Weather and Climate in Sri Lanka

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Weather: Due to the location of Sri Lanka, within the tropics between 5o 55′ to 9o 51′ North latitude and between 79o 42′ to 81o 53′ East longitude, the climate of the island could be characterized as tropical.

The central part of the southern half of the island is mountainous with heights more than 2.5 Km. The core regions of the central highlands contain many complex topographical features such as ridges, peaks, plateaus, basins, valleys and escarpments. The remainder of the island is practically flat except for several small hills that rise abruptly in the lowlands. These topographical features strongly affect the spatial patterns of winds, seasonal rainfall, temperature, relative humidity and other climatic elements, particularly during the monsoon season.

The Climate of Sri Lanka is dominated by the above mentioned topographical features of the country and the Southwest and Northeast monsoons regional scale wind regimes. The Climate experienced during 12 months period in Sri Lanka can be characterized in to 4 climate seasons as follows.

First Inter-Monsoon Season – March – April
Southwest Monsoon Season – May – September
Second Inter-Monsoon Season – October – November
Northeast Monsoon Season – December – February

Climate: Sri Lanka is blessed with a tropical climate, with temperatures remaining in the high 20s throughout most of the year. To soak up some sunshine, be sure to come during the dry seasons (June – August and December – March). The rest of the time it’s the monsoon season, so expect rain during this time.

Tips for Weather
Low Season (May–Aug)
The Yala monsoon season (May to August) brings rain to the south and west coasts plus the Hill Country. The weather in the North and East is best. Prices nationwide are at their nadir.

Shoulder (Apr & Sep–Nov)
April and September offer the best odds for good weather countrywide. New Year’s celebrations in mid-April cause transport to fill beyond capacity. A good time to wander without a set schedule of bookings.

High Season (Dec–Mar)
The Hill Country plus west- and south-coast beaches are busiest – and driest. With beds in demand, prices peak. The Maha monsoon season (October to January) keeps the East, North and Ancient Cities wet.

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