Cambodia Weather and Climate
If you love rain and humidity, there is a place to come and explore, Cambodia. The rainfall rate is medium for people to enjoy listening to the drop and looking at it from the window or anywhere possible. Rainy season is a great time to travel around Cambodia-even seeing temples and going to the beach, as the country is mercifully empty of tourists. During the rainy season the temples of Angkor are at their most beautiful and most photogenic. The reflecting pools and moats are full, the vegetation is deep green and the wet stone of the temples is at its most colorful.
Cambodia is a tropical country–it’s located just a smidge above the equator–with a usual temperature range of 21 to 37 °C (69.8 to 95 °F). Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia in the tropical zone, just 10-13 degrees north off the equator. Like most of Southeast Asia, Cambodia is warm to hot year round and the climate is dominated by the annual monsoon cycle with its alternating wet and dry seasons. The monsoon cycle is driven by cyclic air pressure changes over central Asia.
As the pressure drops during the summer months (June through October), moist air is drawn landward from the ocean bringing the southwest monsoon rains to Cambodia and much of Southeast Asia. Come the winter months (November through May), the air pressure over central Asia rises, driving cool dry air back across Southeast Asia and bringing on a largely rainless dry season to Cambodia.
There are only two season in Cambodia: Rainy and dry seasons, but there is slightly cool in between December and January and sometime extend until February most of the years. The two seasons are divided from month to month separately as following:
Cool and dry: November-February
Average mid-day temperatures are in the mid 20s, sometime dipping below 20 at night. The monsoon rains trail off through October and November, and have usually stopped completely by mid November. These months – November through February – are generally considered to be the best time of year to visit, with December and January offering the very best weather of the year across the country – comfortably warm days, clear skies, no rain, light breeze, cool evenings. The temperature in Phnom Penh ranges from 21 to 32 °C (70 to 90 °F).
Hot and dry: March-May
The dry season continues, the only precipitation being short ‘mango showers’ in the afternoons that slowly increase in frequency and intensity through these months. The temperature slowly rises through February and March, peaking out in April and May before the monsoons begin. February and March are still comfortable but by April mid-day temperatures can hover in the mid to upper 40 °C (104 °F), especially in inland areas. It is less breezy at this time of year, the sun can be quite intense and the air becomes hazier with the rising humidity.
Hot and wet: June-August
The hot season continues but is fairly quickly moderated as the monsoon rains begin in May and June, cooling, if only a bit, the hot, humid air. Across most of the country, the monsoon rains are fairly predictable, usually occurring in the afternoon or at night. And the afternoon rains usually last no more than a couple of hours making them fairly easy to plan around. The pattern of monsoon rains tends too be different along the coast and the beach towns, where the rains are more frequent and, when the season is at its peak, may last for days at a time, though, unlike the rest of the country, the rain on the coast may stop for days at a time as well.
Cool and wet: September-Early November
The air doesn’t really begin to cool much until October or November, but still, it’s cooler than the hottest months. In September the temperatures hover in the mid 30s and slowly drop through the following months. By October, the mid day temperatures are around 30. In September the rainy season is just passing its peak. The rains are still very regular and intense in September, but by October the frequency is usually dropping off considerably. By the end of October the rains are close to stopping completely, if they haven’t already.