||Bermuda's ocean winds are tempered by the Gulf Stream, but when south winds prevail, the humidity rises and sometimes thunderstorms occur. The highest humidity months are July and August. Temperatures rarely drop below 55 degrees F or exceed 90 degrees F. The lowest air temperature ever recorded was 43.6F. The highest was 94F. Water temperatures during winter months are much the same as the air temperature, ranging from about 66F (in January) through 75F until the late spring.
Think Bermuda and images of tidy pastel cottages, professional gents in ties and shorts, pink-sand beaches, and quintessential British traditions like cricket matches and afternoon tea spring to mind. For once the stereotype matches up to reality.
North Americans visiting the island to be quaintly British; the Brits, on the other hand, tend to consider the island highly Americanised. It is, of course, uniquely Bermudian - a product of nearly four centuries of British colonial history and an equally long reliance on American trade.
You may be somewhat disoriented if you thought Bermuda was somewhere in the Caribbean. The island is, in fact, situated in the western Atlantic Ocean, nearly 600 nautical miles off the coast of North Carolina.
Bermuda can be visited year round, but the busiest tourist season is from April through October when the weather is warmest and water temperatures comfortable for swimming and diving. It's also the liveliest time on the island, with plenty of events and entertainment options to keep visitors amused.
The winter season is a bit too cool for swimming, and many tourist-related agencies, like diving companies and boat tours, suspend operations for part of the season. January is the quietest month, so if you're more interested in tennis and golf or seeing the island when it's free of large numbers of tourists, this is the time to come.
The advantage of visiting during the cooler months is that accommodation prices can be up to 40% lower and you can escape the colder winter of more northern climes. So-called 'snow birds' arriving from the US East Coast at the end of the 19th century originally made the winter months the high season in Bermuda. The best conditions for windsurfing also tend to be in winter.
Bermuda has an inordinate number of golf tournaments and sedate events like bowls tournaments and gardening shows aimed primarily at older people but that doesn't mean it lacks oomph.
Gombey dancers strut their stuff on New Year's Day, and the Bermuda Festival is a six-week performing arts spectacular running from mid-January through February. The Bermuda Cat Fanciers Association Championship Cat Show in mid-March sounds like a hoot but is slightly less prestigious than the Newport-Bermuda Race, one of the world's major ocean yacht races held in late June during even-numbered years.
SOCA is a Caribbean music festival that has the Royal Naval Dockyards jumping in late July or early August, while the Bermuda Reggae Sunsplash continues the skanking in mid-August. You can march to a different drummer during the three-day Bermuda Tattoo in early November, which culminates with a grand finale of fireworks.