Quick Facts About Cuba
Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, with a total area of 42,500 sq miles and a population just over 11 million. The Cuban nation (Republic of Cuba) is in fact an archipelago comprised by the main island Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud or Isle of Youth (formerly known as Isle of Pines), and thousands of small islands dotting the waters around the main land mass. Cuba lies 93 miles to the South of the United States, separated by the Florida Straits.
The climate in Cuba is tropical, with very little variation on temperatures ranging from the 80’s in the summer months of June, July, and August to the 70’s in the winter. The lowest temperatures are associated with the Nortes, cold fronts moving across the sea from North America, although they are usually moderate by the time they reach the coasts of Cuba. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Cuba was 33º F just south of Havana, but temperatures in Cuba rarely go below 50º F. The northeast trade winds moderate the temperatures of the north coast of the island, and the temperatures are usually higher in the south. It can be particularly hot in Santiago de Cuba: facing the warmer Caribbean waters, and shielded from the trade winds by the Sierra Maestra mountains to the north.
There are two distinct seasons in Cuba: the dry season from November to April when rain is infrequent, and the rainy season from May to October when it rains an average of 50% of the days. These precipitations are usually heavy downpours but of short duration, and cool down the air in the afternoons. This is also the season for hurricanes, and due to its geographic location Cuba is in their path. Most hurricanes occur during August and September, and could be a very serious threat for their destructive power.