Tropical Malaysia Weather Can Change From Sunny to Stormy Fast
Malaysia weather is fairly predictable. However, that doesn't mean you won't get wet. It rains nearly 200 days out of the year.
Rainfall patterns are usually consistent enough that you can decide when to go out and when to come back from a nature outing.
I actually adore the torrential thunderstorms, horizontal lightning and thunder that cracks right over your head. Rain is life-giving, cooling and makes for great green rainforests.
But never underestimate the power of a tropical storm and always be prepared to abort a trip, shorten a hike, take suitable cover and keep alert for quick weather changes.
When out in the wilds of Malaysia weather, it's a constant duel between protection from the harsh equatorial sun and avoiding being drenched by curtains of pouring water.
Mostly it's in the timing: rainy versus dry season by month or morning versus mid-afternoon by day.
Malaysia Weather: Monsoon Seasons
Malaysia Weather: Temperature
On average, any destination in Peninsular Malaysia gets a dose of 6 hours of superb sunshine everyday. Both temperatures and humidity normally run high.
This potent tropical combo not only drains your energy sooner but causes heat stress, so regulate your own body temperature with plenty of water, shade and a pleasant pace.
Average temperatures range from 21 C to 32 C (70 F to 90 F) in the lowlands, so escape to a highland destination for a refreshing cooler range of 16 C to 24 C (60 F to 75 F).
Humidity is constant and falls within the 70% to 90% range. There are two key ways to combat humidity: showers and fans.
When out in the jungle you will be sweaty all day long, so enjoy a cleansing shower (more like a splash) as often as the schedule permits. When looking for lodging, check to make sure the hut or chalet has a fan (ceiling, wall or standalone). Keep heat and humidity bearable with light breezes.
Plus, fans help to dry out clothes for another jungle run the next day. If you are suffering, get an air-conditioned room and play polar bear. But remember, outside it's a sweltering transition to the heat and water heavy air.
Malaysian Weather: Safety Tips
Keeping on top of the weather is part of any jungle journey. Knowing what to do in case of a weather emergency helps to keep everyone calm and in relative comfort. Train yourself to monitor clouds on the horizon or notice sudden gusts of wind anytime out on the trail.
Learn local weather patterns to anticipate normal occurrences from rare outbursts of bad weather. Getting wet from light rain episodes is not uncommon and not a problem if the sun comes back out.
Extreme Malaysia Weather Conditions
Severe weather presents a danger to you, your family or companions. Go over some of these basic wilderness safety tips before a problem becomes a catastrophe:
Lightning Strike Protection
Sometimes you just get caught in the wrong location - mountain peak, ridge, hilltop. To minimize risk from lightning strikes try the following:
Source: Adapted from The Backpacker's Field Manual, Three Rivers Press, 2005.
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