Weather in Sri Lanka in September

Thinking about visiting Sri Lanka in September? Get ready for a captivating blend of tropical allure and rejuvenating showers. September marks the tail end of the monsoon season, offering a transition from rainy days to clearer skies. It's a time when the island's landscapes are adorned with lush greenery and sparkling after the rain. Whether you're exploring ancient ruins, unwinding on secluded beaches, or simply savoring the flavors of local cuisine, this island promises a memorable trip. Here’s our guide to the weather in Sri Lanka in September. 

What is the weather like in Sri Lanka in September?

September marks the tail end of the southwest monsoon season, meaning the rain is starting to bid its farewell. Expect scattered showers and the occasional rumble of thunder, especially in central and southern parts of the country, but with longer spells of sunshine compared to previous months. Outdoor adventures might still get a sprinkle here and there, but the improving weather makes it easier to dive into the country's attractions.

September falls into the shoulder season for tourism in Sri Lanka. It's not as buzzing as the December to February peak, but you'll notice a gentle uptick in tourist traffic compared to the monsoon season. This means typically fewer crowds and potentially sweeter deals on accommodations and activities.

On average, Sri Lanka receives around 200-300mm of rainfall in September, with the southern and western regions experiencing less rain than the months previous. The rain tends to be a bit more scattered in September. While it might still impact your outdoor plans, there are more opportunities for sightseeing and exploration.

Overall, September can be a great time to visit Sri Lanka. With the weather shaping up and the low tourism season kicking in, you can soak up the country's wonders without battling huge crowds or relentless rain. It's a golden opportunity to dive into Sri Lanka's rich culture, stunning landscapes, and diverse wildlife without breaking the bank.

Rough Guides tip: Planning a trip to Sri Lanka could be a lengthy task. Opt for our local experts to handle the planning and booking, saving you time and effort.


The weather in Sri Lanka in September is great for seeing green scenery © Shutterstock

Temperatures in Sri Lanka in September

September generally brings warm temperatures across the country. However, rainfall varies depending on the region. In the north and southeast, you'll encounter moderate showers, while the southwest experiences heavier rainfall. This means the southwest might be a tad cooler due to the rain, but overall, expect hot and humid conditions across the island during this time.

North Sri Lanka

In the northern part, including cities like Jaffna and Mannar, the average high temperatures range between 30-32°C (86-90°F), while lows typically fall between 24-26°C (75-79°F). This region experiences moderate rainfall during September, with precipitation levels averaging around 150-200mm.

Southwest Sri Lanka

Moving to southwest Sri Lanka, which encompasses cities like Colombo and Galle, temperatures remain warm but slightly lower compared to the north. Here, the average high temperatures range from 28-30°C (82-86°F), with lows ranging between 23-25°C (73-77°F). September brings significant rainfall to this region, with precipitation levels averaging around 300-400mm for the month.

Southeast Sri Lanka

In the southeast region, covering areas like Batticaloa and Trincomalee, temperatures are similar to those in the north and southwest. Highs typically reach 30-32°C (86-90°F), with lows around 24-26°C (75-79°F). Rainfall in this area remains moderate during September, with an average of 200-300mm for the month.

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

Nilaveli beach in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka © Shutterstock

Nilaveli Beach in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka © Shutterstock

Is September a good time to visit Sri Lanka?

September in Sri Lanka brings a mix of weather, with the tail end of the inter-monsoon period transitioning into the onset of the northeast monsoon season. While there are still plenty of sunny days to enjoy, you should brace yourself for some rain showers, especially in regions like the central and southwestern parts of the island.

Temperatures during September usually make for a pleasant climate for exploration. However, the occasional downpour might interrupt your outdoor activities, so it's a good idea to pack waterproof gear and keep an eye on the forecast.

September can offer a quieter and more authentic experience in Sri Lanka, but it comes with the trade-off of potential rain showers. If you're flexible and don't mind a bit of precipitation, you can still have a memorable and rewarding journey on this beautiful island.

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

What about crowds and costs?

In September, Sri Lanka keeps riding the wave of its low tourist season as the monsoon season gradually fades away. You'll find that tourist crowds remain pleasantly sparse, giving you plenty of room to wander around popular spots and beaches without the usual peak season hustle and bustle. 

Plus, accommodation and activity prices tend to stay wallet-friendly during this time, making September an attractive option for budget-conscious travelers.

As the month rolls on, you'll notice the weather improving, with rainfall easing up and sunny days becoming more frequent. But don't stash away that umbrella just yet – occasional showers, especially in the first half of the month, are still very likely. 

If you want to explore Sri Lanka on a budget and don’t mind rain, September is a great time to visit. 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. 


The weather in Sri Lanka in September is great for seeing Adam Peak © Shutterstock

Festivals and events in Sri Lanka in September

When organizing your Sri Lankan adventure, take a moment to see if your trip coincides with any of the country's captivating festivals or events. Remember, securing your accommodation early is essential to guarantee a smooth stay, particularly during peak seasons. And for additional inspiration for your Sri Lankan exploration, delve into our collection of the best things to do in the country. 

National Festival of Kites

Held annually in Negombo, the National Festival of Kites is a colorful extravaganza that attracts kite enthusiasts from around the world. Picture the skies adorned with vibrant kites of all shapes and sizes, showcasing intricate designs and craftsmanship. 

From kite flying competitions to workshops and cultural performances, there's something for everyone at this fun-filled festival. To ensure a comfortable stay and easy access to the festival grounds, it's a good idea to book your accommodations in Negombo ahead of time.

Ratnapura Gem Exhibition

Known as the "City of Gems," Ratnapura hosts an annual gem exhibition in September, showcasing Sri Lanka's rich gemstone industry. 

Get ready to explore exhibits featuring a dazzling array of precious and semi-precious stones, including sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. Learn about gem mining techniques, jewelry making, and the cultural significance of gemstones in Sri Lankan society

Navarathri Festival

This nine-night festival is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga and her various manifestations. Expect colorful processions, intricate kolam (rangoli) designs, and traditional music and dance performances. 

You can visit Hindu temples across the country to witness special rituals, attend cultural events, and savor festive delicacies. To ensure a memorable and culturally enriching experience during Navarathri, consider booking accommodations in areas with significant Tamil populations, such as Jaffna or Batticaloa, ahead of time.

Watalappam or Watalappan is Sweet Dessert custard pudding © Shutterstock

Watalappam or Watalappan is sweet dessert custard pudding © Shutterstock

Ready for your dream trip to Sri Lanka in September?

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 trips are designed by local travel experts and are completely customizable. 

  • Luxury Sri Lanka and The Maldives (14 days): Combine the best of Sri Lanka's cultural wonders with the luxury of the Maldives' white-sand beaches on this twin-center trip of a lifetime.
  • The best of Sri Lanka (14 days):  Explore Sri Lanka's highlights in just two weeks: from Nuwara Eliya's tea plantations to Ella's scenic train ride, and witnessing stilt fishermen on the Southern coast.
  • Wild and wonderful Sri Lanka (13 days): Embark on a unique wildlife adventure in Sri Lanka: sleep under the stars, spot elephants and leopards in national parks, and go whale and dolphin-watching at Mirissa.

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: 

  • October: Post-monsoon clear skies beckon moderate crowds, creating ideal conditions for outdoor adventures and cultural exploration.
  • November:  Enjoy dry weather and moderate crowds, making it a prime time to delve into Sri Lanka's landscapes and heritage.
  • December:  Peak tourist season brings warm temperatures and bustling crowds, perfect for festive beach vacations and cultural immersion.
  • January:  Enjoy mild temperatures and manageable crowds, perfect for exploring Sri Lanka's beaches and cultural sites.
  • February:  Sunny skies attract more tourists seeking outdoor activities and pleasant weather.
  • March: Experience dry weather and increasing temperatures amidst moderate crowds, ideal for discovering Sri Lanka's diverse attractions.
  • April: Embrace the hot and humid climate alongside bustling crowds drawn by Easter and New Year celebrations.
  • May: Encounter occasional rainfall and fewer tourists, offering a serene atmosphere for exploring Sri Lanka's treasures.
  • June:  Monsoon rains begin, leading to reduced crowds and providing a quieter period for cultural immersion.
  • July:  Heavy rainfall continues, resulting in fewer crowds and opportunities for indoor cultural experiences.
  • August:  Monsoon rains start to ease, attracting moderate crowds eager to enjoy better weather and outdoor activities.
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.

Ready to travel and discover
Sri Lanka?

Get support from our local experts for
stress-free planning & worry-free travels

Plan my trip ⤍