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Phuket weather and practical information

Weather and Climate

Phuket has a moist, tropical climate, influenced chiefly by monsoon winds that vary in direction according to the season. From March to September, as the sun's rays strike directly above the equator, the land mass of Asia is heated more than is the Indian Ocean. This draws moist hot air from the ocean over Phuket and southern Thailand, bringing the rains of the southwest monsoon. By mid-April the winds are mainly from the southwest and are heavy with moisture.

Phuket Information and Travel Guide - Climate
Northeast Monsoon                            Southwest Monsoon

During the month of May, it will rain an average of 25 days making it one of the wettest months of the year. When the tilt of the earth brings the direct sun rays south of the equator, the heating of the Indian Ocean draws the cooler dry air of the northeast monsoon from the highlands of Asia across the countries of South and Southeast Asia. By October the direction of the wind will have shifted to the northeast and Phuket will experience another intense but briefer wet period as the northeast monsoon sweeps down the east coast of Thailand and moves back into the Indian Ocean. By mid November the weather on Phuket will be somewhat cooler and dryer, until March when the weather becomes perceptively warmer and more humid preceding the onset of the next monsoon. Visiting Phuket during the monsoon season is not unpleasant because most days are rain-free except for showers in the afternoon. Phuket averages 2540 mm (or about 100 inches) of rain each year.


RAINFALL CHART
(click for a bigger view)

What's the Phuket weather like during the rainy season?

This is the question everyone asks! So to give you a clearer picture, here are a few facts.

Phuket has a tropical climate that is warm the whole year round averaging temperatures of around 29C (88F). There are two distinct seasons with a few minor variations in-between.

Many people visit in the high season (November to March) because of pleasant temperatures, blue skies and low rainfall. As a result the island is quite busy and everything is a little more expensive. Hotels and tours can be quite crowded and the island is not quite so laid back.

During April till mid-May, it begins to heat up to around 34C (96F) and there are often heavy thunder-showers in the late afternoons. The Thai New Year (Songkran Festival) occurs on April 13th and everyone sprinkles (or throws) cool water on each other. Welcome relief!

This quickly gives way to cooler temperatures and rain showers from late May until November (the monsoon season).

Visiting Phuket in the monsoon season has lots of advantages. Temperatures average a comfortable 29/30C (88-90F) and light warm winds make sightseeing tours very pleasant. During the monsoon season, it doesn't rain every day! The usual weather pattern is for short dramatic showers, with plenty of sunshine in between, providing an opportunity to chat with the locals while you're waiting for the rain to pass. June, July and August are particularly pleasant.

Activities and trips (apart from Similan diving trips) remain totally unaffected. You can still go swimming or kayaking, (falling off a canoe in warm water will not leave you shivering!) The island is less busy and more relaxed - it's also less expensive.

There are some great deals on hotel rates and much better shopping bargains. Better value for money - get the hotel room you want at the price you want! Check out the Special Offers! . Less people, more room on the beaches and it's easier to get a good table at your favourite restaurant. One point to watch, however, Is that swimming off the West coast beaches can be dangerous due to strong currents and rip-tides. Always observe the warning flags on the beach.

Don't be put off by the long-range weather forecasts. Phuket weather is very localised because of the surrounding hills. There could be a shower on Patong Beach, and bright sunshine in Kata a few kilometers south!

Finally, remember that this is after all a tropical climate, so its never cold and the sun is never far away....

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