Thailand Monsoon Effects



mouseover the links on the map for descriptions of monsoon effects
Note: lighter colored wind paths indicate weaker conditions

Monsoon

 Monsoon

“Monsoon” is mostly used to describe torrential rains -- which is a bit of a misnomer. The Arabic word “mawsim” translates as “season”.

The monsoons in Thailand have a pronounced weather effect which can often paralyze travel and ruin travel experiences.

You can blame or give credit to a cooling = high pressure and heating = low pressure effect caused by the Indian sub-continent and the Himalayas. Southeast Asia just happens to get caught in the middle.

Aside from the rainy season the monsoon affects the southern destinations of Thailand more than the central or northern destinations.

Southwest Monsoon

 Southwest Monsoon

The red arrows describe the flow of the southwest monsoon. It will usually start in May and diminish toward the end of October.

One significant effect for Thailand is sea travel in the Andaman. Smaller boats will have difficulty reaching the Similans. Underwater visibility is also compromised.

The Gulf of Thailand will suffer less because the mountain chain running down the peninsula will create a partial blocking effect.

Northeast Monsoon

 Northeast Monsoon

You can see from the green arrows that the northeastern monsoons blows from the Western Pacific Ocean. That generates heavy rains from November to April. Gulf of Thailand destinations get heavy rain, rough seas and stronger winds. Underwater visibility suffers as well.

But across of the Peninsula in the Andaman visibility is 30 meters and seas are calm.