The weather in Sri Lanka changes a lot in the fall and winter months. In Colombo, the southwest monsoon brings rains and thunderstorms, and in Nuwara Eliya, the northeast monsoon brings a dry season. However, both sides of the country experience rains during the summer months. Below, we have provided a brief guide on the weather in each region. During the monsoon season, the weather in Colombo and Nuwara Eliya is the same as in the rest of the country, except in the mountainous areas.
Colombo’s weather during the south-west monsoon
The rainy season in Colombo begins in mid-April and reaches its height in May. During this time, temperatures in Colombo range from 22 degC to 30 degC, making it a good time for sightseeing, but not for water-based activities. This is also the time when the Hindu festival of Diwali is celebrated. But the weather in Colombo during this time is also very humid and crowded, so you may want to avoid visiting during this time.
Sri Lanka has two seasons: a dry season from December to April and a monsoon season from mid-May to mid-September. The South-West monsoon affects the northern and eastern slopes of the island, while the North-East monsoon occurs in the north and south-east. Rainfall during the monsoon season is generally moderate and only reaches 100mm per month in Colombo.
Nuwara Eliya’s weather during the northeast monsoon
The climate in Nuwara Eliya is slightly different from the rest of tropical Sri Lanka. Its elevation means that temperatures in Nuwara Eliya tend to be lower than in the coastal town of Galle, where the temperature remains a constant 26degC. This means that you should avoid this area if you’re allergic to humidity. The cool winter months can bring temperatures as low as three degrees Celsius. During the daytime, however, these temperatures rise and the humidity is generally low.
Rainfall in Nuwara Eliya is highest in the second half of November. The northeast monsoon causes widespread rainfall and strong winds. However, the east coast enjoys a last good month of good weather before the rainy season begins. While temperatures may be comfortable in the coastal areas, they are much cooler and drier in the mountains. The northeast monsoon begins in October and lasts until November.
Colombo’s weather during the northeast monsoon
While the temperatures in Colombo are typically warm and muggy throughout December, the temperature does not drop significantly at this time of year. The average temperature is 27.5°C during the month, and the coldest night is only 22°C. Rainfall is minimal, with about 175 mm of rain falling per month. The average day lasts 11 hours 40 minutes, with about seven hours of sunlight.
During the northeast monsoon, rain falls on most of Sri Lanka’s highlands. The rains are heavier and continue to fall throughout the summer months, but gradually lessen as the monsoon season ends. During this period, thunderstorms can occur in the evening and early morning hours, but the rains in Colombo are often less intense. Although Colombo enjoys the wettest weather, the southwest region also experiences its fair share of rain.
Nuwara Eliya’s weather during the dry season
The wettest month in Nuwara Eliya is October, with an average of 227 mm of rainfall. However, this month rarely gets colder than 32 degrees F (0.9 C). The dry season lasts from February to May, with an average of 70/100 mm per month. The following table shows the average weather in Nuwara Eliya during this season.
October to December is the wettest month in Nuwara Eliya. The driest month is January, with temperatures of around 30 degrees C. From December to March, the temperature is below average. The temperature varies throughout the year, but January is the wettest month with the lowest temperature. However, December to February is the least humid, with temperatures hovering around 40°C.
August is the windiest month in Nuwara Eliya, with an average wind speed of more than 8.0 miles per hour. June is also the windiest month, with an average wind speed of 8.7 knots (10.1 MPH/ 16.2 KPH) – a light breeze that isn’t dangerous to the environment. Even though the windiest month in Nuwara Eliya is August, the weather is generally calmer during September, October, and March.