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BBC Bristol Online: The website that loves Bristol ...
BBC Bristol Online > Richard Angwin's Weather
Wednesday 13th March 2001,1630 GMT
Weatherman takes on the world - destination Sri Lanka
Columbo
Columbo, Sri Lanka's capital
Lots more holiday destinations - links on the right ---->

With the England cricket team currently touring Sri Lanka, the "Pearl of the Orient" is even more popular as a long-haul destination this year.

Its popularity is partly due to its hot and humid climate, which tends to be modified by the coastal sea breezes.

These make the coastal areas much more pleasant and a mecca for sun-worshippers, as well as the Barmy Army.

As Sri Lanka lies close to the equator, it can feel very uncomfortable at times.

beach
Sea breezes make the Sri Lanka's coast cooler

Air temperatures are not that extreme, 36 Celsius (96F) is the highest ever recorded on the island, but are often accompanied by a humidity of 70 percent or more.

This makes any great exertion difficult, particularly inland.

England’s cricketers did remarkably well to cope with the extreme conditions they experienced in Kandy, with afternoon temperatures of 33
Celsius (91F).

Conditions in Colombo are likely to be little changed.

Due to the unstable political situation in the country, only the south and southwestern portions of Sri Lanka are safe for tourists.

These areas receive a good deal of rain from the southwesterly monsoon which generally affects the island between May and November.

Within this period there are a couple of rainfall ‘peaks’ - May and June and again between October and November.

The October rainfall in Colombo, for example, is more than three times that of Bristol.

Of course much of the island’s rainfall comes in the form of heavy, thundery afternoon downpours.

But during this period, unsettled, mainly cloudy weather can last for two or three days at a time.

Probably the best time to visit Sri Lanka is during January and February, when rainfall is at its lowest and there are most hours of sunshine.

But do be aware of just how quickly tropical sunshine can burn. All the usual warnings apply here - avoid the midday sun, use a high-factor sun block and always wear a sunhat.

Sunstroke is no fun, no matter how exotic the location!

For the latest five day forecast for Sri Lanka check out the BBC Weather website

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