Cambodia is located close to the equator; between 10 to 13 degrees north, and enjoys a tropical climate, with warm to hot temperatures.
The annual monsoon cycle alternates wet and dry seasons. The monsoon usually kicks off gently in May, has a peak in July, August and September and slows down again in October.
The combination of the variety in temperature and the monsoon cycle effectively creates four seasons:
November, December, January, February
Climate wise, this is possibly the best time to visit Cambodia. Days are warm, humidity is relatively low, light breezes, skies are clear and rain is absent but for occasional very light showers in February (mango showers). Evenings are cool and pleasant.
March, April, May
During these months, the temperatures start picking up, humidity soars and the mango showers are more frequent. The country gets pretty dry. It is probably best to avoid afternoon sun & heat during these months, a fabulous excuse for a siesta or a cold drink in the shade.
Fortunately, Kampot’s location near the sea and mountains gives it a much more temperate climate than inland destinations.
June, July, August
The monsoon really kicks in, and built up heat and humidity is welcomingly reduced after a good downpour. The rain pattern is quite predictable in the center and north of the country, where it usually rains in the afternoon or at night. A usual downpour does not last longer than a couple of hours. On the south coast, the rains are less predictable, some days in August may show a drizzle throughout the day, whereas on other days there might be a good hour-long downpour, but in a less predictable pattern than the rains up north. Rest assured, there are plenty of completely dry days within this period and even when it rains, it is rare to have an entire day of rain.
September, October (and sometimes the start of November)
Even though September is the highest risk month for floods, it also signifies diminishing rain and temperatures. The country is lush, nature is abundant and tourism numbers are at its lowest – a perfect time to visit Cambodia if you love nature and photography and are not a great fan of masses of other tourists.
Cambodia is a safe haven – there is no need to fear natural disasters such as erupting volcanoes or earthquakes, and the country is not directly affected by tropical storms.
During the rainy season, the Mekong swelters, and backs up into the Tonle Sap, up to six-folding the size of this river/lake. About 85% of Cambodia lies within the lower Mekong basin. If floods occur, they mostly effect the areas around the Tonle Sap.
Deforestation and erosion further increase the risk of floods.
Downtown Phnom Penh floods regularly after the largest lake in town (Boeung Kak) was filled.
Today 10/18 80%
Scattered thunderstorms during the morning becoming more widespread this afternoon. High near 30C. Winds NW at 10 to 15 km/h. Chance of rain 80%.
Tomorrow 10/19 80%
Thunderstorms likely. High 31C. Winds NW at 10 to 15 km/h. Chance of rain 80%.
Friday 10/20 100%
Thunderstorms. High near 30C. Winds NW at 10 to 15 km/h. Chance of rain 100%.
Saturday 10/21 90%
Showers and thunderstorms. High around 30C. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 km/h. Chance of rain 90%.
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