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How is the weather in Thailand?

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Thailand weather guide

If you are planning a trip to Thailand, you need to understand what are the different seasons that punctuate the year. There are periods more favorable than others to travel to Thailand. Regions recommended at certain times of the year year and not recommended at other times. Thailand has not four but three distinct seasons, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. This is one factor to take into account among others when preparing a trip to Thailand.

The 3 seasons in Thailand

The rainy season in Thailand

Thailand experiences a rainy season (monsoons) over the majority of the country from May to the end of October. Only the Gulf of Thailand get's rainy a little later. In Koh Samui and its neighbor islands the paek of monsoon is in November and December while during July and August, it is the region whith the best and nicest weather. It is therefore recommended, if looking for good weather in July-August, to choose Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan islands instead of ilsands in Andaman Sea area (Phuket).

But you can definitely visit Thailand and enjoy your stay during the rainy season. As for me, it's even the best season to visit Northern Thailand ! The nature and landscapes are the most beautiful. When you travel to Thailand during the monsoon, you just have to adapt your program and come knowing that there will be heavy rains from time to time which, apart from exceptional weather episodes, will not really disrupt your journey that much. Especially if you prefer to go in the North, Northeast, Center and to the Thailand Gulf Islands.

The hot season in Thailand

The hot season in Thailand that we could call summer extends from March to May. March and April can be particularly scorching months in Thailand. Especially in the North and Center of the country. With temperatures regularly exceeding 40 degrees Celcius. At this time of the year, swimming pools or nearby sea are welcome!

Winter in Thailand

Obviously, when I talk about winter, it can't be compared with winters in Europ o North America. It's the coolest season in Thailand but the temperatures are far from freezing. Even if in the North in Thailand, you can experience what autorities call cold waves with the mercury around 12 to 16°C in the plains. In the mountains, thermometer can indicate numbers close to zero, or even go down to negative figures sometimes at the summit of Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in the country. This cold season extends from November to March. Note that in November and December, the Gulf of Thailand area (Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao) is still very rainy.

Burning season in Thailand

I will add a season which is obviously not strictly speaking a season but is important to know: the PM 2.5 season. It is a period during which a large part of the country experiences very high levels of fine particles pollution. Especially the North of the country (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son) but not only there. It generally lasts from February to mid-April. With fine particle pollution rates and therefore air quality very regularly at levels considered dangerous for health (wearing an N95 mask is then recommended). This makes the stay less pleasant and views and landscapes are a lot less beautiful because the smog reduces visibility. There are smartphone applications like Air Visual or websites that give the air quality index (AQI). Personally, I use these apps more than the weather forecast at that time of the year.

The weather in Thailand month by month

The weather in Thailand in January

The month of January is in the middle of what we call winter. It is a month during which the rainy season is over everywhere in the country. But, note that sometimes, the Gulf of Thailand is still quite rainy until mid-January. You can enjoy blue skies and warm weather with no scorching temperatures. It is therefore, meteorologically speaking, a very good time of the year to visit Thailand.

The weather in Thailand in February

February is also in winter. There is no more possible monsoon hanging over the Gulf of Thailand. It's sunny everywhere! Beautiful sunny weather with very little rain. It is this absence of rain which does not wash the sky of fine particles caused by the very numerous burnings which explains the high PM 2.5 pollution levels.

The weather in Thailand in March

March marks the start of the summer in Thailand, the hottest time of the year. It is also the hottest month in the Center and Northenr part of the country. With temperatures regularly exceeding 40°C during the hours when the sun is at its peak (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). In the South, the heat is more bearable. Especially by the sea. Swimming pools in hotels are particularly welcome!

The weather in Thailand in April

April is also a very hot month in Thailand. Similar to March, especially the first fortnight. Around mid-April, at the time of Songkran, the Thai New Year also nicknamedthe Water Festival, the weather is supposed to change and the rainy season to begin timidly. This is the period when nature is the most dry, especially in the North and Center regions. Not the best time for enjoying lush nature and some xaterfalls have little or no water.

The weather in Thailand in May

It is in May that the rainy season really begins. It is not the rainiest month of the year. The rainfals are generally very occasional but can be very heavy, before leaving the beautiful weather coming back quite quick. Until the next big downpour.

The weather in Thailand in June

June is a month when rainy season intensify. It is not yet too much, especially at the beginning of the month, but the showers are almost daily. They are generally furtive and intense but there is a short big downpour almost every day. Often in the middle or end of the afternoon. And after the storms, most of the time a very pleasant cloudy weather comes. The North and Central plains are less rainy than the Southern Thailand. June is a not a bad month to visit the countryside and discover nature. Even if the closure of some national parks which begins in mid-May with Similan and Surin islands, continues.

The weather in Thailand in July

July, the monsoon begins is more intense. Rain is more common and can sometimes last longer. But it is far from raining all the time! You can still enjoy many passages of blue sky. This is the beginning of the most interesting period to visit the North of Thailand. It is generally at the beginning of July that the rice is replanted, particularly in the rice terraces of Ban Pa Pong Piang in Chiang Mai province. The Gulf of Thailand benefits a good weather because the monsoon arrives there a little later (November and December are the most rainy months in this area). On the other hand, in the South of Thailand, we are starting to really have to deal with showers and rainy days. This does not prevent you from visiting the South but you have to adapt and be ready to face torrential rains and sometimes a few days of almost continuous rain. Be careful, the sea can be dangerous, respect the flags when they are on the beaches. Every year several tourists die from drowning in Phuket in July & August.

The weather in Thailand in August

August, the monsoon intensifies again, especially towards the end of the month. If you plan to visit the South of the country, you must be ready to adapt and perhaps face a few days of mostly rainy weather. Especially in the Andaman Sea area (Phuket, Krabi, Trang). The islands in the Gulf of Thailand still benefit from a good weather and remain to be favored. North experiences longer and more intense rainy episodes but still has calm periods which allow you to take advantage of nature which loves this weather alternating rain and sun.

The weather in Thailand in September

September is clearly the month with the worst weather in Thailand. It is the one where the monsoon is the most intense with sometimes several consecutive days of rain with little respite. It is also the month which generally experiences the most flooding. The South is the wettest while in the rest of the country, it is more unpredictable. I do not recommend planning your vacation in Thailand in September unless you have no choice. And avoid to book everything in advance and leave room in your organization for improvising depending on the weather.

The weather in Thailand in October

October is the last month of the rainy season in Thailand in most of the country (except for the Gulf of Thailand area where rainy season's peak is in November and December). Weather is a bit less rainy in general than September but it remains a very wet month almost everywhere in Thailand.

The weather in Thailand in November

In November, we are leaving the rainy season behind us in almost the entire country (except for the Gulf of Thailand area where it is the peak of the monsoon until end of December). The rest of the country is entering winter. The temperatures are cooling but remain warm as we are in Thailand! It is the month of the rice harvest in the North and the North-East. The high tourist season starts in mid-November with a nature resplendent after being watered for months, waterfalls at thei maximum flow and beautiful weather. It is one of the best months to visit Thailand (except the Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao).

The weather in Thailand in December

In December, rains become very rare (except for the Gulf of Thailand area where this is still the peak of the monsoon). Temperatures cool down a little again, especially in the North with sometimes thermometer flirting with zero, particularly at the summit of Doi Inthanon, the highest peak in the country. But in the plains, temperatures generally stay between 20 and 32°C.

Tourist seasons in Thailand

The peak tourist season in Thailand is between mid-December and mid-January. It is the most expensive period, many hotels and guesthouses in southern Thailand offer higher rates during high season. You can sometimes pay 2 times more for a room if you take it during dry or during rainy season. The highest prices are are around Christmas and New Year. During dry season temperatures range from 28 to 38 degrees. But you can also come to Thailand during the monsoon and enjoy your trip. Prices are very advantageous, the rains are sudden and abundant but between two rain showers you can enjoy your stay in Thailand. However, streets can be flooded sometimes.

Backpackers may prefer to travel in Thailand at a time of the year when tourists are fewer and where we can negotiate prices more easily despite the inconvenience due to rains. It is a matter of temperament but generally tourists come from November to April. For a first trip to the country, we recommend you to come for dry season. Otherwise choose your destinatiosn depending on the weather (see maps of the month rains by lowest month)

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Thailand month-by-month rainfall maps

To help you better understand which areas are rainy or not depending on the time of year in Thailand, here are maps which show the distribution and average intensity of rain month by month in the country.

January

thailand rainfall map january

February

thailand rainfall map february

March

thailand rainfall map march

April

thailand rainfall map april

May

thailand rainfall map may

June

thailand rainfall map june

July

thailand rainfall map july

August

thailand rainfall map august

September

thailand rainfall map september

October

thailand rainfall map october

November

thailand rainfall map november

Décember

thailand rainfall map december
I am giving you all this information as an indication, it is based on trends. The weather is more and more unpredictable, it is possible that over one period or another, the trends are contradicted. I invite you to consult the official weather alerts on the website of the Thailand Meteorological Department: . They are particularly useful for knowing when boat services to and from the islands are suspended due to weather conditions.

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