Bahamas Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Bahamas?

Overview:

The Islands of the Bahamas lie between 20 and 27°N latitude and 72 and 79°W longitude. Separated from the North American Continent by the Florida Channel and cooled in the summer by the northeast trade winds. The Bahamas extends over 100,000 square miles of sea, with slightly less than half lying in the Tropics. The Tropic of Cancer crosses the lower part of Long Island. Contrary to popular belief, the Bahamas is not in the Caribbean, but is in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Bahamas stretch over a distance of some 760 miles from northwest to southeast and includes 30 inhabited islands, 661 cays, and about 2,387 exposed reefs. The total land area is approximately 5,380 square miles, about the size of Wales or two‑thirds the size of Massachusetts. The largest island is Andros, with an area of 2,300 square miles and the smallest inhabited island is Spanish Wells, with an area of one-half mile. The highest point is 206‑foot high Como Hill on Cat Island. Some of the most beautiful beaches and lagoons in the world are located in the Bahamas.

Over 50 varieties of trees can be found here, including such exotic species as the African tulip, the casuarina, the cork tree, several varieties of palm trees, and about 40 varieties of fruit trees. In addition, large varieties of shrubs, climbers, vines, vegetables, and herbs are found here.

Geography - note:

strategic location adjacent to US and Cuba; extensive island chain of which 30 are inhabited

Climate:

There are no significant seasonal changes requiring winter clothing or central heating in the Bahamas. The rainy season is from May to October with an average in Nassau of six inches per month. From November through April, average rainfall is two inches per month. The hurricane season extends from June through November, the greatest risk being in August, September, and October.

In the winter, temperatures rarely fall below 60°F, and usually reach 77°F by mid-afternoon. During the summer, temperatures fluctuate between 85–90°F in the daytime and 75°F or less in the evening. Although humidity can reach about 80% (relative humidity for September is 82%), prevailing easterly winds lessen personal discomfort. Temperatures vary from a low of 76.7°F in January to a high of 89.1°F in August. Humidity causes mildew on leather and textile products, but homes equipped with central air‑conditioning or dehumidifiers neutralize the harmful effects.

Rainfall often occurs in the form of fairly intense showers, frequently accompanied by strong, gusty winds. These storms are usually short and are followed by clear skies. Weather conditions can change rapidly. Statistically, a hurricane can be expected to occur in some part of the Bahamas every nine years.

Bahamas Use of Natural Resources

Bahamas Environment

Climate:

There are no significant seasonal changes requiring winter clothing or central heating in the Bahamas. The rainy season is from May to October with an average in Nassau of six inches per month. From November through April, average rainfall is two inches per month. The hurricane season extends from June through November, the greatest risk being in August, September, and October.

In the winter, temperatures rarely fall below 60°F, and usually reach 77°F by mid-afternoon. During the summer, temperatures fluctuate between 85–90°F in the daytime and 75°F or less in the evening. Although humidity can reach about 80% (relative humidity for September is 82%), prevailing easterly winds lessen personal discomfort. Temperatures vary from a low of 76.7°F in January to a high of 89.1°F in August. Humidity causes mildew on leather and textile products, but homes equipped with central air‑conditioning or dehumidifiers neutralize the harmful effects.

Rainfall often occurs in the form of fairly intense showers, frequently accompanied by strong, gusty winds. These storms are usually short and are followed by clear skies. Weather conditions can change rapidly. Statistically, a hurricane can be expected to occur in some part of the Bahamas every nine years.

Terrain:

long, flat coral formations with some low rounded hills

Natural Resources:

salt, aragonite, timber, arable land

Natural Hazards:

hurricanes and other tropical storms cause extensive flood and wind damage

Irrigated Land:

4 Square Miles
10 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

coral reef decay; solid waste disposal

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Bahamas Geography

Geographic Location The Caribbean
Total Area 5,359 Square Miles
13,880 Square Kilometers
Land Area 3,865 Square Miles
10,010 Square Kilometers
Water Area 1,494 Square Miles
3,870 Square Kilometers
Irrigated Land 4 Square Miles
10 Square Kilometers
Coastline 2,201 Miles
3,542 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 24 15 N, 76 00 W
Terrain long, flat coral formations with some low rounded hills
Highest Point 63 Meters
Highest Point Location Mount Alvernia, on Cat Island 63 m
Lowest Point Location Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Natural Resources salt, aragonite, timber, arable land
Time Zone UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November
All Countries
Afghanistan Akrotiri Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burma Burundi Cabo Verde Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Clipperton Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cook Islands Coral Sea Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curacao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Dhekelia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Eswatini Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia, The Gaza Strip Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Holy See Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Jan Mayen Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, North Korea, South Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Islands Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Sudan, South Suriname Svalbard Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States (US) Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam Virgin Islands Wake Island Wallis and Futuna West Bank Western Sahara World Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe