Understand the Monsoon Seasons

Updated: 14 June 2017

Northeast Monsoon (Dec to Feb)

The northeast monsoon is also known as the Maha Monsoon and affects the north and east of the island. Heavy rainfall and strong winds are common and it is generally worse as you travel further north. The southwest of the island experiences high season during this time.

First Inter-Monsoon (Mar to Apr)

This affects the southwest of the island including the Hill Country. The conditions are less severe than the main southwest monsoon that starts in May. Typical daily weather is late-afternoon and evening thunderstorms that bring heavy rain.

Southwest Monsoon (May to Sep)

The southwest monsoon is also known as the Yala Monsoon. Heavy rain and strong winds affect the south and west coasts and also the Hill Country area in the centre of the island. The north and east of the island including the Cultural Triangle is generally dry during this period although one or two occasional days of rain can be possible.

Second Inter-Monsoon (Oct to Nov)

This affects the entire island and is the period of highest rainfall during the year. The southwestern part of the island is the worst affected. This is low season in Sri Lanka.

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