near as clear as you might hope for.

I have been up there in late November and December before and other than the heat and humidity the weather was fine. There is always the chance of an early cyclone, but one you get past Christmas the SE trade winds and cyclonic weather pattern really sets in.
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Old 25-03-2011, 22:21   #4
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Re: Weather in the Whitsundays in January/February

Then there are the stingers
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Old 25-03-2011, 22:34   #5
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Exclamation Re: Deadly Stingers

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Then there are the stingers
Opps, how did I forget the lethal stingers? I mean those things KILL. Maybe I am getting a bit too complacent down here in NSW? Have you ever thought of a Jan/Feb charter on the Hawkesbury out of Pittwater if they exist?
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Old 25-03-2011, 22:46   #6
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Re: Weather in the Whitsundays in January/February

Or maybe something in the Percys?
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Old 25-03-2011, 23:18   #7
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Re: Weather in the Whitsundays in January/February

Indeed charter companies exist in Pittwater and Sydney Harbour; you would be well advised to go there instead.
It may be a bit rainy with the current La Nina weather patterns but they may have gone next year.
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Old 26-03-2011, 03:35   #8
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Re: Weather in the Whitsundays in January/February

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Originally Posted by oregonsailor View Post
We are planning a trip to Australia, where we have never been, for next January/February.
We have data about temperature and wind and all that seems reasonably ok but are having a bit of trouble with rainfall.
Hamilton Island, Qld - January 2011 - Daily Weather Observations

Hamilton Island, Qld - February 2011 - Daily Weather Observations

Hamilton Island, Qld - February 2010 - Daily Weather Observations
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Old 26-03-2011, 06:28   #9
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Re: Weather in the Whitsundays in January/February

We have been up there a few times at that time of year, and it is a bit like rolling a dice. You may get lucky and get some clear weather, you may not. Last year we took advantage of low season costs, and spend a long weekend at our favourite resort in the Whitsundays.

We were rewarded with torrential rainfall for 80% of our stay!

In previous years though we have been sailing up there that time of year and have had some beautiful clear days with the occasional afternoon downpour and enjoyed quiet anchorages, and non congested marinas.
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Old 26-03-2011, 08:10   #10
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Re: Weather in the Whitsundays in January/February

Thank everyone for the very useful replies. Sounds like late November or early December would be better or, as suggested, the area around Sydney. If we go this year we can always go to Hawaii in March when the drip finally gets to us.
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Old 26-03-2011, 11:24   #11
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Re: Weather in the Whitsundays in January/February

New Zealand is nice that time of the year
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