What is the Weather Like in Samoa in May?
Welcome to winter in Samoa! However, it’s probably not winter as you know it… Samoa’s winter means balmy days, warm seas and marginally fewer rainy spells compared to the months before. In short, the weather in Samoa in May is enough to satisfy any beach lover who doesn’t mind ducking from the rain on occasion. While May is by no means the busiest season for tourists, jet-setters arrive on the islands in increasingly larger numbers as the month goes on. So, learn about the typical temperatures, rainfall and more in this guide to the Samoa weather in May.
Before we jump into this weather guide for May, 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.
5 Tips for Visiting Samoa in May
- May is considered a tourist shoulder season in Samoa, so look out for good deals on flights and accommodation
- With the exception of beach fales, you will need to book accommodation, as well as flights, at least two weeks (or more) in advance
- Note that Mother’s Day, the Monday after the second Sunday in May, is a public holiday, so expect most businesses (but not natural attractions) to be closed
- Wear high-factor reef-safe sunscreen to protect your skin and the coral
- While May is during the “dry season”, know that it could still rain at any time. However, due to the high temperatures, it is usually more comfortable to let the balmy breeze dry you out rather than wearing a rain jacket.
Typical Temperatures in May
Locals will say that Samoa’s “winter” is on its way, mainly due to the humidity not being quite as extreme as in previous months. But to visitors, it will feel far from your typical winter with temperatures reaching average highs of 30°C / 86°F, while the lowest temperatures experienced in May are around 24°C / 75°F, often at night.
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 29°C / 84°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 May
Samoa has warm sea temperatures all year round including in May when they are still at their highest. Sea temperatures in May are at an average of 29°C / 84°F.
Hours of Sun in May
Typical of a winter season, the days start to get shorter in Samoa in May. Nevertheless, “short days” in Samoa might not be considered that short with the average daylight hours still being around 11 hours a day! Sunshine hours are typically around 7 hours a day, which is more than what’s experienced in the previous months.
UV Levels During May
While UV levels drop significantly compared to Samoa’s summer months, the UV levels are still at 9 UV index around midday – that’s very high! Be sure to wear high-factor sunscreen. For advice on sunscreen, take a look at The Best Sunscreens for Samoa + Sun Protection Tips.
Sunrise and Sunset During May
May has daylight hours lasting about 11 hours a day in Samoa.
- Sunrise: 06.36 am at the beginning of May and 6.44 am at the end of May
- Sunset: 6.13 pm at the beginning of May and 6.06 pm at the end of May.
Rainfall in May
While it’s officially the “dry season” that doesn’t mean that the rain has gone for good. Yes, May does still experience some rainy days, typically 9 days out of the month on average. Heavy showers are usually short-lived, however, not causing too much delay to your travel plans or sunbathing sessions.
Samoa receives an average of 205 mm / 8.1″ of rainfall in the month of May, with around 9 days of the month experiencing rain.
Average Rainfall Across Samoa
- Apia, Upolu – The average rainfall in May is 205 mm / 8.1″
- Lalomanu, Upolu – The average rainfall in May is 198 mm / 7.8″
- Salelologa, Savai’i – The average rainfall in May is 205 mm / 8.1″
- Fagamalo, Savai’i – The average rainfall in May is 205 mm / 8.1″.
Tropical Storms in May
The South Pacific cyclone season starts in November and ends in April, so it’s highly unlikely that a tropical cyclone will occur in Samoa in May. Nevertheless, it’s always best to be prepared, as small-scale cyclones have historically developed across the South Pacific in May. Check out our tips in our guide, Cyclone Safety in Samoa.
The Best Places to Visit in Samoa in May
May is a good time to visit either one of the islands of Samoa thanks to the lower tourist numbers, generally better travel deals and idyllic weather. While we list both of the destinations in Samoa in The Best Islands to Visit in Samoa for inspiration, here’s a quick overview:
Upolu – Upolu is the most popular island to visit in Samoa yet a little quieter in May before the high season really kicks in. Take advantage of its well-developed tourism scene, such as resorts, tours and activities. Showers are often short and sweet in May, so shouldn’t put too much of a damper on your travel plans. Find out more about what Upolu is all about in the 50 Best Things to Do on Upolu.
Savai’i – For South Seas tranquillity, opt 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 experiences, and hop from one lava cave to the next. See what Savai’i is all about in the 50 Best Things to Do on Savai’i.
Or better yet, visit them both! Check out our The Best Samoa Itineraries for 2 Week / 14 Days and The Best Samoa Itineraries for 10 Days, which gives you plenty of ideas to make the most of both islands.
May Packing List for Samoa
Be prepared for Samoa in May by packing these few seasonal essentials:
- Light clothing layer (linen, bamboo or merino preferably so it is super light – we like the sustainable bamboo clothing of Moso Morrow)
- Light long-sleeved tops (to cover from the sun and take the edge off those slightly cooler nights)
- Light pants/trousers (to cover the knees when appropriate – in villages or church services or to protect from mosquitoes when hiking, 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 in Samoa)
- Insect repellent
- High-factor sunscreen (that’s reef-safe and water-resistant).
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 May
That’s it for our complete guide to the weather and climate in Samoa in May. 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 April
- Samoa Weather in June
- Samoa Weather in July
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.