Scattered Clouds
28 °C feels like 31 °C
Wind from NE at 26kph
(Thu, 04 Feb 2016 08:00:00)


Maldives Weather

Walking on sunshine

The Maldives have a pretty stable climate. All year round the temperature holds steady between 24 and 34 °C. The last 3 days showed an average of 29.24°C in temperature which felt like 33.24°C due to wind and air pressure.
As a result of the countries close proximity to the equator the Maldives only have two seasons throughout the year. The dry season during the months of the northeast monsoon, and the rainy season which is brought on by the southwest monsoon.
The dry season (early december to late march) is also related to the large landmass of india. During this time the wind blows from the northeast and passes over the indian subcontinent where most of the air is stripped of its water on mountains as early as the Himalaya. Yet even in the dry season it is not uncommon to encounter local storms which can last up to a week.
The wet season (late April to late October) on the other hand brings warm water laden air from the indian ocean towards india and sri lanka. During this time hot air rises over the continental landmass and pulls in air from over the indian ocean where the difference in air pressure creates majestic thunderstorms.
The months in between the seasons start and end dates are called shifting periods. It's when the monsoon winds change direction and the weather is usually calm during this time.

The Monsoon

The Maldivian weather makers

A map of the south asian monsoon directions over the Maldives and India.

The word monsoon derives from the arabic word mawsim (موسم) which means season. Over time it passed several languages including Portuguese (monção) and Dutch (monsun) before it became the english word monsoon.
Monsoon is used to describe seasonal reversing winds which occur in the west-african and asia-australian regions. Resposibly for the Maldivian weather is a subsystem of the Asian monsoons, the so called South Asian Monsoon.
The monsoon winds occur because of the temperature difference in the air above land respectively the ocean. Water and land absorb heat in a different manner. The former has a high heat capacity and will exchange heat or cold with deeper water layers through conduction and convection. The landmass on the other hand has a much lower heat capacity and is only able to heat lower suface layers by conduction. This means that water is able to take up significantly more energy before changing temperature than rocks and sand. Therefore the ocean does have a more stable temperature compared to the fluctuations at land.
As a result the air above the continent will heat up quicker or cool down faster than over the ocean. If the air heats up above land, like it does during the summer months, it will rise and pull in air from the ocean to fill the gap in pressure. In the winter months the situation reverses. The ocean will still hold great heat energy while the landmass cooles down quite quickly. Cold and dry air from above the continent will flow towards the seas filling the gaps left by the rising air.