Sri Lanka Climate

Summary:
Sri Lanka’s tropical climate generally offers warmth and sunshine throughout the year. In Colombo and the west coast, noon temperatures range between 28-32C in Colombo and peak in April before the monsoon rains. Daytime temperatures average about 10C cooler in the hill country.
Humidity ranges between 70-90 percent in Colombo, lower in the highlands and cultural triangle. Ocean breezes also moderate temperatures on the coast.
Rainfall is becoming increasingly unpredictable. Sri Lanka averages about 240cms a year, slightly above the UK national average. But figures vary widely from region to region – as the rainfall map shows. The north and east of the island represent the Dry Zone, while the western slopes of the central highlands are wettest.

 

Monsoons:
Sri Lanka lies 400 miles north of the equator and is affected by two monsoon seasons caused by the winds originating from the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. The monsoon weather patterns in Sri Lanka ensure that some coastal waters are always in season for swimming, snorkelling, and diving.

The south-west monsoon (Yala) originates from the Indian Ocean and brings most rain to Colombo, the south, and west coasts during May/June.

The north-east monsoon (Maha) brings rain from the Bay of Bengal and affects the far north and east between December and February. In this dry zone, the monsoon makes up the vast majority of its rain for the year.

There are also inter-monsoon rains, usually in October/early November. During this period, tropical cyclones from the Bay of Bengal can bring overcast skies and rain to the south-west and east.

 

Climate guide: Colombo and west coast.

Month
Sun – (hrs)
Temp – (max)
(recent avge) – (min) 
Rainfall – (mm)
Jan
9
23
31
85
Feb
9
23
31
70
March
9
24
32
145
April
8
25
33
230
May
6
27
32
370
June
5
26
30
225
July
7
26
30
130
Aug
7
26
30
105
Sept
7
26
30
160
Oct
7
25
30
345
Nov
7
24
30
300*
Dec
8
23
30
140

 

* Most rain in first half of month.

Climate guide: Nuwara Eliya and the Highlands.

Month
Sun – (hrs)
Temp – (max)
(recent avge) – (min) 
Rainfall – (mm)
Jan
6
8
19
165
Feb
6
7
21
45
March
6
8
22
105
April
6
9
22
115
May
6
12
22
170
June
6
13
19
270
July
6
13
19
290
Aug
6
12
19
190
Sept
6
12
19
220
Oct
6
11
20
260
Nov
6
11
20
235
Dec
6
9
20
190

 

Useful Links

Department of Meteorology Sri Lanka – www.meteo.gov.lk
Latest weather info from government’s meteorology department

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