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Planning To Visit Sri Lanka? But Still Not Sure Of The Best Time To Visit Sri Lanka

With the dry-weather still not consolidated over the western, southern Sri Lanka as usual, and most parts of the island coming under the raining every afternoon, this is the behaviour of the weather as of the first week of November 2019, which is a considerable shift from the normal weather pattern. With the changing weather pattern, You might be wonder when is the best time to visit Sri Lanka

When is the best time to visit Sri Lanka?

Dry weather settles over the island from Nov 2019- meteorological department Sri Lanka

The rough sea resulted due to the effect of monsoon from April to October 2019 has turned to placid water with enhanced visibility. The present fair weather condition (in the morning hours) in the western and southern Sri Lanka expected to remain until April 2020.

Following beaches become most suitable for beach holidays and sea-based activities over the next 6 months starting from November 2019…

  • Negombo Beach
  • Mt.Lavinia Beach
  • Wadduwa Beach
  • Kalutara Beach
  • Ambangoda Beach
  • Bentota/Beruwala Beach
  • Hikkaduwa Beach
  • Weligama/Mirissa Beach
  • Galle/Unawatuna/Matara Beach
  • Hambantota/Tangalle Beach
When is the best time to travel to Sri Lanka? November to April best time to travel to Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka dry weather from November to April
All beaches along the blue line are optimized for beach holidays with best weather conditions FROM NOVEMBER TO APRIL

The weather report of the meteorological department of Sri Lanka predicts fair weather over most parts of the island as of 7th Nov 2019. There had been a notable change in the weather pattern in the first week of November, however, now it is turning to the usual weather conditions making the south and western parts of Sri Lanka including central mountain range suitable for outdoor activities. The rough sea resulted due to the effect of monsoon has turned to placid water with enhanced visibility. The present fair weather condition in the western and southern Sri Lanka expected to remain until April 2020.

As the weather turned to normal from 2nd week of November over the western and southern coast of Sri Lanka, it has turned to the best beach holiday destination in the island. In fact, From November to April is the best time of the year to explore the islands west and southern coast due to the warm sunny weather, enabling the travellers to engage in activities such as beach hopping, sunbathing, snorkelling, diving and many other saltwater activities.

October 2019 had been a rainy month and the first week of November as well. Usually, the November is a dry month for western and southern sri lanak and mountains. Main tourist traffic starts to come to the island in the month of November and continues until April of the following year. This period is the best time of the year to have a beach holiday in beach areas of western and southern sri Lanka, where rainfall is at a minimum. Most importantly the see turns to be very calm and quiet allowing all form of saltwater activities such as swimming, boating, diving, snorkelling and all Other saltwater activities.

Bad weather in the month of October

Weather in the month of October (October 2019) was unfavourable for holidays in Sri Lanka due to the heavy rain throughout the country. We have seen a shift in the weather pattern in October 2019. The weather in Sri Lanka in the month of October usually wet. However, towards the end of the month, the dry weather consolidates over most parts of the country, especially south-west Sri Lanka in order to welcome the main tourist season. However, according to the met department, the showery conditions of Sri Lanka expected to remain until the first week of November.

Weather is perhaps the single most important factors when it comes to selecting the holiday destination. Therefore, I thought of making this note on Sri Lanka weather, to help our readers to get more insight on Sri Lanka weather pattern and choose the best time to travel to Sri Lanka. In fact, a large number of our readers ask questions like “when is the Sri Lanka rain season ?“, “when is the Sri Lanka dry season ?“, “What is the Sri Lanka weather in November ?” and “when is the best time to book Sri Lanka tours ?” etc. So, I think this article going help most travellers who are curious about Sri Lanka weather pattern. If you need further information on this subject please don’t hesitate to write to me.

The latest report from the met department confirmed that Sri Lankan weather will be turned to the usual weather pattern from the second week of November 2019. October had been a rainy month and the first week of November as well. Usually, the November is a dry month for western and southern sri lanak and mountains. Main tourist traffic starts to come to the island in the month of November and continues until April of the following year. This period is the best time of the year to have a beach holiday in beach areas of western and southern sri Lanka, where rainfall is at a minimum. Most importantly the see turns to be very calm and quiet allowing all form of saltwater activities such as swimming, boating, diving, snorkelling and all Other saltwater activities.

The showery conditions expected to continue over the first week of November 2019, which is a direct result of the depression originated in the Bay of Bengal. The most parts of Sri Lanka was under heavy rain throughout the month of October and the rain expected to continue further making that November 2019 is not the best time to visit Sri Lanka in 2019. Usually, November is a good month to travel with dry-weather over the west and southern parts of Sri Lanka. However, according to the meteorological department, the rain expected to occur in the evening over most parts of the island.

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Sri Lanka weather had been dominated by rain throughout the month of October. October is, however, a rainy month but during the month of October in 2019 the rainfalls had been increased compared to 2018. The rainfall resulted mainly through the depression originated in the Bay of Bengal. The rain persisted throughout the month of October, which is a notable shift from the usual weather pattern, normally towards the end of the month the dry weather settles over the most parts of Sri Lanka and rainfall suddenly diminishes from the south, west and north-west parts of the island as the south-west monsoon reduces its effect.

According to the meteorological department, dry weather is expected to dominate most parts of the island starting from November 2019. However, the evening rainfall expected over the southern and western provinces of Sri Lanka in the first week of November.

The weather is a major factor in deciding the best time to visit Sri Lanka (about Sri Lanka). Sri Lanka is a tropical country, the climate in Sri Lanka can be described as summer climate throughout the year. The main factors that are shaping the Sri Lanka weather are identified as temperature, rainfall and wind. While being located in the tropics, the influence of the Indian Ocean, proximity to the Indian mainland and central mountain range are the minor factors.

The climate is under the influence of Monsoon in the Indian subcontinent. Seasonal monsoon wind is the main contributor of the island’s rainfall that has six months changing the pattern, Summer monsoon (from April to November) and winter monsoon (November to April). The central part of the island, which is mainly comprised of mountains, shows a totally different climate than the rest of the country. Summer monsoon or North-East monsoon brings the rain from April to November and soaks the North, East, Southern and some parts of the Island’s central region.

Sri Lanka is located between the 5 and 9.5 of north latitudes hence Sri Lanka weather can be described as warm and humid like in most of the tropical countries. The average temperature of the South-West part of the country records around 28C. The northern and eastern part of the country experiences a warmer climate, which measured to be around 30C.

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Temperature

There is a large difference between the temperature along the coastal belt and the mountains in the central part of the country. Every hundred meters above the sea level resulted in a reduction of the temperature by 1 Grade celsius; Since the island is surrounded by the Indian Ocean temperature on the land is moderated by the sea wind. Even the high temperature is moderated by the sea wind. The rainfall is considered as a major factor in deciding the weather of Sri Lanka. The country is divided into three climatic zones depending on the rainfall namely dry zone, wet zone and arid zone.

The monsoon rain that soaks the island throughout the year is a major factor in deciding the best time to visit Sri Lanka.  The temperature of South-West Sri Lanka considerably drops during the South-West monsoon and the North-East monsoon reduces the temperature of North-East parts of the country.

Being an island close to the equator temperature of Sri Lanka estimated to be between 29 to 33 ˚C in the lower elevations, such as beach areas. The temperature in the island greatly differs in some parts of the country depending on the elevation. The central mountain records the highest variation of temperature. The temperature fluctuates from 20°C to -2°C resulting in frost in the evening and night. Temperature fluctuation is comparatively low in the low-altitudes, where the temperature lies between from about 35°C to 28°C. Day and night temperature variation in the low altitudes mostly recorded as 4°C.

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May to June, is the hottest period of the year and February records the minimum rainfall in the island, making it the best time to visit Sri Lanka. Yearly rainfall of the country is influenced by the monsoon wind, which occurs from Nov to April (North-East monsoon) and from April to Nov (South-West monsoon). Summer monsoon wind enters the island from South-West borders of the country and goes up upon encountering the Central Highland. Different parts of the country are soaked by the monsoon rain in the different periods of the year, making it rain somewhere in the country at any given time. Also, the monsoon pattern is very generous and giving the opportunity to travellers to have a holiday at any time of the year either in North-East Sri Lanka or South-West Sri Lanka. 

The rising wind forms the clouds and uploads heavy rains in the South-West part of the country. Average rainfall in the region, where the summer monsoon occurs (wet zone) measured between 2500 mm – 5000 mm and nearly 30% of the island is coming under the wet zone. Rest of the country records half of the yearly rainfall as the wet zone. Where the rainfall is measured between 1250 mm to 2500 mm. dry zone mainly benefits from the winter monsoon that occurs from Nov-Apr.

Humidity

High humidity is recorded in the South-West part of the country, where the moisture accumulates due to the constant wind from the Indian Ocean. The humidity of the South-West part of the country measured as high as 95% especially during the monsoon, while the average humidity is recorded as 85%. The humidity of the lower elevation measured around 85% making it adding some discomfort for the existing high temperature.

Constant wind of the beaches makes it more comfortable to live around the coastal best than the cities that are away from the coast. At the higher elevation of the island, is the more comfortable climate with low temperatures around 25˚C. Nuwara Eliya the highest elevated city in the island records the lowest temperature in the island. The temperature of Nuwara Eliya can fall up to -2 ˚C after the sunset in the months of November and December. The highest temperature of the island recorded in the North and Eastern parts of the island between 35 to 37 ˚C average temperatures.

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North-East Sri Lanka records low humidity percentage compared to the wet zone due to the low percentage of moisture in the winds that enters the country from the North-East border of the country. When the winds come from the Indian mainland it comes across a land thereby contains the low amount of moisture. In the mountains at the elevation of 500m above the sea level average humidity ranges between 70% and 79%. Dry zone regions such as Anuradhapura shows less humidity compared to the wet zone and measured between 60% – 79%.

Rainfall

More than half of the island’s land area is covered by the North-East monsoon and the area is categorized under the dry zone. Estimated yearly rainfall in the dry zone areas of the island including Jaffna peninsula is 1500 to 2500 mm. The months of November, December and January considered being the main rain period of the year for the dry zone.  Yala and the surrounding of Katagarama are categorized under the arid zone with the minimum yearly rainfall in the island.  As the name suggests the area is dry for most of the year and the yearly rainfall estimated to be less than 1500 mm. The temperature of the dry zone is very high compared to the rest of the island and unlike other climate zones, most of the green cover is comprised of throne bushes.

West, South and South-West parts of the island are recording the highest rainfall in the island, which is between 2500 to 5000 mm. Wet zone of the island mainly comprised of low land of western Sri Lanka and western slope of the central mountain range. Winter monsoon is the main contributor of yearly rainfall of wet zone.

The monsoon wind enters the island from South-West part of the island and soaks the Western parts of the central mountains; the leeward side of the mountain range remains dry owing to the dry wind that resulted from the rain in the western part of the mountain range. The wind which passes in the direction of the eastern slope of the mountain range is called “Kachchan wind” and that increases the oppressive heat of the North and Eastern parts of Sri Lanka.

The unique pattern of the monsoon wind which changes its direction every six months makes Sri Lanka an ideal holiday destination (Sri Lanka weather, Sri Lanka rain season) with dry weather at any time of the year. Either east coast or west coast provides the best climate for outgoing activities at any time of the year. Some parts of the island stay dry and show the best climate for holiday at any given time of the year. When the North-East monsoon soaks the North and Eastern Sri Lanka west coast experience the dry weather while the South and Western Sri Lanka experience the rainy season from April to November, North and Eastern parts of the island experience the dry climate.

Effect of inter-monsoon

Sri Lankan weather is under the influence of North-East monsoon which occurs in January to March and South-West monsoon from May to October. The time in-between the two monsoons are known as inter-monsoon. During the intermonsoon, the island experiences the wet weather owing to inter-monsoon shower.

During the inter-monsoon mostly the rain occurred in the afternoon while the morning and mid-day stay dry and warm. According to the information of the Meteorology Department inter-monsoon rain period of inter-monsoon is widened in the recent time, due to the activation of the Inter-tropical Conversion Zone.

Lightning is very often with heavy rain during the inter-monsoon and Meteorology Department issues warning the public to take safety measures to avert the damages caused by lightning. The lightning is common on the island during inter-monsoon, especially in the month of April and which is called Bakmaha akunu. This weather pattern prevails in the island throughout the month of April and comes to end mid-MayMay, ahead of the South-West monsoon rain.

October is not the best time to visit Sri Lanka

Usually, Sri Lanka experiencing extreme weather conditions covering most parts of the country in the month of October, therefore October categorized as a month that is not the best time to travel in Sri Lanka. With the monsoon fully settled-in over teh most parts of the country frequent heavy rain occurs covering most parts of the island. The rain accompanies the heavy wind and lightning. Generally, October is a month that brings a lot of rain every year.

Apart from the heavy rain on the land, the sea around the country is also very rough and met-department urging the people to keep away from the sea. Therefore the sea is not suitable for a sea bath or any other recreation activities. Under-water current and gallant waves cripple the fishing industry during the month of October. Torrential rain in the mountainous area (west and southern Sri Lanka) comes under the landslide while some of the lower elevated areas are under the floodwater.

Every year, several areas in Colombo including Dematagoda, Armour Street, Kalubowila, Narahenpita, Pettah, Thummulla, Rajagiriya and Town Hall are also experiencing some difficulties due to the heavy rain. In some instances northern Sri Lanka, the eastern part of the island, as well as southern SriLanka (things to do in southern Sri Lanka), also comes under the water making many hardships for civilians.

The east coast of Sri Lanka is an emerging holiday destination in the country, the bad weather in October makes some unfavourable conditions for holidaymakers on the east coast as well. There were instances in which devastating effects due to the cyclone recorded in the east coast in the month of October. Usually, these cyclones are originated due to the changes in the atmosphere in the bay of Bengal.

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Best Time to visit Sri Lanka

Best time to visit Sri Lanka is largely dependent on the region where you choose for the beach holiday. Because of the monsoon effect mostly make an impact on the people who look for a sunbath. The effect of monsoon is very minimal for sightseeing tours because the travellers can visit the important sites in the morning hours and during the days before the monsoon rain hammer the area in the evening.

The rain is the largest fact that deciding the best time to visit in Sri Lanka because of the temperature, humidity, wind etc more or less the same throughout the island in the whole year. If you look for the best time to visit Sri Lanka you will not be able to find a specific period and make it the best time to visit Sri Lanka because Sri Lanka has the suitable dry weather for travellers at any time of the year. But you should carefully look into the dry part of the country. 

What Best time to visit Sri Lanka West coast and South-west Sri Lanka?

NOVEMBER TO APRIL IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT SRI LANKA’S WEST COAST AND SOUTHERN COAST.

South-west Sri Lanka attracts a large number of beach holiday lovers every year. Most of this tourist traffic arrive here during the north-east monsoon from November to April. From November to April north-east coast of Sri Lanka is soaked up with the torrential rain of monsoon wind. But the opposite side of the country is dry and warm making the best settings for beach holidays. Beaches such as Negombo, Bentota beach, Hikkaduwa, Weligama and other south coast areas attract a large number of tourist during this period. NOVEMBER TO APRIL IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT SRI LANKA WEST AND SOUTHERN COAST.

What Best time to visit Sri Lanka North-East coast?

APRIL TO NOVEMBER IS THE BEST TIME  TO TRAVEL TO SRI LANKA NORTH AND EAST COAST

Exactly the opposite of what we have written above. APRIL TO NOVEMBER IS THE BEST TIME  TO TRAVEL TO SRI LANKA NORTH AND EAST COAST. If you plan to visit Sri Lanka from April to November choose north and east coast beach resorts such as Arugam bay, kalkudah and pasikudh for your beach holiday. During this time the west and southern coast areas are battered by the monsoon and there are instances that travellers can’t escape from beach hotels for many days due to the rain.

Dry Weather Sri Lanka holiday calendar

January – good weather for traveller over the most parts of Sri Lanka

West coast is experiencing good weather conditions most of the days of the month with a sunny warm holiday-friendly climate. This is a month with low rainfall on the island. While the climate is dry on the west coast; east coast experiencing heavy rain during the month. This is the main rainy season of the east coast and frequent heavy rain is usual.

February – favourable for beach holidays

February is usually the driest month of the year. Dry weather is very prominent in the whole country other than the east coast.  This is a month with the highest number of tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka. The island has a very suitable setup for beach holidays and the ocean is calm and safe for sea bathing.

March- suitable weather for holidays

Another dry month of the year that attracts a large number of foreign travellers into the island. It is very warm during the month due to the closeness of the sun. Very high humidity also prevails throughout the sweaty month. Half of the beaches of Sri Lanka starting from north-west Sri Lanka to the west coast and to the southern tip of Sri Lanka is very suitable saltwater activities such as diving, snorkelling, fishing, swimming.

April-primarily a dry month

April is another very warm month while the sun is orbiting directly above the country. Warm conditions prevailed during the daytime as well as night. Casual rain may occur during the month and these rains called “Bakmaha akunu”. These rains accompany the lightning and mostly occurred in the late evening or at night. The ocean may not suitable for a bath on some occasions due to the rough sea and underwater current.

May-the advent of monsoon in the west coast of Sri Lanka

May is the month of the beginning of rainy season or monsoon. sudden rains occur during the month and they are known as “intermonsoon rain”. It is advisable to carry an umbrella or raincoat if you stay considerable time outside. Sudden rains can occur over the west and southern coast while the east coast enjoys a very sunny, warm and rain-free climate. Set off to the east coast if you like to have a holiday in Sri Lanka.

Rough sea over the west coast in June

June can be described as a rainy month with rough sea conditions on the west coast. Heavy rain is usual during the month and this is not the time for beach holidays on the west coast. The still east coast is very suitable for beach holidays.

Weather in Sri Lanka in July

Monsoon is starting g to settle over the west coast and soak the west and southern coastal regions. There can be heavy rain over most parts of the country, especially in the western province including west, south and central mountain range. But the east-coast the weather can be described as dry during the month.

Dry weather in Sri Lanka in August

August is a typically dry month of the year however the sea off the west and southern Sri Lanka is not favourable for saltwater activities. The sea off west and southern coast are not favourable for sea bath, snorkelling or diving. Guests on the west coast are severely warned against bathing in the sea during the month due to the underwater current that can be extremely hazardous for swimmers.

Sri Lanka Weather in September

September is a rainy month with heavy rainfall on the west coast. The oppressive heat of the sun is subdued by the frequent rain. September is a month that records the least number of tourist arrival every year and one reason is the rainy weather for the lowered number of travellers in the country.

October rainy weather in Sri Lanka

The south-west monsoon starts to lessen its effect on the coastal belt along the south and west Sri Lanka preparing the west and southern coastal regions for outdoor activities. The effect of south-west monsoon gradually decreases over the month of October, and the transitions complete before the advent of November.

October can be suitable for holidays during the latter half of the month, however, it is not the best time to visit Sri Lanka’s west and the southern coast. Unexpected rains occur often and sea conditions are still not favourable for a sea bath. During the latter half of the month, you see more sunny days than rainy days due to the changing of rainy weather conditions.

The changing weather pattern of Sri Lanka in November

November is considered one of the best months to visit Sri Lanka, and the tourist traffic gradually turning to teh direction of Sri Lanka. There is a notable upbeat of foreign tourist arrival on the month in the month of November and it remains over the next 6 months. November marks the start of the peak holiday season of Sri Lanka, from November to April, and 70% of foreign travellers touring the island during this period.

November is a relatively dry month and the west coast is suitable for holidays by now. The weather conditions on land as well as in the sea are very suitable for leisure activities. This is the start of tourist season on the west coast, which lasts until April.

Sri Lanka dry climate in December

December is another month with dry weather on the west coast. December is the best time to visit Sri Lanka, especially if you need to have a sun-drenched beach holiday in the western part of the country. Most travellers are heading to the west and southern coast during the month of December and enjoy very suitable weather for holidays.

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Sanjeewa Padmal (Seerendipity)

This blog is all about travelling in Sri Lanka, I am trying to illuminate my readers with a wide range of information related to Sri Lanka travel. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you need more information. Furthermore, we can organize your holiday package or any travel related requirement in Sri Lanka. Please contact us on admin@seerendipitytours.com... read more