This overseas French territory in the South Pacific comprises the Marquesas Islands, Society Islands, Tuamotu Archipelago (including Gambier Islands), and Tubuai Islands. Tahiti, in the Society Islands, is large and well known for its mountainous landscapes, but many of the islands in French Polynesia are merely flat coral reefs and atolls.
The weather and climate are typical of a tropical oceanic environment. Very similar conditions prevail throughout the year, with high temperatures and humidity. The daily range of temperature is quite small - about 4°-5°C/10°F. There is abundant rainfall. Being south of the equator, French Polynesia has its season of maximum rainfall between November and March or April. Rainfall is moderate to heavy and occurs in all months. Tropical storms of the cyclone or typhoon type are less frequent here than in the western Pacific but do occur occasionally. Weather can be quite variable from day to day. Periods of continuous rain lasting a day or more are not unusual, but much rain comes in heavy afternoon or evening downpours after an otherwise fine, sunny day.
The climate is generally healthy and pleasant; the moderately high temperature and humidity are tempered by brisk daytime winds, either as afternoon sea breezes or as predominant southeast trade winds.
The tables for Papeete on Tahiti and Makatea in the Tuamotu group of islands are representative of French Polynesia.
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