The Weather in Bangkok
It’s hard to talk about the weather in absolute terms. The world’s climate is changing, unusual temperatures and weather patterns are recorded across the globe. There is no guarantee that if you come to Bangkok in the dry season, you’ll have blue skies and sunshine for the duration of your long-awaited holiday. Nonetheless, the guidelines are as follows:
The rainy season in Bangkok begins in mid-May when the southwest monsoon hits the country, and it stretches until October or November. September is the wettest month, when on average 344.2 millimetres (13.55 inches) of rainfall is recorded. So bring your umbrella – a raincoat will just make you feel sticky and hot, as the temperatures remain in the 30s (Celsius). Or just relax and enjoy the downpour. Statistics aside, you can find yourself in hip-deep water also in early October in some parts of the city.
In theory, the rainy season is followed by the dry season, which lasts from November until May. Although, summer storms often flush the afternoon skies. This is also the high season for tourism, as most visitors try to escape the cold European winter. The first few months of the dry season can be influenced by the southeast monsoon, which bypasses Bangkok, but can bring a cooler breeze. The highest temperatures are recorded between March and May, when the heat and humidity can test your endurance. The highest recorded temperature in Bangkok was 40.8 °C (105.4 °F) in May 1983. Usually Bangkok’s average high would be 34.9 °C (94.8 °F) in April, so it’s not hard to understand why Songkran, the Festival of Water, is celebrated in April. It gives a welcoming respite from sweltering heat and an opportunity for outdoor water-splashing.
Bangkok is hot all year around. It’s not the world’s hottest city when it comes to maximum temperatures, but it is the world’s hottest city in terms of yearly average, as verified by the World Meteorological Organisation (28oC). It makes people who usually don’t like air conditioning, ask for a room with some; and you see sweaty tourists diving for shelter into air conditioned shops and bars.
As mentioned earlier, be prepared for surprises and allow for the season’s temperament to suddenly change. In January 2008, Bangkok was flooded by a major storm in the otherwise dry season, and the cooler season then stretched into March. So enjoy the exotic weather whenever you arrive, and don’t worry too much about weather predictions or wet clothes.