Broome’s weather has often been described as having only two seasons, the Wet and the Dry but this is far from true.
- Mankala from December to March - this is the rainy season, with magnificent sunsets and storms.
- Marul begins around April – the weather is still hot and the humidity high. Soon the rain will stop.
- Wirralburu begins around May – The temperature starts to cool.
- Barrgana from June to August .. Winter, the sea and nights are cooler. Whales can be seen migrating north along the coast.
- Wirlburu begins around September, a transition time when the weather starts to warm up.
- Larja from October to November – This is the time of the build-up to the Wet. The days are very hot and the air is humid.
Broome’s tourist season begins from as early as May, reaches its peak in July and goes through to September. Many tourists are traveling north to escape the winter months in the south of the continent.
July for locals is “cold”! Out come the jumpers and scarves and swimming in the ocean, takes a brave soul unless you go in the middle of the day.
So the best time in Broome from this locals point of view is May or September. Why? Well the tourists have started to thin out and the water is not too cold and not too hot and the days although a little hot in the middle, are beautiful in the mornings and the evenings.
I also like our wet season, although many would disagree, as it is sticky hot, with temperatures reaching as high 35 degrees C but I like it because the locals seem to come out of the woodwork, the frangipani’s are blossoming, along with poincianas, golden showers and yellow jacarandas. Also in November, is when the Mangoes are ready for gorging on.
Take your camera and stroll along the beach near sunset or sunrise, and you will be rewarded with majestic cumulus nimbus cloud formations, that give off silky pinks, and gorgeous blues or vibrant oranges and sparkly golds. Sometimes you can see the storm clouds rolling in over the ocean but you best be quick and near your car when the clouds break open. Rain in the wet season is to be experienced, it absolutely buckets down and you will be drenched within moments.
I love sitting on my front verandah, listening to the cracks of thunder and watching the palm trees sway with huge electrical displays right across the sky. Because it is warm, I sometimes run out in the rain with my shampoo and conditioner and wash my hair.
We live in a modern world, with air-conditioned cars, houses and shops, so the sticky weather is not such a burden. Many people refer to the wet season as the silly season, with tempers rising along with the heat and this is true where people are unable to escape the relentless humidity.
Broome is also subject to cyclones and although we haven’t received any harm from one since Rosita back in 2000, there are always cyclones traveling up and down the coast mainly from end of December to end of February. Cyclones traveling along our coast, for me, means lots of rain, and the cooling down of temperatures and often a good wet season can be weatherwise, a very cool experience. I have experienced cyclone Rosita and the noise is quite incredible, my garden was shredded but Broome luckily received no extensive damage to property or lives although Eco Beach Resort directly across from Roebuck Bay took a direct hit and was demolished.
So the best time to visit? Well that is a personal choice, if you like the cold come in July, if you like the heat, come in January.