What is the Weather Like in Samoa in December?
December is a lively time to be in Samoa in terms of both local Christmas celebrations and the weather! The wet season is in full swing in December with heavy but least short downpours. Travellers also need to be aware of cyclone warnings. Nevertheless, there are often still some long sunny days to enjoy, which, when combined with the high humidity, makes it all the more refreshing to jump into the glorious South Pacific Ocean. Find out more about the temperatures, rainfall and more in this guide to the Samoa weather in December.
Before we jump into this weather guide for December, be sure to bookmark Samoa Weather, Seasons & Climate + Samoa Weather by Month, as well as The Best Time to Visit Samoa: A Month-by-Month Guide for more advice.
5 Tips for Visiting Samoa in December
- Book your flights early for this busy time of the year
- Pack insect repellent, as mosquitos are more active during the wet season – see the 10 Ways to Avoid Mosquito Bites in Samoa for tips
- Don’t expect much activity to happen around the islands during Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve – it’s best to retreat to your resort, visit natural attractions, or join the celebrations until services open again
- The UV levels are high in December, so be sure to apply high-factor sunscreen regularly
- Don’t be put off by the heat – most accommodations are equipped with either air-conditioning or ceiling fans or are breezy beach fales designed to keep you cool at night.
Typical Temperatures in December
December is part of the summer season in Samoa, with the maximum daytime temperature averaging around 30°C / 86°F while the minimum average nighttime temperature is 24°C / 75°F. However, it can often feel even hotter with the high humidity experienced throughout the month. Sea temperatures are high too, giving further reason to jump in the water… Like if you needed a reason anyway!
Temperatures Across Samoa
- Apia, Upolu – The average maximum temperature is 30°C / 86°F and the minimum average temperature is 24°C / 75°F
- Lalomanu, Upolu – The average maximum temperature is 30°C / 86°F and the minimum average temperature is 24°C / 75°F
- Salelologa, Savai’i – The average maximum temperature is 30°C / 86°F and the minimum average temperature is 24°C / 75°F
- Fagamalo, Savai’i – The average maximum temperature is 30°C / 86°F and the minimum average temperature is 24°C / 75°F.
Sea Temperature in December
Samoa’s sea temperatures are warm and comfortable for swimming in all year round. In December, the temperature of the sea is usually at its highest, around 29°C / 84°F.
Hours of Sun in December
December will not disappoint when it comes to the sun. The days are long and hot and the sun rises early in the morning. Early birds will get to do plenty during the cooler morning, while there are ways to cool down by the pool or on the beach when the sun reaches its zenith.
An average day in Samoa in December lasts 13 hours and features up to 6 hours of bright sunshine, usually around midday. Applying sunscreen, wearing sunglasses and a sunhat is a must at this time of the year. Plus, it’s a Christmas look that will make everybody jealous back at the office!
UV Levels During December
UV levels in December are at their highest, peaking at 11+ on the hottest days. Those levels are classified as “extreme” meaning that visitors are advised to apply sunscreen regularly; every couple of hours or after going in the water. For the palest skin, consider investing in UV-protective T-shirts as well – they are a great way to deal with this kind of sun.
We’ve got a lot of information to help you better deal with the Samoa sun. First, a reef-safe sunscreen list that will keep your skin and the amazing coral of the islands safe, and second, a list of the best sunscreen for kids.
Sunrise and Sunset During December
December has daylight hours lasting about 13 hours a day in Samoa.
- Sunrise: 06.50 am at the beginning of December and 7.02 am at the end of December
- Sunset: 7.42 pm at the beginning of December and 7.58 pm at the end of December.
Rainfall in December
The wet season is in full swing in December. In fact, it’s one of the months that receives the most rainfall in Samoa. However, the average days of rainfall are still quite low at around 11 days of December typically experiencing rain. This means that showers are incredibly short but more regular. It is not uncommon in December to see torrential rain come for only 15 minutes.
Samoa receives an average of 372 mm / 14.6″ of rainfall in the month of December, with around 11 days out of December experiencing rain.
Average Rainfall Across Samoa
- Apia, Upolu – The average rainfall in December is 372 mm / 14.6″
- Lalomanu, Upolu – The average rainfall in December is 344 mm / 13.5″
- Salelologa, Savai’i – The average rainfall in December is 357 mm / 14.1″
- Fagamalo, Savai’i – The average rainfall in December is 357 mm / 14.1″.
Tropical Storms in December
Historically, December has been one of the worst months for cyclones affecting Samoa. Cyclones occurred in December 1831, 1839, 1840, 1842, 1848, 1875, 1890, 1925, 1926, 1930, 1939, 1941, 1946, 1950 and 1962. One of Samoa’s worst recorded cyclones was Cyclone Val (December 1991), which caused 13 deaths and an estimated US$280 million in damage, including homes and agricultural crops.
In more recent times, Cyclone Heta (December 2003) caused isolated flooding, damaged power lines and injured around 20 people. Cyclone Evan (December 2012), however, was more severe, causing 14 deaths and estimated damage of around ST$465 million.
If you want to avoid the risk of cyclones in Samoa, it’s best to travel in the dry season. For those planning to travel during March, be aware of what to do if there is a cyclone alert by following our guide, Cyclone Safety in Samoa.
The Best Places to Visit in Samoa in December
Celebrating Christmas is serious stuff for Samoans, so visiting more populated areas, like Upolu, can be a fun experience during this time of the year. On the other hand, Upolu can be busy over the Christmas period, so if you’re looking for tropical tranquillity, head to Savai’i.
Upolu – Upolu is the most popular island to visit in Samoa and more so in December with both locals visiting family and internationals seeking a tropical Christmas. If you enjoy the “buzz” of this time of year combined with a stunning stay in a resort or beach fale, then Upolu is worth considering. Find out more about what Upolu is all about in the 50 Best Things to Do on Upolu.
Savai’i – Swap the buzz of Upolu for Samoa’s less-visited island. Discover historical sites reclaimed by jungles and lava, experience a more traditional slice of life through an array of authentic cultural activities, and hop from one waterfall to the next. See what Savai’i is all about in the 50 Best Things to Do on Savai’i.
Can’t decide between the two? Get your eyes on Visiting Samoa: Which is Better, Upolu or Savai’i?
December Packing List for Samoa
Be prepared for Samoa in December by packing these few seasonal essentials:
- High-factor reef-safe sunscreen
- Insect repellent
- Light bamboo, linen or merino layers (we like the sustainable bamboo clothing of Moso Morrow)
- Light long-sleeved tops (to cover from sun and mosquitoes)
- Light pants/trousers (to cover the knees when appropriate – villages or church services, for example)
- Rash vest (we like the UV-protecting Sharkskin rashies)
- Closed walking shoes
- Sarong (lavalava – you can always buy one once you arrive in Samoa at The Best Places to Buy Souvenirs)
- A Christmas gift for the family you are staying with if doing a homestay, for example.
Get more ideas on what to pack with our guide, What to Pack for Samoa: FULL Samoa Packing List.
More About the Weather in Samoa in December
That’s it for our complete guide to the weather and climate in Samoa in December. Check out the following articles for more weather advice:
- Samoa Weather, Seasons & Climate + Samoa Weather by Month
- The Best Time to Visit Samoa: A Month-by-Month Guide
- Samoa Weather in October
- Samoa Weather in November
- Samoa Weather in January
Finally, enjoy a comprehensive guide to planning a trip to Samoa in The Best Samoa Travel Guide: Plan a Trip to Samoa the EASY Way.