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Every country has seasonal differences which may affect your choice of when to travel. Sri Lanka is a truly year-round destination, bit of a cliché we know, but fantastic if you’re thinking of travelling there. The trick is to know which side of this island to focus on in any given month. This ensures you pick the best spot according to the prevailing weather. Let’s shed some light on the seasons and weather in Sri Lanka.

Seasons in Sri Lanka

During the north east monsoon season (December-February), Sri Lanka experiences high rainfall in both the northern regions and the eastern slopes. Apart from notably cold mornings, the weather is cool but pleasant. This is followed by the first inter-monsoon season (March-April), where the afternoons and evenings are filled with spectacular thunderstorms. During this season, the south western area of the island experiences the heaviest of the rainfall, ranging from 250mm to 700mm.

The south west monsoon season (May-September) brings relief from the high temperatures during the first inter-monsoon period. The rainfall pattern during this period is quite distinct. The western slopes experience the highest rainfall during the season, more than 3000mm. The rainfall decreases as it reaches Nuwara Eliya to around 800mm. During the second inter-monsoon season (October-November), Sri Lanka experiences strong winds with dense rainfall all over the country, leading to landslides and floods.

Below we’ll look at the Sri Lankan weather and temperatures for three distinct regions; Colombo (Western Province), Trincomalee (Eastern Province) and Nuwara Eliya (Uva Province).

Sri Lankan Weather and Temperatures


Colombo experiences a tropical monsoon climate. As we can see in the below table, the temperatures in Colombo don’t vary much over the year. November is the wettest month with 414.4mm of rainfall, whereas January is the driest month with 58.2mm rainfall. It seldom rains from January to March, making it a peak season for tourists.

Months High Temperature (°C/°F) Low Temperature


Average Monthly Rainfall (mm)
January 30.9/87.6 22.3/72.1 58.2
February 31.2/88.2 22.6/72.7 72.7
March 31.7/89.1 23.7/74.7 128
April 31.8/89.2 24.6/76.3 245.6
May 31.1/88 25.5/77.9 392.4
June 30.4/86.7 25.5/77.9 184.9
July 30/86 25.2/77.4 121.9
August 30/86 25.1/77.2 119.5
September 30.2/86.4 24.8/76.6 245.4
October 30/86 24/75.2 365.4
November 30.1/86.2 23.2/73.8 414.4
December 30.3/86.5 22.8/73 175.3


Trincomalee is quite warm and pleasant from February to August, making it a peak time to visit the eastern part of the island. It rarely rains in June, but as we move towards the end of the year, we see a sudden spike in October, and then the rain continues to increase with an average 341 mm of rainfall in December.

Months High Temperature (°C/°F) Low Temperature


Average Monthly Rainfall (mm)
January 27.9/82.2 24.3/75.7 132
February 29.2/84.6 24.5/76.1 100
March 30.9/87.6 25.1/77.2 54
April 33/91.4 25.8/78.4 50
May 34.5/94.1 26.4/79.5 52
June 34.7/94.5 26.4/79.5 26
July 34.4/93.9 25.8/78.4 70
August 34.2/93.6 25.5/77.9 89
September 33.9/93 25.2/77.4 104
October 31.8/89.2 24.6/76.3 217
November 29.3/84.7 24.2/75.6 334
December 28.1/82.6 24.2/75.6 341

Nuwara Eliya

October is the wettest month in Nuwara Eliya with 227 mm of rainfall. March, on the other hand, experiences rainfall of only 72mm.  Tourists visit from July to September as the rainfall rarely exceeds 180 mm during these months, while February to May is drier than other seasons.

Months High Temperature (°C/°F) Low Temperature


Average Monthly Rainfall (mm)
January 20/68 9.4/48.9 100.6
February 21.2/70.2 9.4/48.9 77.7
March 22.5/72.5 10.2/50.4 71.5
April 22.8/73 11.4/52.5 158.4
May 21.3/70.3 12.8/55 175.9
June 18.9/66 13.3/55.9 171.9
July 18.5/65.3 12.8/55 164.9
August 18.7/65.7 12.7/54.9 161
September 19.2/66.6 12.3/54.1 178.8
October 19.8/67.6 11.9/53.4 226.8
November 19.8/67.6 11.5/53.7 221.7
December 19.4/66.9 11/51.8 196

Further Reading: Best Time To Visit Sri Lanka

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