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Maldives Climate + Weather

Current Weather

Broken clouds, light drizzle
  • Broken clouds, light drizzle
  • Temperature: 28 °C
  • Wind: W, 5.8 mph
  • Humidity: 79 %
  • Visibility: 6.2 mi

In the Maldives, talking about the weather is more than just a way to start a conversation. The year-round climate and the daily weather report are an important part of life in the Maldives. The world’s smallest nation, in terms of population and total area, generates much of its economy as a travel and tourism destination.

The Two Seasons

There are two distinct seasons in this island nation. The dry season (northeast monsoon) begins in November and runs through April. The wet or rainy season begins in May and lasts through October.

The Dry Season (November – April)

Average Monthly Temperatures

The dry season is the ideal time to visit the Maldives. Days are warm and sunny and average from 25-29 degrees Celsius (C) or 77-84 degrees Fahrenheit (F). Average monthly temperatures in November, December and January are a consistent 28 degrees Celsius (82.4 F). The monthly average temperatures move up a few degrees in each of the following months and can exceed 30 Celsius (86) in April.

How Much Rain Will Fall Each Month?

During the dry season, the average monthly rainfall, expressed in millimeters (mm), is highest in November and lowest in February. Being close to the equator and surrounded by water, humidity is always pretty high. A 75% rate of humidity is not uncommon during parts of the dry season. The chart below shows the approximate amount of rain in mm by month. (Maldives Meteorological Service – 2010)

November ……………. 200
December ……………..180
January ……………….. 140
February ……………. ... 45
March ………………....…. 55
April …………………......125

How About Some Sunshine?

Being located very close to the equator, the Maldives receive plenty of sunshine all year round, even in the rainy season. The average number of hours of sunshine by month is shown in the table below. (Maldives Meteorological Service – 2010)

November ……………. 250
December ……………. 230
January ……………….. 230
February ……………... 250
March ………………..... 255
April ……………..…..... 250

The Wet Season (May – October)

During this time of the year, the Maldives experience heavy rains and high winds. The low lying islands are often inundated with rising seas and rain only compounds the situation. Tropical storms or cyclones have the greatest chance of occurring during the southwest monsoon season and there is always a chance of a devastating tsunami sweeping across some or the entire nation’s spread out chain of islands. Despite the increased chance of stormy weather, tourists still come to the Maldives during the rainy season. Generally, hotels and resorts offer lower rates and better deals to attract vacationers during this less than prime time of the year. There is still plenty of sunshine and visitors can enjoy the water activities and beaches all year round.

Average Monthly Temperatures

Even though there is quite a bit of rain during this six month period, the average monthly temperature is only a few degrees below the readings during the dry season. According to the Maldives Meteorological Service, temperatures are highest in May and lowest in October. The temperature gradually decreases each month from about 29 degrees Celsius (84.2 F) to 28 degrees Celsius (82.4 F).

How Much Rain Will Fall Each Month?

Average monthly rainfall in the wet season never drops below 200 mm. It is highest in May and lowest in June. Humidity routinely registers about 80% during the wet season. The chart below shows the average rainfall in mm by month. Statistics are courtesy of the Maldives Meteorological Service for calendar year 2010.

May ……………….....… 230
June ………………….... 170
July ………………....... 210
August ………………... 200
September ………….. 205
October …………….... 210

How About Some Sunshine?

Even though more rain falls during this time of the year, the Maldives still get a good amount of sunshine. Tropical storms tend to come and go quickly. While it might be cloudy and overcast in the morning, by the afternoon, the sun can be shining brightly. Following is a chart showing the average number of hours of sunshine by month. (Maldives Meteorological Service – 2010)

May ……………...….. 225
June ……………….... 220
July ………………..... 200
August ……………... 205
September …………195
October ………….... 225

Global Warming's Threat To The Survival Of The Nation

Meteorologists, scientists and other experts are nearly unanimous in their opinion that global warming will cause the water level to rise around the many islands that comprise the Maldives. The Maldives are only a few feet above sea level. As the world’s lowest lying country, there is no point in the entire atoll that is more than 7 feet above sea level.

In 2004, a tsunami swept over the Maldives, causing death and destruction. It renewed the concern of the island-nation about their vulnerability to climate change and the whole global warming issue. Unlike some other parts of the world where global warming may or may not be considered a serious problem, in the Maldives, it is most disconcerting.

Official estimates project that in 100 years, the effects of global warming and subsequent rising water levels will completely submerge the entire country. With a little over 300,000 people living on the 200 of the more than 1,000 islands that comprise the Maldives, plans must be made to deal with such a probability.

Authorities have been purchasing land in Australia and Sri Lanka with money earned through tourism. There have been some attempts to develop floating islands that would rise and fall with the water level. While that may seem to be a very futuristic approach, the Maldivian people are exploring all options. They have even built a prototype floating golf course – the first in the world, which shows that it is possible to save the Maldives. Of course, trying to build islands that will float would be a prohibitively expensive project.

There are some areas in the world where artificial islands have been built. The United Arab Emirates is one example of man building islands by pumping sand from the bottom of the sea. However, getting a large, floating island that can accommodate 100,000 people, is akin to building the equivalent of 100 luxury ocean liners. With today’s technology, it is not a very viable answer to the slowly sinking Maldives.

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