There is no rainy season as such in Bermuda. Rainfall is distributed fairly evenly throughout the year and averages 5 inches per month.
Showers tend to be short, heavy, and often unexpected. Most locals (and those in the know) carry raincoats, even on sunny days. If you’re travelling by scooter a coat should be one of the essential items stored under your seat. Cheap poncho-style coats can be purchased throughout the island. Pharmacies are a good place to buy them. Locals tend to carry more expensive rain gear, usually a full rain suit with jacket and trousers.
It’s highly unlikely that your vacation will be completely ruined by rain. Constant rainfall over a number of days is relatively rare. The Bermuda Weather Service has detailed historical rainfall statistics on their website. Choose any month from the past and you can see how much rain fell each day. It’s quite common to see the majority of a month’s rain fall on just a handful of days in the month, with the rest of the days being dry or almost dry.
In summary, don’t consider the rain when planning the timing of your vacation. Rainy periods cannot be predicted so far in advance.
Average Monthly Rain
The graph and table below shows average monthly rainfall (in inches) from January 2006 to present. The average monthly statistics are somewhat skewed by a few freak months. 14 inches of rain were recorded in August 2014, making it the wettest August since records began. June 2009 was the second wettest June on record. May 2008 and July 2006 also saw massive departures from the norm.
Rainy Day Activities – Ideas for wet days
If it does pour down, don’t despair. Bermuda offers lots of indoor activities and covered attractions. Most are free or pretty cheap.
Places to visit and things to do on a rainy day include:
- Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo – Although the majority of the zoo component of this attraction is outdoors, the aquarium and museum are covered.
- Bermuda Cathedral – You’ll only be exposed to the elements if you climb to the top of the tower for a view of Hamilton.
- Bermuda Perfumery – If you’re in St George you could spend an hour or so here and see how perfumes are made.
- Bermuda National Trust Museum – Explore the role Bermuda played in the US Civil War at this museum in St George.
- Bermuda National Gallery and the Bermuda Society of Arts Gallery – If you appreciate art you can visit City Hall in Hamilton and explore these two art galleries.
- Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute – Museum in Hamilton with exhibits relating to the ocean.
- Bus and Ferry Trip – You could buy a transport pass and go on a bus and ferry trip around the island. They offer unlimited travel while valid.
- Carter House – Historic house housing the St David’s Historical Society Museum. It’s located on St David’s Island in St George’s Parish.
- Cinemas – Use a rainy day as an excuse to see the latest blockbuster. There are movie theatres throughout the island. Don’t expect the multiplex experience though.
- Clocktower Mall – Indulge in some retail therapy at this shopping mall at Dockyard.
- National Museum of Bermuda – Although much of the museum is outdoors, all the main exhibition areas are covered.
- Crystal Cave and Fantasy Cave – Enjoy a guided tour of these beautiful caverns in Hamilton Parish.
- St Peter’s Church – St George boasts one of the oldest churches in the world. The interior is beautiful and packed with historic treasures. You’ll miss the graveyard though.
Rain Water Harvesting – How houses get their supply of water
Spend any time in Bermuda and you’ll almost certainly notice that all the roofs are white. They’re one of the signature features of the island’s architecture. Although very pretty, they’re not that way for aesthetic reasons and serve a distinct purpose.
There are no rivers or streams in Bermuda. Most houses depend on rainwater as their main source of fresh water. In fact, it’s the law that almost all buildings need to have a roof that can catch water and a means of storing it. 80 percent of the roof area needs to be guttered and the storage tank needs to have a capacity of at least one hundred gallons for every 10 square feet of catchment area.
Until modern times, roofs were built with limestone slates, quarried on the island. More recent buildings use other materials such as concrete slates or extruded polystyrene panels.
In a traditional roof, the slates supported on a timber frame and bedded in a cement mortar. The roofs slopes at an angle, not so high that water spills over the gutter, but not so low to collapse under its own weight. It was lime wash, giving the roof its characteristic white colour.
Around 70 percent of the water used in the island’s households comes from roofs. The remainder comes from private wells, water trucks, and the mains. Approximately 65 percent of residences do not have direct access to supplementary water (the mains or a private well) and rely on water trucks in times of need.