Weather in Thailand is one of the more important issues for travelers. Thai weather can make your holiday a delight or a disaster. Unpredictable as Thailand's weather is, some truths appear evident.
Monsoons create a great deal of Thailand's weather, both good and bad. Without getting too technical we offer a map showing Thailand's monsoon effects.
Thailand Weather References
Detailed weather forecast from the Thai Meteorological Department. Check weather forecasts by region as well.
Thailand map of rainfall by region
@ A walk on the beach
@ Scuba Diving Weather Map
Table of Sea Conditions Around Thailand
Seasons in Thailand
Thailand has three basic seasons. The seasons for each location within Thailand varies a bit, but generally they are as follows.
•Hot/Dry - March to May*
•Rain - June to October*
•Mild - November to February
*South - Rain; May to November, some rain in dry season
Thailand's Hot Season
Expect hot dry weather from March / April thru June / July. Generally, temperatures will reach the high 30's C.. Rainfall is scarce, with some rare exceptions .. such as hailstorms in the North during Songkran.
Air quality in and around Bangkok deteriorates during the hot season. The Big Mango is not the best place to be during the hot season.
Thailand's Rainy Season
Some call this the "Hot & Wet" season. The period of time just before a rainstorm can be especially uncomfortable because of temperature & humidity along with the absence of cooling breezes.
Coastal areas and islands may be a bit more temperate, but escaping the heat is not absolute. A shady spot and cool drink is highly recommended. Thailand definitely offers some rainy season advantages
Thailand's Cool Season
"Cool" may be a bit of a misnomer to westerners. Temperatures dip into the 20's, but don't expect frost in the morning. The cool season may well remind you of a warm spring day or a cool summer day. Rainfall is rare .. but tourists are not.
This is Thailand's high season. Resorts in popular destinations fill quickly. Prices increase. Road traffic increases. While cool seasons tend to avoid some of the discomfort of the rainy season, even high season varies a bit.
1 - "Does it rain all day, every day during the rainy season?"
"No". In fact, many days during the rainy season are completely rain free. In 2009, Cha am had very little rain .. actually, not nearly enough.
A common scenario for the middle of the rainy season is a steady downpour at night, clear or overcast mornings and then some rain in the afternoon.
Also very common is one or two days of sunshine between wet days.
When does Thailand's rainy season actually start? In the North, it starts in June. The beginning and ending of the rainy season tends to migrate from Northern Thailand to Southern Thailand with a difference of about one month.
What that means, the rainy season in the North usually ends a month sooner than it does in the South. But then there is a complication in the South .. two rainy seasons.
2 - Should the rainy season in Thailand be avoided?
Definitely not. You can look forward to:
- Cooler weather
- Excellent white water rafting or river rafting
- Fresh air and green flora
- Avoiding the tourist surge
- Cheaper & more available accommodations
So actually planning your travel in Thailand during the rainy season has many advantages. The rainfall washes the dust off the trees and grass and bamboo. The bush is verdant .. rice fields a dazzling green. You awaken to an uncommon freshness in the air.
And if you don't need blazing hot sun to enjoy a beach .. you may find that you enjoy Koh Samui and Phuket even more.