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Vibrant, multicultural and alive with colour, Sri Lanka has many incredible sights and landmarks to discover. If you’re trying to decide when to visit Sri Lanka then you’ll discover that whilst temperatures are fairly consistent year-round, the weather can seem to change dramatically from one day to the next. Fortunately, Sri Lanka is an exceptionally beautiful holiday destination no matter what the weather, and has warm temperatures that will appeal even on the wettest of days.
From January through February and into March, average rainfall levels steadily increase from their lowest. In Sri Lanka January is normally the driest month of the year, February follows not far behind and there is on average a slightly more considerable leap in rainfall levels in March. In April rainfall is spread out over a larger number of days, and so you can usually expect short periods of wet weather in a largely dry month. With average temperatures being a fairly consistent 27°C to 29°C all year round (with average highs of 32°C and average lows of 23°C), these months in particular are very popular times to visit. The start of the year is generally seen as the best time for more predictable warm and dry weather.
May is the wettest month of the year, on average. Rainfall levels of almost 400mm are typical, but in a country with spectacular National Parks like the Yala and the Udawalawe, where there are wide waterholes and powerful waterfalls to appreciate, this hardly seems to matter except in the strongest storms when you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied in the dry indoors. Monsoons can affect the south-west of the island in May, but standing in the presence of elephants and watching heavy raindrops dance off the water’s surface is an atmospheric experience, and temperatures are high enough that you won’t feel chilly even if your clothes get soaked. May has an average temperature of 29°C, with average lows and highs of 26°C and 31°C.
In June, July and August, rainfall levels are quite low and temperatures average 28°C, with average highs of 30°C and average lows of 25°C. You’ll likely experience short bursts of rain on many days, but will typically have the opportunity to enjoy a dry and sunny Sri Lanka. The occasional rain and the warmth combine, to create beautiful natural settings that you can visit and enjoy even when the sun isn’t shining. Most of the time, however, the sun will be shining on your favourite spot on the beach.
Through September, October, November and December, rainfall levels dramatically rise and then drop again. October and November can sometimes see monsoons hitting the north-eastern part of the island and spreading throughout the rest of it. Remaining warm with temperatures averaging 27-28°C and with average highs and lows of 30°C and 23°C, Sri Lanka doesn’t lose any of its appeal through the later part of the year, though in October you can expect to experience rain most days, which is certainly worth preparing for.
Please view this as an indicative guide of the typical seasonal weather you could expect and not a definitive forecast.