The Maldives has two distinct seasons. The southwest monsoon (wet-season) normally extends from mid-May to November. The northeast monsoon (dry-season) extends from January to March. The month of December and April are considered as the monsoon transitional periods.
Maldives experiences warm and humid climate throughout the year. Temperature is moderated by the presence of vast sea and oceans surrounding the small islands. The average temperature ranges from 25°C to 32°C. With the influence of the monsoon, seasonal fluctuations in temperature are observed throughout the year. The warmest period are observed during March, April and extends up to onset of southwest monsoon in mid-May. The highest temperature ever recorded in the Maldives was 36.0°C, recorded on 12 Sep 1991 at Kadhdhoo Meteorological Office. Likewise, the lowest temperature ever recorded in the Maldives was 18.2°C, recorded at the Hanimaadhoo Meteorological Office on 23 Dec 2002.
The rainfall over the Maldives varies during the two monsoon periods with more rainfall during the southwest monsoon. These seasonal characteristics can be seen from graph, which shows the mean monthly rainfall observed over north, central and southern atolls. Looking across the length of the Maldives, the amount of annual rainfall received increases from the north to the south. On average, the southern atolls receive about 2,218 mm of rainfall per year, while the annual rainfalls over central and northern atolls are 1,966 and 1,779 mm respectively. Heaviest rainfall in 24 hours was 228 mm recorded at the meteorological office Addu City on 24 November 2015. Normally rainfall is in showery form and do not last longer and there will be sunny periods in between.
The fact that the Maldives is located at the equator, Maldives receives plentiful of sunshine throughout the year. This graph shows average monthly sunshine duration for 3 regions on the country. It can be seen that average sunshine hours are slightly higher during northeast monsoon period as compared with southwest monsoon period. On average during January, February and March, Maldives experiences 10 – 11 hours of sunshine and for the other months 7 – 9 hours of sunlight.