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IN SHORT...
The Cook Islands weather is typically tropical to sub-tropical with just two seasons...dry and wet.  There's actually not much difference between the two.  In the Northern Cooks Islands,  temperatures are fairly constant throughout the year, while in
the Southern Cooks (including Rarotonga and Aitutaki) there is a difference of around 4°C between the warmer and cooler months.  Mangaia in the south is the coolest island; Penrhyn and Rakahanga in the North are the hottest as they're closer to the equator (typically 5-7 degrees celcius warmer than Rarotonga).



CURRENT WEATHER AND  FORECASTS
Rarotonga
Cook Islands met office
Islands' Met Office
Click on the met office logo for detailed reports from the Islands' own forecasters
Aitutaki
WET SEASON: NOVEMBER TO APRIL/MAY
The wet season begins in late November and lasts until April or May, and sometimes longer in the Southern Cooks..   November to March is also the cyclone (hurricane) season.  It can become hot and humid (29 degrees celcius/84 fahrenheit by day) with bright sunny mornings and late afternoon downpours around Rarotonga.  As the heat accumulates over the Pacific Ocean during this season, depressions can form bringing with them thunderstorms, strong winds and the occasional tropical cyclone.   According to the national newspaper, The Cook Islands News: "on Rarotonga we judge how hot the weather is by checking how much the tar seal on the roads has melted!"




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Watersports weather
in Aitutaki

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 Aitutaki and Atiu forecasts are from World Weather Online




Atiu
DRY SEASON: JUNE TO OCTOBER
July is "midwinter" and  the average daily temperature is 25 degrees celcius/77 fahrenheit.  This drops to around 19 degrees celcius/66 fahrenheit at night.   And on really cold nights, it can fall as low as 14 celcius/57 fahrenheit!  The lowest winter temperature on record was in 1965 when the thermometer fell to just over 9 degrees C (48F)!!!
 
CLIMATE CHANGE
Warming trends have been evident evident in both annual and seasonal maximum and minimum temperatures, across the Cook Islands since 1950.  The sea-level rise measured by satellite altimeters since 1993, is about 4 mm  a year.   Source: A Nagari, Director, Cook Islands Meterological Service in a presentation to the World Meteorological Assocaition regional seminar in 2011
 
Expect AITUTAKI to be several degrees celcius warmer each month.   And the FURTHER NORTH you go, the warmer it gets.   The most northerly islands have pretty much the same day and night time temperatures, usually in the low to mid thirties celcius.
                       Jul            Aug             Sep            Oct             Nov            Dec   
Maximum    25C (77F)    25C (77F)     25C (77F)    26C (78F)    27C (80F)   28C (82F)   
Minimum     19C (66F)    18C (64F)     19C  (66F)   20C  (68F)   21C (70F)   22C (72F)
Sunshine     173hrs         186hrs         178hrs        193hrs        188hrs       181hrs 
Rainfall        106mm       120mm        106mm       117mm       145mm      215mm
  
                             
                       Jan            Feb            Mar            Apr             May            Jun   
Maximum    29C (84F)    29C (84F)     29C (84F)    28C (82F)    27C (80F)   29C (84F)   
Minimum     23C (73F)    23C (73F)     23C  (73F)   22C  (71F)   20C (68F)   26C (78F)
Sunshine     184 hrs       182 hrs        194 hrs        171 hrs       160hrs       159hrs  
Rainfall        242mm       218mm       229mm        197mm       163mm     106mm
Weather forecasting Islands-style!
And just in case you can't read it...  "Forecast for today:  A beautiful day in paradise"
Over to our weatherman
TYPICAL TEMPERATURES, SUNSHINE AND RAIN IN RAROTONGA
 
 
CYCLONE SEASON
Cyclones (elsewhere called hurricanes or typhoons) are a fact of life in this part of the world.  The cyclone season in the Cooks runs from November to the end of March, and at worst they can bring winds around 200kph (124mph), very stormy seas, flooding and extensive damage.   But the extreme ones are relatively rare.   A Canadian professor who studied their history says that between 1820 and 2006 they averaged less than one a season.  And 29% per cent occur in February. The most recent serious one was Cyclone Pat which hit Aitutaki in 2010.   And the worst cyclone season in living memory was in 2005 when five cyclones struck within five weeks.   According to the Director of the local met office, the average is 1.1 a year.



 
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