The climate of Thailand
Thailand has a tropical climate that can be divided into three
categories. The southern part of Thailand has a tropical monsoon
climate (type Am according to the Köppen-Geiger climate
classification). The northern part of Thailand has a tropical savannah
climate (type Aw). Some small areas have a tropical rainforest climate
(type Af). The monsoon climate is characterized by a reasonably long
period of drought and a rainy season in which much rain falls (the
monsoon). The areas with a savannah climate have relatively dry
winters en wet summers. However, the differences in precipitation are
less than the areas that have a monsoon climate. The tropical
rainforest climate has no dry period. The name rainforest speaks for
itself. Whoever wants to visit Thailand needs to bear in mind that it
is always warm in Thailand. When you visit one of the many sights the
heat might be overwhelming to some. The coldest place during the
winter months is the mountain range in the north. At night
temperatures are around 10 degrees Celsius on average. During the day
temperatures will rise to a tropical 30 degrees Celsius. Along the
coastlines and in the city of Bangkok these temperatures will be
reached on a daily basis.
Climate information of places and areas in Thailand
The climate information on this page is only brief. Specific
information about weather and climate can be found on the climate
pages per area or town. As for Thailand the following climate
information is available:
When you travel to Thailand you have to allow for sweltering heat.
Dependant on your location and the month you are in climate can be
(very) moist and clammy. During the winter months temperatures are
between 28 and 33 degrees Celsius on average. During spring and summer
temperatures reach a mere 30 to 36 degrees Celsius. April is the
warmest month in Thailand. During the month of May the rainy season
starts in the greater part of the country. The rain makes for less hot
temperatures. During this period temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius
are uncommon. The climate is most uniform on the islands of
and Ko Phangan just east of Thailand. Between the coldest and the
warmest month a difference of only 4 degrees Celsius can be measured.
Precipitation is also more equally spread out over the year with its
peak in autumn in stead of summer.
Almost the entire country has a very clear rainy season or monsoon in
which large amounts of rain can fall. In the south western part this
period lasts from April/May to September/October. The north eastern
part has its monsoon from October to January. During the monsoon
within a short period of time a large amount of rain will fall. Rain
usually falls in the afternoon or in the evening. Rain storms often
are no longer than 1 to 2 hours after which it will remain cloudy. In
the south western part about 2000 millimeters of rain falls on average
on a yearly basis. Along the west coast about 3000-5000 millimeters of
rain falls on a yearly basis. The northern part of Thailand is much
drier with 1000-2000 millimeters of rain on a yearly basis. On the
south side of the Cambodian border climate is a little wetter. The
Chantaburi region has a tropical rain forest climate. Rain falls
frequently outside the monsoon period. This region has a precipitation
figure of 3000 millimeters on a yearly basis.
The winter period is the best time to visit large parts of Thailand.
During the months of November and December little rain can be expected
in the northern and western part of Thailand. Humidity figures will be
lower as well. From February on temperatures will rise until the peak
is reached in April. In May the monsoon starts in the greater part of
Thailand. Temperatures are moderated by clouds and rain then. The best
time to visit Thailand is from the second part of November to the end
of March. Most people find April too warm. However, on the tropical
beaches temperatures are still bearable. Whoever wants to book a
winter sun holiday to Thailand should think of popular destinations as
Phuket, Pattaya, Ko Chang and the archipelago of Phi Phi. The islands
of Ko Samui and Ko Pangan are situated east of the peninsula. During
the month of November large amounts of rain can be expected on these
islands. Reasonable amounts of rain can be expected during the months
of December and January. From February on a dry period starts and you
can enjoy the beautiful beaches and clear sea.
People who enjoy the sun might want to think twice before traveling
to Thailand in the summer. Many places are too muggy and too wet; this
is caused by the rainy season. Phuket has 300-400 millimeters of rain
per month on average. Frequent overcast skies are responsible for only
5-6 hours of sunshine per day. During this period gray days are not
uncommon. Late winter and early spring are clear though. A holiday in
Thailand during the summer means adjusting, especially if you want to
In Thailand the UV index is extremely high. Only during the month of
December a UV index of ‘only’ 10 out of 11 is reached. In the northern
part the UV index is a little lower from October to February. These
high numbers mean a high risk of burnt skin and in the long term even
skin cancer. During cloudy days the UV index can still be compared to
Spain in direct sunlight. Try to avoid direct sunlight in the middle
of the day and apply and re-apply sunscreen. Especially be careful
with young children and babies.
Hurricanes and tsunamis
Although Thailand is situated in an area with the biggest hurricane
activity hurricanes hardly ever occur in Thailand. If there is a
tropical depression its force is almost always limited to a tropical
storm. Really serious hurricanes often head for the Philippines,
Taiwan, China and Japan. Tsunamis are another threat. On Boxing Day
2004 the world witnessed the major destruction of this tidal wave.
Thailand was among the countries that got struck by the tsunami. A
tidal wave caused by a seaquake can reach heights of tens of meters
and cause massive destruction. In theory a good warning system can
prevent the large number of casualties, missing people and injured the
world witnessed on 26 December 2004. Whether Thailand will get hit by
a tsunami of this size again can’t be predicted. When and where it
will happen can’t be predicted at all. As opposed to other extremes
such as hurricanes, storms, large amounts of rain, large amounts of
snow, heat waves or extreme drought there is no specific season for
tsunamis. Whoever travels to Thailand shouldn’t be afraid of this
natural phenomenon. In case of calamities one should follow
instructions given by the government.
The figures below are based on long term weather and climate
records and can be seen as an average for Thailand. Local deviations
may occur, especially where precipitation figures are concerned.
Climate information on specific places and regions is shown on the
pages per place.
More climate information
Climate tables are useful but they don’t give an overall picture of
the climate and possible weather conditions during a period of time.
How high the chances are of hot or cold weather or hurricanes can
often not be found in these tables. This is why we offer extra climate
information per month. The information below is an average for
Thailand, but it should be noted that chances of long lasting
precipitation in the north eastern part differs. Local deviations may
occur in the amount of sunshine. During the winter months the UV index
is lower in the northern part.
The information at this site was carefully composed from climate data collected by meteorological services, meteorological offices, climate experts and other sources. “More climate info” is based on statistics, climate data and personal experience. No rights can be derived from this site. Weather has no memory and gives no guaranties. Nothing is as changeable and unpredictable as the weather. The authors of this site feel in no way responsible for any damages caused by misinterpretation or other circumstances that may influence your holiday or trip to a certain destination. We provide information, it’s up to the reader to use it to it’s benefit.