Climate and monthly weather forecast

Flag of Laos
Flag of Laos

The climate of Laos

Laos has a mainly tropical climate, with landlocked geography in Southeast Asia. Significant portions of the western and southern regions experience a tropical savannah climate (Köppen climate classification Aw). A large strip from the west-central to the southeast region falls under the influence of the tropical monsoon (Köppen Am). The remaining one-third of the land in the north and east has a subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa, Cwb). Laos lies at the center of the Indochinese Peninsula. Vietnam lies in the east, Cambodia in the southeast, Thailand in the southwest and west, and Myanmar and China in the northwest. The latitudes, high mountains, and monsoonal rains influence the climate.

Laos is a tropical country between latitudes 14°N and 23°N, with a northwest-southeast orientation. The topography is mainly mountainous, with steep terrain. The Annamite Range stretches from northeast to east, while the Luang Prabang Range lies in the northwest. The northern region is mountainous, with elevations mostly above 500 meters, and narrow river valleys. The Xiangkhoang Plateau in the north consists of green mountains and fertile valleys with numerous rivers. The Bolaven Plateau in the south has an average elevation of 1000 to 1350 meters. The panhandle region in the south consists of large level areas. However, only 4% of the land area is arable. The Mekong River is the largest and marks much of the western border with Thailand. The Annamite Chain forms the eastern boundary with Vietnam. Phou Bia is the tallest peak in Laos with a height of 2818 meters above sea level.

The best time to visit Laos

The best time to visit Laos is from November to February in the mild winter season. December and January are particularly pleasant, with comfortable temperatures in the average range of 10°C (50°F) to 29.4°C (84.9°F). The usually intense sunshine is moderately strong in the winter months. Tropical storms may linger until November, while temperatures exceed 35°C (95°F) in February in many regions. The northeast monsoon is active during the winter months. However, the rainfall is modest, and the sunshine is adequate between 6 hours and 9 hours. Nights are cozy on the plains, but cold in the mountains and highlands.

The worst time to visit Laos

The worst time to visit Laos is from June to August in the wet season. The southwest monsoon contributes much of the annual rainfall, and the atmosphere is humid and hot. Cloudy skies rule the roost. The heat index is high, and the rainfall is heavy. Rainstorms frequently occur in the wet months. Each month of the rainy season has at least 18 wet days and receives more than 254mm (10") of rain. Road travel becomes difficult, especially in the highlands where cloudbursts can occur. Typhoons frequently occur between August and October and bring heavy precipitation.

Spring Weather in Laos

Spring, lasting from March to mid-May, is the hottest period of the year in Laos. Average high temperatures peak at 35°C (95°F) in April, but in certain regions, they can even reach 42.2°C (108°F) in the center-south and 45°C (113°F) in the north. Despite these high temperatures, spring is characterized by plenty of sunshine, and while nights can be warm and oppressive, the weather remains largely dry, marking the end of the dry season and the transition into the rainy monsoon period.

Summer Weather in Laos

The summer season, stretching from mid-May to October, is the wettest time of the year in Laos. This is when the country is under the influence of the southwest monsoon, and rainfall is heavy. The atmosphere is humid and hot, and rainstorms frequently occur. The heavy rain makes the highlands especially hard to navigate due to cloudbursts. Despite this, the high temperatures persist, with even the nights being warm and oppressive.

Autumn Weather in Laos

The autumn months of November and December in Laos mark the beginning of the dry and cooler period. During this time, the heavy rains of the monsoon season start to recede, and the temperatures begin to drop. The transition to dry and mild weather makes autumn an excellent time for outdoor activities, as the sky clears and the temperatures range between a comfortable 10°C (50°F) to 15.6°C (60.1°F).

Winter Weather in Laos

Winter in Laos, which lasts from late December to February, is characterized by cold and dry weather. The average low temperatures are in the range of 10°C (50°F) to 15.6°C (60.1°F), although temperatures can drop significantly in the mountains and highlands. Despite the cold, there is ample sunshine, lasting for 8 hours in the center-south and 9 hours in the far south. However, the sun's ultraviolet index remains in the moderate zone during these winter months, making it a pleasant time for outdoor activities.

Weather in January

January in Laos is characterized by winter's mild and dry conditions. As one of the coldest months of the year, January sees average low temperatures ranging from 10°C (50°F) to 15.6°C (60.1°F), especially in the mountainous regions where temperatures can be significantly lower. In the capital city of Vientiane, located in the center-south of the country, January is one of the most pleasant months with temperature highs reaching around 28°C (82.4°F) during the day. Weather in January »

Weather in February

February in Laos signals the gradual transition from winter's cool, dry conditions to the warmer period of the year. As the second month of the year, February experiences a slight increase in average temperatures compared to January, though it remains on the cooler end of the spectrum for Laos' tropical climate. In Vientiane, Laos' capital situated in the center-south, the month of February sees daytime temperatures starting to climb, reaching around 30°C (86°F). Weather in February »

Weather in March

March in Laos is characterized by a significant shift in climate, marking the beginning of the hot season. As the month progresses, temperatures rise considerably, and the climate begins to transition from the dry and cooler conditions of February to the hotter, more oppressive weather conditions that prevail from March until mid-May. Vientiane, the capital city situated in the center-south region of the country, experiences considerable heat during March. Weather in March »

Weather in April

April in Laos is defined by its intense heat, as the hot season reaches its peak. This month stands as the hottest period of the year, with average high temperatures soaring, particularly in the central and southern regions of the country. In Vientiane, the capital city located in the center-south, April experiences the highest average temperatures of the year, reaching a peak of 35°C (95°F). Weather in April »

Weather in May

May in Laos signifies the end of the hot season and the commencement of the rainy season. The month is marked by a gradual drop in temperatures from the intense heat of April, along with a considerable increase in rainfall. In the center-south region, Vientiane begins to experience more moderate temperatures compared to the preceding month, with average daytime highs around 33°C (91.4°F). Weather in May »

Weather in June

June signals a further intensification of the rainy season in Laos, with increased precipitation across the country. Yet, despite the increase in rainfall, temperatures remain warm and steady, creating a humid and moist environment typical of a tropical monsoon climate. Vientiane, in the center-south region, experiences average daytime temperatures around 32°C (89.6°F), relatively consistent with May's readings. Weather in June »

Weather in July

July in Laos continues the trend set in June, as the rainy season carries on. Temperatures remain warm but stable, while the amount of rainfall increases, particularly in the high-altitude areas. In the center-south region, Vientiane's average daytime temperatures are around 31°C (87.8°F). Weather in July »

Weather in August

August in Laos marks the peak of the rainy season, characterized by the highest rainfall figures and frequent stormy weather across the country. Despite the substantial rainfall, temperatures remain relatively stable, with warm days and cool nights. In Vientiane, located in the center-south region, the average daytime temperatures persist around 31°C (87.8°F). Weather in August »

Weather in September

September in Laos signifies the transitional phase from the wet season to the dry season. While the rains persist, there is a gradual decline in precipitation and a slight drop in temperature as the month progresses. In Vientiane, the capital in the center-south region, daytime temperatures are slightly lower compared to the previous months, averaging 31°C (87.8°F). Weather in September »

Weather in October

October in Laos marks the conclusion of the monsoon season and the beginning of the drier winter months. The weather begins to change significantly, with a noticeable decrease in rainfall and a slight reduction in temperature. In the center-south region, Vientiane experiences average daytime temperatures around 30°C (86°F). Weather in October »

Weather in November

In November, Laos fully transitions into the dry winter season. This month witnesses a significant drop in rainfall, a decrease in humidity, and milder temperatures, making it an excellent time for outdoor activities and exploration. Vientiane, located in the center-south region, experiences average daytime temperatures of about 29°C (84.2°F). Weather in November »

Weather in December

December in Laos is characterized by the full onset of the winter season, marked by clear skies, minimal rainfall, and comfortable temperatures. It is one of the most favorable times for tourists to explore the country. In Vientiane, located in the center-south region, the average daytime temperature hovers around 27°C (80.6°F). Weather in December »


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