Weather in Sri Lanka in August

Preparing for your Sri Lanka adventure in August? Brace yourself for a one-of-a-kind journey where tropical allure meets revitalizing showers. As August rolls in, so does the peak of the monsoon season, transforming the island into a canvas of vivid colors and enchanting vistas. Despite the occasional rain, this month presents abundant chances for delving into culture and unraveling history. Here's our guide to the weather in Sri Lanka in August.

What is the weather like in Sri Lanka in August?

The weather in Sri Lanka in August tends to be a bit of a mixed bag. Generally, you'll experience both sunny days and occasional showers, especially in the central and northern regions. 

August falls into the shoulder season for tourism in Sri Lanka. It's not as jam-packed as the high season months from December to February, but you'll notice a gradual uptick in tourist arrivals compared to the monsoon season. Expect moderate crowds and reasonable prices for accommodations and activities 

August typically brings around 300-400mm of rainfall, with the southern and western regions getting hit the hardest. These rains are indeed heavy, but the silver lining is that they're often brief.

Overall, August can be a good time to visit Sri Lanka. If you're okay with rain and love the lush greenery it brings, you're in for a treat. Plus, with fewer tourists around, you'll have more breathing room to explore those must-see attractions. However, if you're dead set on dry weather for your outdoor adventures, you might want to consider a different time of year. 

Rough Guides tip: Planning a trip to Sri Lanka could be a lengthy process. Delegate the planning and booking to our skilled local experts for a smoother experience.

fruits-market-sri-lanka-shutterstock_747951898

Fruits market, Sri Lanka © Shutterstock

Temperatures in Sri Lanka in August

August typically brings warm to hot temperatures across the country. In the northern parts, you can expect slightly warmer weather with minimal rainfall. However, in the southwest and southeast regions, temperatures are similar but with more frequent rain showers. Despite the occasional rain, overall, August signifies a warm climate throughout Sri Lanka.

North Sri Lanka

In August, North Sri Lanka experiences average high temperatures ranging from 31°C to 33°C (88°F to 91°F) and lows from 24°C to 26°C (75°F to 79°F). Rainfall during this period is minimal, with occasional brief showers. Major cities in this region include Jaffna and Kilinochchi.

Southwest Sri Lanka

August brings average highs of 29°C to 31°C (84°F to 88°F) and lows of 24°C to 26°C (75°F to 79°F) in the southwest region. Rainfall is more prevalent compared to the north, with intermittent heavy showers contributing to the greenery. Major cities in this area include Colombo and Galle.

Southeast Sri Lanka

In August, temperatures in the southeast region of Sri Lanka range from 28°C to 30°C (82°F to 86°F) for highs and 23°C to 25°C (73°F to 77°F) for lows. Rainfall is relatively low, with occasional showers. Major cities in this area include Batticaloa and Trincomalee

Learn more and compare the weather in different months with our guide to the weather in Sri Lanka.

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Kandy Temple of the Tooth, Sri Lanka © Shutterstock

Is August a good time to visit Sri Lanka?

August in Sri Lanka is heavily influenced by the tail end of the southwest monsoon. This means the weather can be a bit of a mixed bag depending on the timing of your trip. As the country moves away from the southwest monsoon, you'll find things getting drier and warmer across most parts of the country compared to the previous months. 

That said, you're still in for some serious rainfall and high humidity levels, especially in the central and southern regions. Sunny days happen more often, but it’s hard to plan for them. 

A bonus of visiting Sri Lanka in August is that it is a fantastic festival season. From religious celebrations to traditional dances and performances, this month can be great for exploring Sri Lankan culture. 

Ready to take your trip without the hassle of planning and booking? See our tailor-made trip service.

What about crowds and costs?

In August, Sri Lanka continues to experience its low tourist season, following the peak of the monsoon season in the previous months. That means you're in luck if you're after some peace and quiet at the popular spots and beaches. Accommodation and activity prices typically remain affordable during this period, making August an appealing option for those looking to stick to a budget.

Although the weather generally remains warm and pleasant, particularly in the eastern regions, it's important to note that rainfall may persist. This is especially true in the southwestern and central regions. 

So, if you're all about snagging some deals and enjoying the sights without the crowds, August is a great time to plan your trip.  If you are hoping to experience better weather, you might want to try booking your trip during the high season (December through March). 

Still planning your trip? Browse our Sri Lanka itineraries for inspiration. 

Pidurangala Rock Sri Lanka_Justina and Lauren-blog

Pidurangala Rock Sri Lanka © Shutterstock

Festivals and events in Sri Lanka in August

When planning your trip to Sri Lanka, don't forget to see if your visit lines up with any of the country's fantastic festivals or events. It's crucial to book your accommodation as early as possible to ensure you have a place to stay, especially during busy times. And for further inspiration for your Sri Lankan journey, check out our selection of the best things to do in the country.

Pada Yatra Pilgrimage

The Pada Yatra is a sacred pilgrimage that follows the footsteps of Buddhist monk Arahat Mahinda, who introduced Buddhism to Sri Lanka. Travelers can join pilgrims as they trek through picturesque landscapes, visiting ancient temples and sacred sites along the way. 

The pilgrimage offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature, spirituality, and local communities. Due to its popularity among pilgrims and travelers seeking spiritual experiences, booking accommodations along the pilgrimage route in advance is recommended to ensure a comfortable stay.

Kandy Esala Perahera 

Regarded as one of Asia's most spectacular cultural pageants, the Kandy Esala Perahera is held in the hill capital of Kandy to honor the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha. 

The grand procession features beautifully adorned elephants, traditional dancers, fire performers, and drummers. You can witness the mesmerizing spectacle of religious rituals, cultural performances, and pageantry that unfolds over ten days. 

Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil Temple Festival

Held in Jaffna, the Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil Temple Festival is one of the most significant Hindu festivals in Sri Lanka. This vibrant festival features colorful processions, traditional music and dance performances, and rituals dedicated to Lord Murugan. 

Get ready to immerse yourself in the festivities, witness the lighting of traditional oil lamps, and experience the fervent devotion of devotees. To ensure a seamless and unforgettable experience, it's wise to book accommodations in Jaffna ahead of time, as this festival draws both locals and tourists alike.

Still haven't decided where you're going this summer? Explore our list of the best August holiday destinations.

Kukul mas curry, Sri Lankan Chicken Curry © Shutterstock

Kukul mas curry, Sri Lankan Chicken Curry © Shutterstock

Ready for your dream trip to Sri Lanka in August?

Planning a trip to Sri Lanka? Why spend hours of research and planning when you can instead book your trip today with our tailor-made trip service? Our Sri Lanka itineraries are designed by local travel experts and are completely customizable. 

  • Sri Lanka deluxe (12 days):  Experience the Central Province's tea plantations and waterfalls, then unwind on the golden beaches of Sri Lanka's south coast. 
  • Sri Lanka wildlife discovery (10 days):  Experience Sri Lanka's untamed beauty: observe elephants at Yala and Udawalawe National Parks, enjoy a sunrise hot air balloon ride, and admire stunning cave drawings at Dambulla Cave Temple.
  • Luxury yoga (15 days): Indulge in a restorative holiday in Sri Lanka, with yoga, meditation, and Ayurvedic treatments for a perfect digital detox and inner balance.

Want to learn even more useful information for your upcoming trip to Sri Lanka? Read our travel tips for travelling to Sri Lanka and how to get to Sri Lanka.

Visit Sri Lanka in other months

Planning your trip to Sri Lanka? See what the weather is like in Sri Lanka in other months: 

  • January:  Enjoy pleasant temperatures and moderate crowds, ideal for beach outings and cultural exploration in Sri Lanka.
  • February:  Sunny weather attracts increasing numbers of tourists seeking outdoor activities and pleasant climates.
  • March: Experience dry conditions and rising temperatures amidst moderate crowds, perfect for exploring Sri Lanka's diverse attractions.
  • April: Embrace the hot and humid climate alongside bustling crowds drawn by Easter and New Year celebrations.
  • May: Encounter sporadic rainfall and reduced tourist numbers, providing a quieter ambiance for discovering Sri Lanka's treasures.
  • June: : Monsoon rains commence, leading to fewer crowds and offering an off-peak period for cultural immersion.
  • July: Heavy rainfall persists, resulting in lower crowds and opportunities for indoor cultural experiences.
  • September:  With decreased rainfall and fewer tourists, it's an ideal time for budget-friendly exploration of Sri Lanka's wonders.
  • October: Post-monsoon clear skies welcome moderate crowds, creating optimal conditions for outdoor adventures and cultural discoveries.
  • November:  Dry weather and moderate crowds make it an ideal time to explore Sri Lanka's landscapes and cultural heritage.
  • December:  Peak tourist season brings warm temperatures and bustling crowds, perfect for beach vacations and festive cultural experiences.
Dre Roelandt

written by
Dre Roelandt

updated 06.06.2024

Dre Roelandt is originally from the United States but lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Dre is a freelance writer and artist with a passion for travelling. They are an in-house Content Editor at Rough Guides.

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