Weather Conditions in Sri Lanka
For such a small country, the weather of Sri Lanka is slightly temperamental. Since this island nation is influenced by two separate monsoon patterns, it is not only important but imperative to keep this fact in mind, before you decide on the best time to visit Sri Lanka. What this also means is that there will be pleasant weather in some or the other part of the island, mostly throughout the entire year.
Owing to Sri Lanka’s position being closer to the Equator, the temperature and weather in the country continues to be mostly constant throughout the year. Low-lying areas and the coasts of Sri Lanka experience average day temperatures of between 26 to 30 degree Celsius, which makes it the best time to travel to Sri Lanka for travellers who enjoy summer.
In Kandy, the average temperature decreases with altitude, often reducing it to 18 degree Celsius and even lower on some days. Temperatures in Nuwara Eliya can reduce to an amiable 14 to 17 degree Celsius, making the nights chilly and sometimes closer to freezing. Ideal for winter souls!
Humidity throughout the country is often high everywhere and can go up to 90% sometimes. Whereas in the southwest as well as across the rest of the island, humidity mostly averages between 60-80%.
Although global warming has disrupted the already complex weather patterns throughout the world, the basic pattern for the weather in Sri Lanka differs notably, depending on each year.
The best time to go to Sri Lanka is between the months of January and March. You’ll be able to bask in the warm sunshine while the cool breeze embraces you. The average temperature in Hill Country would mostly be cooler than the cities while the white beaches on the west and south coasts remain sunny.
If you’re a beach bum and like an exotic tan on vacation, we’d say the best time to visit Sri Lanka would arguably be in the month of April. Being the hottest and driest month of the year, the central regions of the country experiences temperatures ranging up to 35 degree Celsius. An ideal time to laze on the beach with long, sunny days and clear, blue skies. But if you do so, you must ensure that you keep yourself hydrated and avoid going out in the hotter hours of the day, generally between 11am and 3pm.
The months of May to August see the Yala monsoon season bring rain towards the west and south coasts of the country. So, if you’re the kind of person who has a platonic relationship with rain, this season is the best time to visit Sri Lanka. Since this season is mostly considered as the low season, most beaches, resorts and inns would be sparsely crowded. Low nationwide prices during these months also make it the best season to go to Sri Lanka for vacationers on a budget.
If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like to set a particular agenda or itinerary for yourself, the best time to travel to Sri Lanka would in the months of April or between September to November. You have the best odds at pleasant weather throughout the country but prepare yourself for New Year celebrations in mid-April which could lead to the local and international transport getting pretty crowded.
The Maha monsoon on the other hand, is less severe and hits the east coast of the country from November to March. An inter-monsoonal period also hits the country prior to the Maha monsoon in October and November. This season is mostly interspersed with heavy rainfall and thunderstorms which can occur ANYWHERE within the country.
The heavier of the two monsoons that this island nation experiences, is the north-east monsoon, beginning in the months of October and November. Even though the name suggests that these rains affect only the ‘north-east’ part of the country, in reality, it affects the entire nation. This kind of weather is pretty erratic because sometimes it becomes wild and strong, and at other times, it rarely shows up at all!
If you’re a party person, December is usually the best time to visit Sri Lanka. The monsoon winds decrease, and the weather is nice and warm with dry winds blowing across the terrain. In the past few years though, there have been occurrences where the monsoon rains have extended up to the month December. But in case you’re planning to travel to the rural parts of the country, these lasting rains encourage the landscape to become extraordinarily scenic and lush green, making it the best time to go to Sri Lanka.
Practically, depending on your route and the weather pattern; if you’re heading to the east coast, the best time to visit Sri Lanka and enjoy the lovely weather would be in April and May till September. But in case you plan on seeing the west and south coasts or the Hill Country, the months through December and March would be ideal.
To sum up the entire information, all these variations in temperatures should lead you to ask yourself one question, ‘Which part of Sri Lanka do you want to visit?
In case you want to go for a trip to the west and south or the Hill Country, the ideal time to visit would be the months of December to March.
If you want to head to the east coast, then April and May to September would be the best time!
In any case, you will never regret visiting this exquisite country, whatever time you visit. Just pick any one of Sri Lanka travel packages from SOTC and get ready for a tropical island holiday.