Weather in Sri Lanka in October

 The weather in Sri Lanka in October witnesses major changes throughout the country. The Southwest monsoon winds are retreating and the Maha monsoon winds start to affect the north coast of the country. Rainfall can be very unpredictable throughout the country, there are also chances of thunderstorms. This inter monsoon period brings rain across the country however it is highly unpredictable. Rainfall in the northeast is basically generous long lasting showers. In other regions though, rainfall is sporadic and often coupled with some hours of sunshine, giving you the best of both worlds. If you’re travelling with kids, the activities you can indulge in, will be limited. However, look up our guide on travelling with kids, to pick the ideal time and best places to visit. 

A splendid sight to simply marvel at. Gregory Lake in Nuwara Eliya is definitely one of the prime highlights of this region.

The South and West coast of Sri Lanka in October

The southwest coast of the country continues to receive rainfall during this transitional period. The temperatures vary between 25 – 28ºC  and the showers are light, unpredictable and short lived. If you are looking for a beach holiday, visiting beaches along this coast like Mirissa, Unawatuna, Hikkaduwa, is your best bet. Given that the tourist season hasn’t entirely commenced, the region is peaceful with few crowds and the benefit of off-season discounts at the best of hotels. This is also a great time to go diving or surfing in this region, yet this depends entirely on the actual weather during your travel dates. 

surfing in sri lanka October marks the beginning of the surf season along the south coast, provided the weather conditions are suitable. Catch some of the best waves at Hikkaduwa during this time.

The North and North-East coast of Sri Lanka in October

The ‘Maha Monsoons’ hit  the Northeast coast of Sri Lanka in the month of October and lasts till January. It is usually not recommended to visit this coast during these months. The unpredictable monsoon winds tend to affect the whole country, they can be strong and harsh or sometimes not exist at all. You can try your luck with Surfing at Arugam Bay, but it is advisable to avoid it towards the end of the month. The downpours and their intensity are highly unpredictable. To avoid a hassle free trip, it’s best to steer clear of this region. 

monsoons in sri lanka Heavy rains along the Northeast coast of Sri Lanka.

The Hill Country and Cultural Triangle in October

Further inland, the hills receive heavy rainfall in the month of October and it gets quite cold by evening. The plantations here are an unmissable sight, but getting out and indulging in activities like trekking is usually not possible during this period.

The Cultural Triangle may not receive as much rainfall as other parts of the country but there is no guaranteed sunshine. However, it may be possible to explore the ancient ruins of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. But given that it has to be done on foot, rains definitely don’t help make the situation any better. If you’re looking to explore this region at length it is best to wait until February when the Maha monsoon winds are fading out. 

rains in sri lanka Downpours in the hill country region of Sri Lanka. The monsoons are the best time to witness the beauty of this region but trekking and other adventure activities come to a stand still.

National Parks of Sri Lanka in October

October is not the best month for wildlife spotting and safaris, however, Wilpattu and Uda Walawe can still be visited. October is a great time to spot migrating bird species at Uda Walawe National Park. Yala National Park shuts every year in the month of September. Often it can be shut for the first half of October as well. Thus you can avoid this one and head to the national parks further north of the island.

wildlife in sri lanka Lankan Sloth Bear at Wilpattu National Park. Often overlooked by tourists, this park is in the Northwest region of the country.

To Sum it up

The weather in Sri Lanka in October is one of the wettest and the most unpredictable. Characterised by heavy rains and strong winds across the island. Water sports are also not recommended during this month. However, you can get some good deals when it comes to pricing, being off season. The generous rain by the coasts and vast stretches of lush green landscapes definitely make for sights worth witnessing. However, several activities may remain closed during this period. To plan the ideal trip take a look at our guide on the best time to visit Sri Lanka. Besides that, also look up getting around in Sri Lanka. A guide to help figure out travelling in Sri Lanka.

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