Yes, you can scuba dive in the rain. However, it doesn’t come down to a straight yes or no answer, because it is very dependable upon the location, the type of dive, the weather conditions that accompanied the rain, and the entry or exit type.
Nonetheless, it is a sensible question to ask with the main concern coming down to how safe it is to dive in the rain.
Typically, it is safe to dive in the rain as long as it is not part of a storm or high winds. This combination will make the water dangerous to enter and it becomes more difficult to control the dive. Also, you want to make sure that your dive is still worth it and enjoyable.
The choppier currents aren’t the only thing to think about though, another leading factor is the temperature difference. Wind and rain can make it much more difficult for your body to stay warm when out of the ocean, and if the temperature is too extreme, this becomes a health risk.
At the end of the day, you do need to use your own judgment about whether you think it’s a good idea or not. A good guideline to go by is asking yourself a few questions first such as; Is it safe? Will it be fun? Am I experienced enough? Can I cope with it? – If all of the answers are yes, then it should be fine to go ahead with the dive.
Does Rain Affect Scuba Diving Visibility?
The rain does definitely affect diving visibility, but mainly when there has been heavy rain combined with low clouds or fog. If it is simply a gentle shower from a passing cloud then it shouldn’t have much impact.
Rain can affect visibility above water as well as within the water. This is something that people don’t consider as frequently but can have severe consequences. The last thing you want is to be stranded in the middle of the ocean.
If the visibility above water is compromised, it makes it very difficult for the boat to spot you when you surface. In heavy rain, the visibility above water will sometimes only stretch a metre or two, even if you’re close to land.
Beneath the surface, visibility is affected by water turbulence and minimal light penetration from overhanging clouds. The turbulence pushes around sediment and organic matter which in turn makes the water appear denser. This can last for several days even after the storm has passed.
Shore diving is impacted the most from water runoff from nearby rivers or other water sources, these can become pretty violent during heavy rain and extremely hard to see in.
As well as the safety concern, you need to consider whether the dive will even be much fun at all if you can’t actually see anything.
Water Visibility After Rain
Unfortunately, there is no quick and simple answer for this. How soon the water visibility will improve after it’s been raining depends on a large number of factors and generally comes down to the location of the dive.
Nearer to shore, you’re more likely to have ongoing visibility issues with runoff, which can have a drastic effect, so in this case, it’s better to wait. The further out to sea you are, the less likely you’ll have runoff problems. As well as this, local conditions will apply and, of course, how bad the rain was in the first place.
If you are diving in waters that are generally denser, it will take longer to clear. Naturally, water visibility is affected by turbidity, organic matter, thermoclines, and haloclines. The best recommendation is to wait a few days after rain before diving again.
My unbounded love for the oceans and everything it has to offer motivated me to pursue my passion and become a professional scuba diving instructor.
I keep reading, exploring, and learning more about scuba diving and the underwater world all the time, so I’m excited to share my knowledge with fellow scuba enthusiasts and hopefully contribute a little to your development as a diver. I want people to fall in love with the oceans with as much passion as I have. Read more about me here.