The Maldives have a
tropical climate with warm temperatures year round and a great deal
of sunshine. During a 24 year period between 1967 - 1990, the hottest
month on average was April, with a maximum monthly mean temperature
of 31.5°C and a minimum of 26.5°C. The coolest month was
December, with a maximum monthly mean temperature of 29.8°C
and a minimum of 25.3°C.
There is a considerable variation of climate between Northern and
Southern atolls in the Maldives. In the south the rainfall is greater
but so are the number of rain days. Showers are not as heavy as
in the North. There are extremes of temperatures in the North also,
as the seasons are more evident further away from the Equator.
December - April
May - November
The weather is determined to a large
extent by the monsoon circulation. Each year there are two monsoons
seasons, the north-east monsoon, iruvai and the south west monsoon,
hulhangu. The prevailing winds which can become quite strong, are
from the SW-W-WN during the south-west monsoon and N-NE-E during
the north-east monsoon.
The north-east monsoon brings the driest period, the air having
a comparatively short sea track compared with that during the reminder
of the year. The relative humidity is only 5% lower than during
the south-west monsoon. The hot season is in March and April. In
April, calm, windless days are more likely to be experienced than
any other time of the year. The transitional period between monsoons
begins in April and by the end of May the winds are predominantly
W-SW. A fortnight of strong winds and rain usually ushers in the
change of seasons.
The wet season is from June to September when the south-west monsoon
is firmly set. Gales and moderate to rough seas are common during
this season. Cloudy days are more frequent. November is again a
transitional period. During October day of light winds are experienced
more frequently and by the end of November, winds have shifted from
W-NE to N-NE. The effects of cyclones from the Arabian sea can be
experienced during this period. The first month of the north-east
monsoon, December, is typically rough with strong winds and rain.
Because the Maldives is in the equatorial belt, severe tropical
storms and cyclones are extremely rare events. But whenever cyclones
form in the Bay of Bengal or Arabian Sea, the spiraling feeder band
clouds appear over the Maldives and cause spells of rain and showers.
The weather in the north may deteriorate considerably as a result,
but there is little effect on the southern islands as it is almost
impossible for low pressure areas to develop within 5° of the
Ocean water temperatures rarely vary beyond 27 - 30° C although
thermo clines can sometimes be experienced at depths below 20 meters.
During the hot periods, water temperatures inside the lagoons increases
measurably, influencing water temperatures inside the atolls. During
these periods divers are comfortable diving without a wetsuit, although
those of slight build may shiver a little. During overcast periods
with and rain squalls, it is wise to carry extra clothing on the
boat after a dive. Lycra and 3mm wetsuits are popular in tropical
waters but some divers prefer a 5mm suit if doing more than one
dive a day.
To check the current
weather condition of Maldives please