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Illustrated guide to Meeru Weather... 
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:58 pm Reply with quote
Humble Jim
Joined: 03 Jan 2005
Posts: 6240
Location: Leeds, UK
Intro...

I haven't checked this, but I'm fairly certain that embedded in this forum there are threads with subject title Weather in xxxx ? where xxxx is an occurrence of every month of the year. A completely natural concern for new visitors to the Maldives is the weather. As it's a recurring subject I thought it might be an idea to explain and also illustrate Maldivian weather in a little detail for the benefit of the uninitiated.

Frequently Asked Question...

Aside from the month specific query I often hear the other question: when is the best time to visit the Maldives?. The answer is anytime from November to April. The most popular time of all is between December and March. Holiday prices naturally go up in High Season too. Trouble is of course many people book the holiday then think about what the weather might be like! Or sometimes events dictate travel time. It's a quirk of nature that when we have our summer in Europe - when people tend to get married - that the season coincides with Wet Season in the Maldives. Mind you the fact that European winter coincides with Dry Season in the Maldives suits anybody else who wants to escape from the cold! The Maldives does offer some year round constants. It's always warm there rarely ever falling below 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) day or night. 29 - 32 degrees Celsius (84 - 90 degrees Fahrenheit) is normal. But the humidity is very, very high too. So that's why you should never pack tight fitting clothes for there, or for travelling to there even, you may be several hours in that climate after arriving before getting to your room. Linen type airy loose fitting clothes are the order of the day - that's good advice for travelling on any plane anyhow.

Oh no, I looked at an Internet Weather Site...Sad

Sometimes plain curiosity prompts the Weather in xxxx ? thread to appear, but often it is a peek at an Internet weather site that sets the alarm bells ringing. Year round many of these sites show thunderstorms for the Maldives which is both disheartening as well as plain misleading. These weather sites don't explain that the Maldives is a very small country (300 sq km of land) spread extraordinarily thinly over a huge area (90,000 sq km) of the Indian Ocean; the country is in fact 95% ocean.

In that huge watery expanse it's going to be precipitating somewhere and the main rain delivery vehicle is going to be thunderstorms as that's what happens at the equator. Hence your regular Internet weather site will always show thunder symbols for Male the Maldivian capital. But thunderstorms are inherently localised in nature, even the monster ones several km or more across. Your average Internet weather site won't tell you where these thunderstorms are draining themselves, or ever know where each of them is, and even if Male is quoted as the location conditions at Meeru may be very different, or they might not be! As I've witnessed myself several times now it can even rain hard at one end of Meeru (just 1km long) and stay dry the other. One weather site worth looking at is the Maldives own but remember what I just said, it can't give exact weather conditions for Meeru. The site is handy for a rough guide as well as spotting if there's Full Moon in the offing though!

http://www.meteorology.gov.mv/

Monsoons

There are two weather seasons in the Maldives, governed by what are known as monsoons. Many people associate the word monsoon with wet but the word really means just prevailing wind. In the UK we have the one, from the South West, but in the Maldives there are two monsoons. One dictates Wet Season and the other Dry Season. The Maldivian (Wet) South West Monsoon occurs from May to around October/November with June to September being the very soggiest months - and it is this flow of moist air from the heart of Indian Ocean towards Asia that delivers the well known monsoon season there. The (Dry) North East monsoon happens from November to April as a result of dry air flowing the opposite way. It rolls off the Himalaya and down over the Indian subcontinent back into the Indian Ocean and past the Maldives.

So there are significant differences between Dry season and Wet season in the Maldives due to the origins of the prevailing winds but remember that the location of the country still permits it to be a year round holiday destination. The Maldives are close to the equator so they lie below what would be the equivalent of a Caribbean hurricane belt (in Asia though hurricanes are called cyclones). If a cyclone grows to the North in the Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea sometimes the huge cloud streams feeding it develop over the Maldives and this unstable air can cause just fully overcast days, drizzle, solid rain, or continuous storms for up to several days during Wet Season. Direct hits from cyclones are vanishingly rare in the Maldives.

Dry Season in the Maldives does NOT mean it won't rain! Less rainfall is what you get and also far fewer overcast days. The Maldives lie in the tropics after all and all that lush green vegetation gets to be lush and stay that way somehow. The better weather and the fact that key dates such as Christmas, New Year and Valentine's Day all fall in Dry Season usually means it costs more to go then.

Spot the Signs...

So what actually happens when the weather turns to wet, whatever time of year you're there? Well for one thing you might not notice it happening - it can sometimes creep up on you unawares. If you are away from the beach you might not see what's coming but even there you can still spot the signs of forthcoming rain if you learn to recognise them.

The most obvious sign of an impending storm is a sudden speeding up of the wind out of nowhere'. If palm trees start thrashing about wildly and leaves start picking up themselves off the ground then you've got typically about a quarter of an hour to find shelter.

If the temperature drops suddenly too you can be pretty certain big rain is on its way. The coolness of downdraught from a large storm comes from air pulled down from thousands of feet above you but pushed down and towards you some way ahead of the storm itself. Refreshing, but don't hang around for the power shower rushing in hard on its heels.

If you're on the West beach of Meeru you may see clouds brewing but might not know if it's headed towards you. My tip in these circumstances is that if it's Wet Season and you see the island on the Western horizon disappear completely you have about 20 mins or so to get to a place you'll stay dry. You'll walk past people in blissful ignorance but don't stop to chat too long or you'll all get drenched!

When a thunderstorm turns up it can be an impressive awe inspiring sight, it's easy to believe it's going to 'set in' and you're not going to see the Sun again for ages. But mostly these storms last a short while only. The incredible draining properties of coral sand often mean that all evidence of a downpour will vanish in minutes afterwards too.

Some photos...

Some pictures to illustrate the main weather points I've made.

Forget the normal Internet weather forecasts. None of them will predict this sort of thing below for Meeru, where even one end of the (1km) island will see rain and the other not. Your best weather forecaster while on Meeru will be your waiter, really!



A thunderstorm, below, is a localised item remember even if it's a couple of km wide.

100m to the right of this, you're dry Very Happy . In it, you're in another place Razz .

Most thunderstorms miss land completely thankfully.



Recognise the signs. If you don't see what's about to hit you listen and watch for what the wind is doing. I resisted the urge to shout at the folk on the sandspit IT'S BEHIND YOU !! panto style Laughing !



If you reckon trouble is brewing, head for shelter the best way you can...as fast as you can... Smile



Storms pass even if they look awfully permanent, they can look most set in just as they are about to strike due to visibility disappearing into the gloom. Sometimes seaplane pilots get caught out and have to sit out the weather until the storm blows over. The arrow below points to a seaplane that decided to ride out the storm.



Blow up of the previous photo showing the seaplane...



Pilots sometimes make small errors. Not sure if it was this very one but sometime after I took this picture I was informed a seaplane had a problem after a storm had passed. When the waves had subsided the plane was left high and dry on a sandbank and needed a shove back into the water!

Luckily the pilot didn't have to deal with a water spout Shocked . This great photo was captured last year by forum member Martyn. This was shot from the balcony of an even number 700 JWV, so looking West.



Very, very rare to see one of these. This formed and vanished quite quickly and never made landfall. Only one I've heard of happening near Meeru.

From a JWV perspective out over the water, regular storms are impressive definitely. The rooms move in the driving rain and wind, a curious motion that some enjoy and others find unsettling. Raining sideways it was here Shocked !







After the worst is over you'll find a few storm victims...



Normal service resumes quickly after the dark stuff magically dissolves away...



Then it's back to the serious business of doing very little Cool !



So that's it, Maldives weather explained. It's an integral part of the wonderful environment of the country. Although individual storms can sometimes disrupt excursions - and cause cancellations - some storm cloud formations can be spectacular and thrilling experiences in their own right. An oncoming storm over a bright turquoise sea is a great sight. Lightning can also be amazing. The best picture I never took (!) last month was the night view of an electric storm from the 700s jetty passing far to the south of Meeru heading East towards Indonesia. Was so tempted to take the shot but it was raining hard and didn't want to risk the gear.

We've been to the Maldives quite a few times now and we've seen all the weather there is to see - except for that spout! - but never have we felt short changed Sun wise.

Always but always the HF sun cream is needed Cool .


Humble Jim - remember he's not a real weatherman Wink !

[Edited to update the Maldives own weather site link]


Last edited by Humble Jim on Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:20 pm; edited 4 times in total
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GUIDE TO MEERU WEATHER 
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:57 pm Reply with quote
Shanksy
Joined: 28 Jun 2007
Posts: 1504
Location: GLASGOW
Thanks again Jim, very informative and helpful, and yet again some beautiful pictures!

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:22 pm Reply with quote
maggie
Joined: 28 Sep 2005
Posts: 4842
Location: northwest uk
absolutely brilliantly covered weather topic

as usual...I learned loads

loved the piccies as well as the narative

salut

maggie Wink

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:51 am Reply with quote
Pea
Joined: 01 Nov 2007
Posts: 370
Location: Sligo, Ireland
Wow, thanks Jim,

My husband & I are going to Meeru for the first time in June and we were aware that the weather may be changeable - but we hadn't realised it could be so spectacular! thumright

I'm now convinced that, whatever the weather in June, we will have a trip of a lifetime.

Thank you again.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:31 am Reply with quote
thesidmouth2
Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Posts: 295
Location: Sidmouth, Devon.
Thanks Humble Jim. I know there are a lot of people who worry about these things. Once they are there it is no longer top of there list.

Fantastic info and piccies again.

Keep it coming.

Linda

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 8:22 pm Reply with quote
Tropical Sam
Joined: 27 May 2006
Posts: 179
Location: Croydon, Surrey
We got back from Diffushi on this Dhoni boat just in time as this storm approached. Hubby was waiting at the bar with camera and a round of drinks. Had to drink them inside as the rain hit a few minutes later.


This one was a nice cloud formation that passed by at sunset.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 8:51 pm Reply with quote
Tropical Sam
Joined: 27 May 2006
Posts: 179
Location: Croydon, Surrey
p.s lovely pics HJ Cool

Sam and Colin

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:29 pm Reply with quote
maggie
Joined: 28 Sep 2005
Posts: 4842
Location: northwest uk
wow

what a storm that looked like

fab piccies

maggie Wink

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 2:22 pm Reply with quote
Humble Jim
Joined: 03 Jan 2005
Posts: 6240
Location: Leeds, UK
Very atmospheric shots in all senses of the word Sam and Colin Cool.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:48 pm Reply with quote
Mark
Joined: 30 Dec 2004
Posts: 1212
Location: Midsomer Norton
HJ.

The weather is quite a regular subject. You ought to know as you answer most of the queries Laughing

Do you not think that your missive would be good as a locked subject that can be referred to by the masses? I am sure it would save you lots of time in the future........to answer other questions of course!

Mark
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 10:19 pm Reply with quote
Tropical Sam
Joined: 27 May 2006
Posts: 179
Location: Croydon, Surrey
maggie wrote:
wow

what a storm that looked like


maggie Wink


Here is a pic of the swimming pool during the storm. Note the sunlounger mattress heading east! Very Happy


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:42 am Reply with quote
leanneclark
Joined: 19 Sep 2011
Posts: 124
Location: Basingstoke, Hampshire
This made for a thoroughly interesting read. Thanks for reviving this thread HJ
Cool

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Re: Illustrated guide to Meeru Weather... 
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:06 pm Reply with quote
Grob62
Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 243
Location: Belfast
(quote) Humble Jim - remember he's not a real weatherman Wink ![/quote]

But he takes cracking photographs..... Smile Smile Smile

Gary and Lynda

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:40 pm Reply with quote
QS
Joined: 22 Apr 2013
Posts: 3
Jim and sam what camera and lens do you use? Some nice pictures
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Honeymoon in September 
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 10:14 am Reply with quote
Ozzy&Shabs
Joined: 02 May 2013
Posts: 3
Hi Everyone

Just wanted to say how great it was to find this forum..

We are traveling in September for our honeymoon for a week to Meeru on to Dubai for week and just wanted to know if anyone has been in September before as it comes under the wet season?

Thanks
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Illustrated guide to Meeru Weather... 
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