The tropic of Cancer is at 23° 27' North latitude and the tropic of Capricorn is at 23° 27' South latitude. These two lines extending around the earth, north and south of the equator respectively, are the formal limits of the tropic zone (aka torrid zone). Between these two lines, the sun does pass directly overhead on at least one day during the year. This fact influences the temperature and other qualities of the climate in the tropical zone.
Tropical Climate in San Salvador
San Salvador is at approximately 24.05° North latitude. This places the island just slightly north of the tropical zone; the sun never passes directly overhead in San Salvador but it comes very close to it on June 21 (summer solstice). The climate of San Salvador is tropical. The record high temperature is 95° F and the record low temperature is 46° F; it is a frost-free climate. The average air temperature goes from a low of 71° F in January to a high of 83° F in August. Night temperatures do fall to 64° F in January but are a warm 77° F in August. Sea breezes of a 9 mph average are common throughout the year. The sea temperature dips to 73° F in February but rises to 85° F in August. This tiny island of land in a vast volume of warm ocean water has a tropical climate in spite of its latitude just within the temperate zone.
Is there a US geographic reference point for San Salvador?
The Bahamian archipelago extends in an arc from the south-eastern coast of Florida to the east and then south toward the Tropic of Cancer. San Salvador is on the very outside (74.55° W longitude) of this curve and is battered by the Atlantic Ocean on its east coast. Miami is the nearest large US city to San Salvador. An almost-straight-line of flight from Miami, Florida through Nassau, Bahamas extends on to San Salvador at a distance of about 350 miles from Miami.
May-June Climatology Data (1961-1990 means)
Based on historical records, we can expect weather conditions to be mild with some rain. You won't want a jacket except perhaps at night or on a boat, and a windbreaker will probably be enough. A water-resistant windbreaker is likely needed for at least one or two of our days. Because we arrive just before summer solstice, the sun will be almost directly overhead; prime conditions for sunburn! You will need sunscreen and cover-up clothing, and we will likely all get a tan, in spite of our precautions. Please excuse the English units in this document...but US students are more likely to be able to judge these values better than their metric counterparts.
Mean Daily Temperatures: High 86° Low 74° F
Record Temperatures: High 92° Low 55° F
Relative Humidity: Morning 82 Afternoon 68 %
Wind: 9 mph
Rain per Month: 6 inches
Water Temperature: 78° F
This page © Ross E. Koning 1994.
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