Country guides Asia
Climate in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's tropical climate is characterised by distinct wet and dry seasons, but there is virtually no distinction between the seasons as far as temperature is concerned, as conditions are always hot and humid. However, the occurrence of two monsoons makes the island's weather a little more complicated for travellers.
In the southwest, the Yala Monsoon brings heavy rain from May to August, and the dry season lasts from December to March. The Maha Monsoon, on the other hand, brings rain to the northern and eastern parts of the island from October to January, with the dry season lasting from May to September. The southwest receives a lot more annual rainfall than the north and east, and an intercontinental monsoon period can also cause rainfall across the island in October and November. The average temperature in Colombo and other coastal regions is 81F (27C).
Generally, the best time to visit Sri Lanka is from December to March for the west and south coasts and the Hill Country, and from April to September for the ancient-cities region and the east coast. Peak tourist season is from December to March, when many visitors head to Sri Lanka to escape the European winter.