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Home | Malaysia | Maylaysia Overview | Climate
Climate

Malaysia's position in the equatorial zone guarantees a classic tropical climate with relative humidity levels usually around 90%. Weather is fairly hot and humid all year round (with the exception of the cooler climes of the central highlands) averaging 30ºC in the daytime, with short intense showers almost daily. Malaysia's climate is dominated by the effect of two monsoons or "rainy seasons", which affect different parts of Malaysia to varying degrees.

The north-east monsoon blows between October and March and from May to September Malaysia is affected by the south-west monsoon. Heavier rainfall is experienced in spring and autumn when the monsoon changes direction, however this increased rainfall should not spoil a visit to west coast Malaysia or the hill stations. Mornings are usually hot and sunny with showers in the afternoon.

Try to avoid east coast destinations and Island Malaysia between November and January. Otherwise, Malaysia can be enjoyed at any time of year as the weather is generally hot, sunny and fairly uniform; it's rare to have a day without showers and unusual to have a day without sunshine. Take light summer clothes, carry an umbrella and an extra warm sweater if visiting the hill stations.
Slightly thicker clothing may also be worn in air-conditioned spaces like cinemas and meeting rooms

Best time to visit:
The best time for beach holidays or scuba-diving will depend on which part of Malaysia you intend to visit. The country is affected by the south-west monsoon from May to September and the north-east monsoon from November to March, and different parts of the country have their dry and wet seasons at different times of year.
On the west coast, the wettest months are May to October, while on the east coast, the wettest months are September to December. Kuala Lumpur is wettest from March to April and September to November, while Malaysian Borneo sees its heaviest rainfall between November and February. The best time to visit for dry weather is June and July on the east coast, January and February on the west coast, April in Sabah and June to July in Sarawak.

Required clothing:
Lightweight, loose-fitting clothes are sensible at any time of year. To avoid offending local sensibilities, female travellers should wear clothes that cover the legs and upper arms. Note that shorts are rarely worn by adults, except at the beach. Full-length trousers will create a better impression. Because of the rainfall patterns and the vagaries of Malaysia weather, always carry an umbrella.

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