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Home > Sri Lanka Climate

Sri Lanka Climate & Weather Forecast

Sri Lanka Climate

Sri Lanka is tropical, with distinct dry and wet seasons. The seasons are slightly complicated by having two monsoons.

Monsoons

From May to August the Yala monsoon brings rain to the island’s southwestern half (Colombo, the south, central highland and west coasts) while the dry season here lasts from December to March. The southwest has the highest rainfall – up to 4000mm a year.

The Maha monsoon blows from October to February, bringing rain to the North and East, while the dry season is from May to September.

The North and East are comparatively dry, with around 1000mm of rain annually.

There are also inter-monsoonal periods in April- May and in October - November when rain can occur in many parts of the island.

Temperature

Colombo and the low-lying coastal regions have an average temperature of 27°C.At Kandy-midland (altitude 500m), the average temperature is 20°C, While Nuwara Eliya - Highland (at 1889m) has a temperate 16°C average. The sea stays at around 27°C all year.

Humidity

Humidity ranges between 70-90 percent in Colombo, lower in the highlands and cultural triangle. Ocean breezes also moderate temperatures on the coast.

Rainfall

Rainfall is becoming increasingly unpredictable. Sri Lanka averages about 202 cms a year, 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.

Climate Guide

  Temperature Rainfall
  Colombo & West Coast Nuwara Eliya & Highlands
  Average
High
Average
Low
Average
High
Average
Low
(MM)
  C F C F C F C F
Annual 31 87 25 77 20 68 10 51 202
January 31 88 23 73 19 66 08 46 58
February 31 88 23 73 21 70 07 45 73
March 32 90 24 75 22 72 08 46 128
April 33 91 25 77 22 72 09 48 246
May 32 90 27 81 22 72 12 54 392
June 30 86 26 79 19 66 13 55 185
July 30 86 26 79 19 66 12 54 122
August 30 86 26 79 19 66 12 54 119
September 30 86 26 79 19 66 12 54 245
Octomber 30 86 25 77 20 68 11 52 365
November 30 86 24 75 20 68 11 52 314
December 30 86 23 73 20 68 09 48 175

Useful Links
Department of Meteorology Sri Lanka (www.meteo.gov.lk)
Latest weather info from government’s meteorology department

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