Phuket has a balmy tropical climate, with two distinct seasons that shift with the direction of the monsoons. The northeast monsoon season, from November through March, brings cool breezes and clear, sunny, dry days. The southwest monsoon runs from May through October and tends to be wetter.
Unlike parts of Thailand further to the north, Phuket sees fairly consistent temperatures year-round, with lows in the mid-20s (Celsius) and peak temperatures in the mid-30s. March and April are the hottest months, while November through January is the coolest and driest time of year.
This is, not surprisingly, also the most popular time for visitors, since it coincides with the miseries of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, with the result that Phuket fills up.
Although the weather in Phuket is reliably sunny most of the year, there is more chance of rain from April to October. This can mean cooler, cloudy days, or hot sunny weather with tropical storms in the late afternoon and evening. The weather can get uncomfortably humid, too. Sea breezes cool the temperatures even in hot season but expect sea and swimming pools to be warm year-round.
Green Season in Phuket
From April to November the wind swings to the southwest, bringing wetter days and higher humidity. April is the steamiest month, with daytime temperatures creeping towards the 40-degree level and heavy thunder clouds bringing humidity levels up. Rain showers are frequent but brief.
Rainfall is heavier from May through August, but the storms are often quick to pass and there are still many sunny days during these months. It’s a nice time of year to visit, as the beaches are less crowded and hotel rates lower. October usually brings a final burst of rain storms before the skies clear for the next ‘high’ season.
Heavy swells make swimming dangerous, and there are frequent drownings despite red flags and signs warning people not to swim. On the upside, surfers love the ‘low season’ as there are decent swells to ride at many of the west coast beaches.
But despite attempts by the tourism industry to rebrand this as ‘Summer Season’, the impression that it pours with rain for six months on end seems hard to dislodge from tourists’ minds. Many residents, however, prefer this time of year because the cloudy weather can make it cooler as the season progresses, and the rain makes the island greener.
Rain gear and umbrellas are a must during September and October, as these months see an average rainfall of more than 300mm. During this time the weather in Phuket can be dark, wet and gloomy. While there’s often still a fair amount of sunshine, don’t be surprised to find it bucketing down for days on end. It’s a good time to hit the shopping centres and spas.
Dry Season in Phuket
From December through February, rainfall levels drop to about 40mm a month on average. March remains dry, but it begins to feel hotter and more humid.
When November begins, the rains end, and this is the time of year when those from cold climates begin fleeing to Phuket to enjoy the sun-drenched beaches. Weather in Phuket is at its best and humidity levels drop, making it more comfortable for sipping cocktails in the shade of beach umbrellas. If there is any rain, it rarely lasts more than an hour.
Phuket Weather by Month
January weather is ideal for visiting Phuket, as it’s dry and cooler, with little chance of rain, and low humidity. However this is also high season and you’ll find Phuket somewhat crowded and prices higher.
The weather in February in Phuket is still very pleasant, with very little chance of rain, cool evenings and very little humidity, though it can still be quite hot in the middle of the day. Being the dead of winter in Europe, North America and North Asia, this is a popular time for tourists from those regions to visit, so the island remains busy.
By March the cooler, pleasant, weather in Phuket has almost gone. It can be quite hot in the day time, though cool in the evenings and early mornings. There’s still little rain and it’s not yet heavy with humidity. The tourist spots are still busy.
April is the hottest month weather-wise in Phuket and, indeed, Thailand, and the rains are eagerly awaited as day-time temperatures head for 40 Celsius. But the island can still be busy, especially around mid-month when quite a few tourists arrive for the annual Songkran festival with its water battles.
By May the rainy season begins, though some years it’s later. This means hot day time temperatures, the chance of an afternoon downpour to cool things down, but generally high humidity. Most tourists have gone home, hotel rates come down and sometimes its sunny for weeks.
June is a quiet month in Phuket, and visitors at this time enjoy off-season rates and often plenty of sunshine, though there is the chance of showers or rainy, cloudy days. Mostly, however, the weather stays warm and humid.
By July the rainy season is in full swing in Phuket, weather is humid, balmy and sometimes quite sunny. Everything is lushly green but you’ll yearn for the slightest sea breeze to beat the humidity, even if there’s plenty of room on the sun loungers.
August is often one of the wetter months as the monsoon weather reaches its peak, and you are most likely to have lots of cloudy days and downpours. It can be stiflingly humid, but there is still quite a bit of sunshine. Apart from backpackers on uni break, there are not too many tourists on the island.
The wettest month in Phuket is often September when the monsoon reaches its zenith, there can also be the occasional remnants of a Pacific typhoon blowing through, meaning lots of rain and humidity, but the cloud cover keeps the weather cool, and it’s the bottom of the tourist season so all prices are very negotiable.
October can also be pretty wet, though the humidity eases off and temperatures fall abit. There are still plenty of sunny days. What’s more, high season hotel prices only kick in from November 1st.
November weather in Phuket is very pleasant, as temperatures cool and the rain disappears almost entirely. You get the advantage of this without the tourist crush, no humidity, but high season hotel prices start from November 1st.
The tourist season reaches its busiest in December when the weather is best and many Europeans, North Americans and North Asians travel around Christmas and the New Year to escape the cold at home. Temperatures are an ideal low 20s (Celsius) by day, even slightly nippy in the evening. Humidity is low and the chance of rain slight. You need to book hotels well in advance though.