Sri Lanka’s east coast comes into its own while the rest of the island is experiencing monsoonal rains. April to September is not just packed with sunshine, humidity levels as also markedly low compared to many parts of Sri Lanka, reaching the lowest level at a little over 60% between June and September – a figure comparable with western Europe. Average temperatures peak in the mid-30s in these months, with rain a bare minimum, making the East Coast resorts a great sunshine destination. If the best weather is from April to September, the much-awaited maha monsoon runs from October until January with the period from mid-October to late December normally best avoided and accounting for about half the region’s annual rainfall.
Sri Lanka is affected by two separate monsoons which generally means that there is usually good weather somewhere. Essentially the main south-west (“yala”) monsoon brings rain to the west and south-west coasts and hill country largely between May and July. The less severe north-east (“maha”) monsoon hits the east coast – including the cultural triangle - predominantly from November to January. There is also an inter-monsoonal period of unsettled weather preceding the Maha monsoon in October during which heavy rainfall can occur anywhere across the island.
Best month to visit Sri Lanka’s East Coast: August
rain / m mm
rain days / m
sun hours / month
Note: Figures based on Pasikudah.