Climate of Thailand
Where is the country of Thailand located? Thailand is a Southeast Asian country. Thailand has a tropical climate, which can be divided into three categories. The south of Thailand has a tropical monsoon climate (type Am according to the commonly used Köppen-Geiger climate classification ), the northern half of Thailand has a tropical savanna climate (type Aw). Some small areas just fall under the tropical rainforest climate classification (type Af).
The monsoon climate is characterized by the presence of a fairly long dry period and a real rainy season in which there is quite a lot of rain (the monsoon). Where the savanna climate prevails, the winters are relatively dry and the summers wet, but there is less of a clear contrast than in a monsoon climate. The tropical rainforest climate does not have a dry period. After all, the name rainforest comes from somewhere.
Whoever goes on holiday to Thailand should take into account that it is always warm there. This heat can break you up, especially when visiting the many sights. It gets coolest in the winter months in the mountains in the north, where temperatures can drop to around ten degrees at night. During the day, the thermometer simply shoots back to almost tropical values of around thirty degrees, along the coasts and in Bankok that limit is passed almost daily.
We probably don’t need to explain that Thailand is a fantastic holiday destination. The country is known for the friendly people, the beautiful nature, the delicious Thai cuisine, the fairytale beaches and the many excellent hotels. Thailand has everything you could wish for on a holiday. The tropical climate provides the necessary amount of heat. Many people opt for a tour through Thailand, in order to see as much of this beautiful country as possible.
a holidayThailand means that you will always have to deal with a lot of heat. Depending on the travel period and location, it can be (very) humid and damp. In the winter months the temperatures are between 28 and 33 degrees, in the spring and summer they rise to no less than 30 to 36 degrees. The month of April is the hottest month in Thailand, after that the rainy season starts in almost the entire country, so that the temperature is slightly tempered and the chance of temperatures above 35 degrees is quite small. The islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan east of Thailand have the most even climate. Here the difference in temperature is on average only four degrees between the coolest and warmest months. Precipitation here is also more spread out over the year, peaking in autumn instead of summer.
Almost the entire country has a clear rainy season (the monsoon), in which large amounts of rain can fall. In the southwest, this period lasts from April/May to September/October. The northeast has a monsoon period from October to January. During the monsoon, fairly large amounts of rain often fall within a relatively short period of time, usually in the afternoon or evening. The showers usually last no longer than one to two hours, after which it often remains a bit cloudy.
In the southwest there is an average annual rainfall of about 2000 millimeters, along the west coast this increases to about three to five thousand millimeters. The north of Thailand is a lot drier, with a thousand to two thousand millimeters you have had it here on an annual basis. It is also wetter on the south side of the border with Cambodia . In the vicinity of Chanthaburi there is a tropical rainforest climate because outside the monsoon period rain falls regularly and the total amount of rainwater on an annual basis rises to around three thousand millimeters.
The winter months are the ideal time to visit the country for large parts of Thailand. Especially in the north and west there is little precipitation and in the course of November or December the relative humidity also decreases. Temperatures rise from February until the warmest month of April arrives. In May, the monsoon period begins in much of Thailand and temperatures are tempered by clouds and rain. The best time to travel to most places in Thailand is from mid-November to late March. April is considered too warm by quite a few people, although it is still bearable on the tropical beaches. It can get oppressively hot, especially in the interior and especially the north.
If you want to book a winter sun holiday to Thailand, you can visit popular destinations such as Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Chang and Koh Phi Phi. The islands of Koh Samui and Koh Pangan, located east of the headland, suffer a lot from precipitation in November. This is somewhat less the case in December and January. From February it is also dry here and you can perfectly enjoy beautiful beaches and a very clear sea.
Summer in Thailand is not the most suitable period for sun lovers to visit the country. In many places it is too stuffy and too wet as a result of the rainy season. In Phuket, rainfall amounts of 300 to 400 millimeters per month are very normal and the number of hours of sunshine per day is on average around 5 to 6 due to the clouds that are present quite frequently. Completely gray days are therefore possible in this period, in contrast to late winter and early spring. Holidaying in Thailand in the summer months sometimes means adjusting, especially if you want to do things.
The sun power in Thailand is extremely high, only in and around December is “only” power 10 achieved instead of the highest sun power 11. In the north, the sun power is slightly lower from October to February.
Such high values mean a very high risk of skin burns and, in the longer term, skin cancer. During cloudy days, the sun strength is still comparable to Spain in full sun. Lubricate, smear, smear and try to avoid the brightest sun in the middle of the day is the advice. Be especially careful with small children and babies.
Hurricanes & Tsunamis
Although Thailand is located in a region with the highest hurricane activity in the world, the country itself is rarely hit by a hurricane. If there is a significant tropical depression at all, the strength is almost always limited to a tropical storm at most. The serious hurricanes usually head for the Philippines, Taiwan, China and Japan.
Another threat that the world has been aware of since December 26, 2004 and which has caused a lot of misery in Thailand on that particular Boxing Day, is a tsunami. This tidal wave as a result of a seaquake can in the worst case be tens of meters high and cause enormous havoc. Large numbers of fatalities, missing persons and injuries, as in 2004, should theoretically be prevented by a good warning system. It is impossible to predict how big the chance is that Thailand will be hit again by a tsunami of this size, when and where that will happen. Unlike extreme weather events such as hurricanes, whirlwinds, heavy rainfall, large amounts of snow, heat waves or extreme drought, there is no season for tsunamis. If you go on holiday to Thailand, you should not be afraid of this natural phenomenon. Following warnings issued by the government in the event of calamities is, of course, a requirement.
The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).
|Maximum temperature||Minimum temperature||Hours of sunshine per day||Days of rainfall per month||Water temperature|
Best time to visit Thailand
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Thailand? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. The Kingdom of Thailand is a very popular holiday destination in Asia. This tropical destination is known for its pleasant weather, great beaches and delicious food. It is also a very affordable destination, making it attractive for backpackers or for a tour in general. The weather is not always good in Thailand. If you’re in the wrong time period somewhere, you can be unlucky to have to deal with significant amounts of rain. Due to the geographical features of Thailand, the rainy season falls at different times. For example, the rainy season in the capital Bangkok starts in May and lasts until the beginning of November, while Phuket, for example, has a rainy season that starts in mid-April and usually lasts until the beginning of December.
Because of the monsoon, the period from December to March is the best time to travel for a holiday in Thailand. During a tour through Thailand you can deal with different weather per region. If you want to visit different regions, including the northern interior, we would suggest January and February as the best months. There is less chance of too hot or too rainy weather.
Beach holiday in Thailand
Thailand is primarily a winter sun destination. In particular, the period from January to mid-April is a great place to spend time on the beaches of Thailand. The temperatures during the day are tropical: count on average between 30 and 33 degrees. Because it hardly cools down at night, you don’t have to pack warm clothes for a holiday in Thailand. The sun shows itself quite a lot during this period and the chance of a rain or thunderstorm is present, but considerably smaller than during the monsoon period.
On the east coast of the peninsula, which lies on the Gulf of Thailand, it is also good enough for a sun holiday during the summer. This side is often just out of the reach of the monsoon rains, so it rains less here during this period than elsewhere in Thailand. It is a great place to stay at a destination such as Koh Samui. The maximum temperatures in July and August are around 32 degrees Celsius and the sea water is wonderful: about 29 degrees.
Thailand during the school holidays
If you want to go on holiday to Thailand with school-age children or if you are otherwise bound by the established school holidays, then the Christmas holidays and the spring break are the best travel periods. These holidays fall in the period that we indicate as the best travel time for Thailand. These school holidays each have their own disadvantage. The Christmas holidays are more expensive because half the world celebrates holidays. Spring break is on the short side with a total travel time of a maximum of 9 days. Summer holidays are a reasonable alternative, especially if you choose the beaches on the eastern side of Thailand. The chance of rain is on average greater, but there are plenty of beautiful days. We would not choose Thailand as a holiday destination during the May or autumn holidays, because the chance of unpredictable weather is quite high.
Typhoons and Cyclones
In Thailand you can have to deal with typhoons or cyclones. They are both hurricanes, but with different names. Typhoons originate mainly over the Pacific Ocean and move westward to Asia. There they can reach Thailand. If they travel to Thailand by land (via Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia), they have already lost a lot of their activity before they reach Thailand. An exception is when a typhoon hits the Thai peninsula directly through the Gulf of Thailand. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen often. The risk of typhoons is present from June to December. Cyclones form over the Indian Ocean. Because they mainly move in western, northwestern and northern directions, you won’t be bothered by them so quickly in Thailand. An exception is when a tropical cyclone moves to eastern Myanmar and then continues overland into Thailand’s western interior. Cyclones form between April and December, with a greater chance at the beginning and end of the cyclone season.