Surin Islands information: Weather
The monsoon play an important role in all aspects of life on the Surin Islands. The monsoons always head in from the South West over the Andaman Sea. So The east coast is protected from the monsoons features powdery coral beaches, coral gardens of hard and soft corals which slope dramatically from the surface down to approximately 30-40 meters. Whereas the West coast is generally made up of the large boulders dropping into the depths. The flora is very much affected by the constant winds and have very dramatic scenery with only a few beaches
The best time to visit the Surin Islands:
January, February and March
The weather on the Surin Islands could be classified into 2 seasons consisting of hot seasons starting from mid of February – May, while the raining season begins in mid- May and lasts until October which has a highest level of rainfall. The yearly average rainfall is more than 3,000 milimeters and the average of related humidity is 83 percent. .
Monsoons are the major factor in the weather conditions. When they are gone, the Surin Islands National Park is open! Even the occasional thunderstorm presents more opportunity than harm – we just consider it air-conditioning.
There are seasonal variations in currents – as the prevailing winds that bring the monsoons also bring in colder waters from the open ocean we tend to have even clearer water. Tidal currents are strong at the narrow points in the islands – be wary of trying to swim between the islands!
Surin Islands Information: Monsoons
The northeast monsoon lasts from October until May and is considered to be the high season on the Surin Islands and in Khao Lak and is generally understood to be the best time of year for both traveling to and enjoying the Surin Islands. This is true to a certain extent, as the weather is consistent and predictable. The main reason it is the popular time, though, is that it’s winter in Europe and the States where most of our visitors come from, and people are escaping the cold.
During this time, since the wind is blowing from the northeast, on the West Coast of Thailand, boats can reach even the most remote of sites as strong winds don’t affect the sea until you reach far, far offshore. And, during the months of February, March, and April, the sea is generally flat and feels more like a lake than an ocean or sea. This is the transition time and it gets hot – 35 is not unheard of. The three months in the spring are hot here and the very best time for visiting the islands.
During the northeast monsoon, the wind can be very strong at times, 15-25 knots, so the Gulf of Thailand experiences fairly high waves and often times boats to Koh Samui or Koh Tao can not run due to the height of the waves. While that rarely affects the West Coast it can cause some wind and even waves. Most reputable operators will advise guests of the risks (if any).
The southwest monsoon means the waves & wind now come from the southwest and since Khao Lak and the Surin Islands face the west, the waves are hitting the West Coast beaches directly making the Andaman Sea feel more like an ocean rather than the glassy lake it usually is. Rain is more common which makes the country-side more green, tropical, and beautiful.
The Gulf, since it is protected for the most part from westerly winds, experiences flatter seas than Andaman Coast does during the southwest monsoon. However, it rains there just as much as it rains on the West Coast during that time.
The weather here is not severe. There are rarely typhoons or hurricanes or even severe tropical storms. Besides the constant heat here (and that’s not really a problem on the boats, islands or coastline) Khao Lak and the Surin Islands have some of the best and safest weather in the world.
The trick for visiting during these times is having protection from the waves. Unfortunately, many of the popular sites in the region do not have protection from rough weather. Since the sea height is unpredictable during the southwest monsoon on the Surin side, and unpredictable during the northeast monsoon on the Gulf side, it makes it difficult to plan trips to any areas that don’t offer proper protection from the waves. Due to the distances involved in making trips to Burma (a 1,000km round trip), no one generally schedules trips to these areas during the southwest monsoon.