What is the Weather Like in Tonga in March?
March is a month in Tonga’s summer season, also known as the wet season. In fact, March is typically the wettest month of the year, where the extremes of the wet season are likely to be experienced. While cyclones are still a risk (albeit a small risk), the risk is not as prominent as in the two previous months. Nevertheless, those still seeking sun between the showers are still likely to find it, along with the rewarding experience of travelling Tonga during the low season. Check out the typical weather, including temperature, rainfall and more, in this guide to the Tonga weather in March.
Before we jump into this weather guide for March, be sure to bookmark Tonga Weather by Month: What is the Weather Like in Tonga? for more advice.
5 Tips for Visiting Tonga in March
- Allow extra time to travel between Tonga’s island groups, as flights and ferries often get cancelled in bad weather
- March is the low season in Tonga, so look out for good deals on flights and accommodation
- Also with the low season in mind, note that some tour operators close down for the season
- Make sure you always wear high-factor (and reef-safe) sunscreen to protect against the high UV levels
- Mosquitoes are more active during Tonga’s wet season, so pack insect repellent and check out the 10 Ways to Avoid Mosquito Bites in Tonga.
Typical Temperatures in March
Being in Tonga’s summer season, March is one of the warmest months of the year. Temperatures in March reach 31°C / 88°F, while the lowest temperatures are often around 23°C / 74°F. It’s also known to be humid in March – a truly tropical experience!
Temperatures Across Tonga
- Tongatapu & Nuku’alofa – The average maximum temperature is 30°C / 85°F and the minimum average temperature is 23°C / 74°F
- Vava’u – The average maximum temperature is 31°C / 88°F and the minimum average temperature is 24°C / 75°F
- Ha’apai – The average maximum temperature is 30°C / 86°F and the minimum average temperature is 24°C / 75°F
- ‘Eua – The average maximum temperature is 30°C / 85°F and the minimum average temperature is 23°C / 74°F
- The Niuas – The average maximum temperature is 31°C / 88°F and the minimum average temperature is 24°C / 75°F.
Sea Temperature in March
Although Tonga’s tropical waters are warm year-round, March is one of the months when sea temperatures are at their highest. Sea temperatures in Tonga are at an average of 28°C / 83°F in March.
Hours of Sun in March
Compared to January and February, Tonga’s days start to get a little shorter – from 13 daylight hours per day to 12 daylight hours. As for sunshine hours, expect around 5 hours of bright sunshine a day.
UV Levels During March
UV levels are at their highest in Tonga throughout March with levels being 12+ UV index around midday. Be sure to wear high-factor sunscreen! For advice on what sunscreen to apply, that’s safe for you and the reefs, see The Best Sunscreens for Tonga + Sun Protection Tips.
Sunrise and Sunset During March
March has daylight hours lasting about 12 hours a day in Tonga.
- Sunrise – 6:38 am at the beginning of March and 6:48 am at the end of March
- Sunset – 7:08 pm at the beginning of March and 6:42 pm at the end of March.
Learn more about the local time zone in What is the Tonga Time Zone?
Rainfall in March
Sure, March is one of the wettest months to be in Tonga, but showers are often short and heavy – often described as “liquid sunshine”. Typically, the island groups of Vava’u and Ha’apai get slightly more rain than Tongatapu, so try your chances on Tonga’s mainland to keep your rainy days to a minimum. Rain and low visibility for planes are often a reason for flight cancellations, giving another reason to stick to Tongatapu unless you have contingency time to spare. If you need a rainy day backup, check out the 15 Things to Do in Tonga on a Rainy Day.
Tonga receives an average of 206 mm / 8.1 in of rainfall in the month of March, with around 19 days out of March experiencing rain.
Average Rainfall Across Tonga
- Tongatapu & Nuku’alofa – The average rainfall in March is 206 mm / 8.1 in
- Vava’u – The average rainfall in March is 230 mm / 9.1 in
- Ha’apai – The average rainfall in March is 230 mm / 9.1 in
- ‘Eua – The average rainfall in March is 206 mm / 8.1 in
- The Niuas – The average rainfall in March is 305 mm / 12 in.
Tropical Storms in March
Historically, Tonga experienced a Category 3 cyclone, Cyclone Hina, in March 1997. This caused damage to crops on Tongatapu and ‘Eua, but there was not a lot of structural damage reported. However, power lines were brought down causing a complete blackout on Tongatapu.
Otherwise, there have also been tropical cyclones affecting Tonga in March in the years 1830, 1833, 1856, 1864, 1875, 1877, 1879, 1908, 1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1923, 1928, 1932, 1935, 1961 and 1963.
For those wishing to avoid all risk of experiencing a cyclone in Tonga, it’s best to avoid travelling to Tonga in March. Nevertheless, those willing to take a small risk can get advice from How to Prepare for a Cyclone in Tonga.
Best Places to Visit in Tonga in March
Visiting Tonga in March means visiting the islands during their quietest time in terms of tourist numbers. Enjoy island resorts and boutique accommodations seemingly all to yourself! Alternatively, explore one of the island’s hubs to experience the Easter celebrations in this highly religious nation.
Tongatapu – As domestic flights are often cancelled and ferry travel is sometimes a little uncomfortable in March, sticking to Tonga’s arrival island is certainly your “safe” option for a more predictable holiday. Enjoy beachside and forest resorts all to yourself and experience a passionate Easter service at one of the many churches around the island. Learn more about the island of Tongatapu in The Complete Guide to Tongatapu.
Ha’apai – Nowhere is more glorious for a serene island escape than the islands of Ha’apai in March. While getting there might require a bit of patience with unpredictable weather affecting transport, it’s definitely worth the wait to experience the islands’ idyllic resorts. Learn more about Ha’apai in The Complete Guide to Ha’apai.
March Packing List for Tonga
Be prepared for the sun, heat, humidity and rain in March! Here are just a few essentials to pack in your bags.
- High-factor sunscreen (that’s reef-safe too!)
- 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 – church service, for example)
- Rash vest (we like the UV-protecting Sharkskin rashies)
- Closed walking shoes
- Sarong (lavalava)
Get more packing inspiration with The Complete Packing List for Tonga.
More About the Tonga Weather
That’s it for our complete guide to the weather and climate in Tonga in March. Check out the following articles for more weather advice:
- 10 Reasons to Travel in the Low Season in Tonga
- Tonga Weather, Seasons & Climate + Tonga Weather by Month
- The Best Time to Visit Tonga