Khao Lak Weather and Climate

How Thailand's Climate and Khao Lak's Location Affects the Local Weather

The weather in Khao Lak and most areas of Thailand is hot and humid throughout the year. Thailand has a warm, tropical climate regulated by an annual monsoons. Unlike Europe which has a temperate climate with four seasons, Thailand has only three seasons per year classified as cool, hot and rainy.

Cloudy skies over Khao Lak's lighthouse

The cool season typically runs from November to February when the climate is governed by the north-east monsoon (November-April).

The weather is much drier, especially in the northern parts of Thailand with rainfall limited to only a few days per month. The north-east winds blow in from China and consequently the air is much drier.

The literal meaning of Monsoon is any wind that changes direction with the seasons.

The hot season typically runs from April to May. May can be a stormy month in Khao Lak as the monsoon winds change direction. The south-west monsoon (May-October) dominates the rainy the rainy season which runs from June to October. South-westerly winds blow from the Indian Ocean bringing with it warm, humid air and a lot of clouds. June to September have the lowest amounts of sunshine, on average 4 to 5 hours per day compared with 9 to 10 hours per day from November to May.

There is only slight variation in temperature in central and southern Thailand throughout the year. During the north-east monsoon the temperature is distinctly cooler in the north of Thailand. The north of Thailand is hilly and in some area mountainous where land can rise to over 2,000m.

Khao Lak Average Minimum and Maximum Temperatures

Khao Lak’s Unique Weather

Anyone who has visited Khao Lak will know that the local area does not always comply to annual monsoon weather patterns. Khao Lak is situated on the west side of the Kra Isthmus.

The Kra Isthmus is the thin sliver of southern Thailand that joins the Malay peninsular to mainland south-east Asia.

The Kra Isthmus divides the Indian Ocean to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east and lies between 6º and 20° N. The Andaman Sea is part of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Thailand is part of the Pacific Ocean.

The north-east monsoon winds are more likely to bring rain to the Kra Isthmus due to the winds originating in the Pacific Ocean and blowing in from the Gulf of Thailand.

More rain falls in Khao Lak and southern Thailand during the north-east monsoon when compared with the drier north.

Further south Thailand has more of an equatorial climate due to its proximity to the equator and location on the Kra Isthmus.

The Kra Isthmus Thailand
The Kra Isthmus

Monthly Rainfall in Khao Lak vs Monthly Rainfall in Chiang Mai

Khao Lak in southern Thailand receives more annual rainfall compared with Chiang Mai in northern Thailand.

When to visit Khao Lak Weatherwise

Khao Lak’s high season runs from November to the end of April. Temperatures are cooler in November and December with the chance of scattered showers in the late afternoon. These rain showers rarely last more than 40 minutes.

January to March are the driest months in Khao Lak. Daily highs can reach a temperature of 34°C in February and March. The rains that typify the changing of seasons start earlier in Khao Lak than other areas of Thailand. April, although hot can see a significant rise in daily precipitation.

The rainy season in Khao runs from May to the end of October. To market Khao Lak as a tourist destination during the rainy season you may often hear the term The Green Season. The surrounding Khao Lak countryside does take on a healthy, lush green colour during the rainy months.

The weather in Khao Lak and most of Thailand can feel oppressive during the wet season due to the combination of high temperatures and high humidity. Though in Khao Lak there is often short periods of daily rain to cool things down. Severe heat stress is rare in Khao Lak.

Dramatic Clouds in Khao Lak
Dark clouds in the afternoon during the Rainy Season

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