Maldives Weather and Climate The scattered atolls and islands of the Maldives bestride the equator in the Indian Ocean, a few hundred miles south of the Indian mainland and Sri Lanka. As a result the weather is routinely hot and sunny, and the temperature range changes little throughout the year - an average of about 30 degrees Celsius during the day, and a balmy 25 degrees at night. This makes the Maldives an excellent destination for a sunshine-filled holiday at any time of year. Although the average temperatures show little change, conditions on the islands are affected by the major seasonal monsoon winds that determine the weather patterns for the whole of the Indian Ocean region. In the Maldives these are known as the north-east monsoon - the dry season, which usually runs from January to March - and the south-west monsoon, or wet season, which runs from May to November. The transition between the monsoons varies from year to year, but usually occur in April and December. These are the inter-monsoonal periods, when thunderstorms and strong winds are common.The seasonal changes in the monsoon winds are driven by temperature differences between the waters of the Indian Ocean and the landmass of the Eurasian continent. During the northern winter the sun heats the sea more than the land, resulting in a cold high-pressure region over the north of India and generally dry, cool north-east winds over the Maldives. This dry season corresponds with the tourist peak season for the Maldives, and so accommodation at the most popular resorts is harder to find at this time of year and it is best to book well in advance. In the northern Summer the situation is reversed, and warm, wet winds blow across the Maldives from the south-west, carrying rain towards the Indian mainland. The rainfall on the islands is significantly higher during the south-west monsoon, particularly on the islands of the southernmost atolls, and strong winds and sharp storms are more common. However, even in the wet season the islands of the Maldives enjoy an average of eight sunshine hours a day, and most rain storms form in the afternoons and are over in just an hour or so. Some under-sung benefits of the wet season in the Maldives include dramatic cloud formations and thunderstorms often seen passing on the horizon, and spectacular ocean sunsets. The occasional thunderstorm over the resort islands can provide a welcome respite from the heat of the day, and is a perfect opportunity for reading or reading in the luxury of the resort villas, lounges and restaurants, or even for walking in the rain through the lush tropical forest of the island. A swim in the warm sea during a spell of rain is also an exhilarating experience. The seasonal changes in the weather bring corresponding changes in the oceans. The microscopic organisms that form the basis of the food chain in the tropical seas around the Maldives bloom in the sunnier dry season and tend to reduce the water visibility for diving - although it remains remarkably clear by the standards of many other world-class diving locations. Offshore storms can also cloud the waters, but in general the visibility is better in the wet season and so this time of year is favoured by scuba divers.