Seychelles has a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af); It is a humid but equable climate, with little temperature variations throughout the year. Seychelles is an island country in the Indian Ocean, on the eastern side of the Somali Sea. The islands lie approximately 932 miles to the east of Africa. Madagascar and Mauritius are in the south, and Maldives and Chagos lie towards the east of Seychelles. Mahe is the largest island, 835 miles away from Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. The vast waters of the Indian Ocean, southeast trade winds, and proximity to the equator influence the climate. The days and nights are of equal duration throughout the year.
Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands, situated just 4°south of the equator. The landmass of only 175 square miles consists of two distinct regions. The Inner Islands are made from granitic rock and are the world's oldest oceanic islands. Mahe, Praslin Island, Silhouette Island, and La Digue are the most important granite islands. The rocky islands have a narrow coastal strip and a range of hills in the center. The Outer Islands are coralline and mostly flat, with coral reefs at different formation stages. Southern Coral, Amirante, Alphonse, Aldabra, and Farquhar, are the five main groups in the outer islands that have no freshwater sources. Denis and Bird are two coral sand cays that lie to the north of the Inner Islands. Two coral reefs, Coetivy and Platte, are in the south of the granitic islands. Morne Seychellois is the highest point at 905 meters. The coastline of Seychelles is 306 miles.
Summers are hot and humid in Seychelles. The hot season lasts from December to April in the southern hemisphere, which also brings heavy rainfall. The average temperatures vary from 23.9°C (75°F) to 30°C (86°F) in the year, and the hottest months are March and April. Temperature extremes are rare and seldom cross 32.8°C (91°F) or drop below 22.2°C (72°F). The northwest monsoon prevails from November to March to bring a wet and muggy season. The coldest months are from June to August. The southeast trade winds regularly blow from May to November in the dry season to create pleasant conditions. The average daily wind speeds remain below 32.2km/h (20mph), with gusts in August that go up to 56.3km/h (35mph). High wind speeds are rare due to the location of most of the islands outside the cyclonic belt. Afternoon thunderstorms frequently occur in the wet season, and night precipitation is standard in the dry season. The islands lie scattered over a wide area and have small climatic differences within a generally homogeneous climate.
The rainfall in the southern islands of Assumption and Aldabra in Seychelles varies from 863.6mm (34") to 965.2mm (38") annually. Victoria, the capital on the island of Mahe, registers 2286mm (90"), while the mountain slopes record 3606.8mm (142"). Mahe is the wettest of all the islands, and the northern islands are substantially wetter than the others. The precipitation occurs throughout the year, as the country registers at least 150 days annually. December and January are the wettest months, and the rainy season lasts from October to April. The annual average relative humidity is high at 80%, with the lowest of 78% in September and the highest of 82% in January. The sunshine registers an ample 2527 hours in the year. The sunniest month is May, with 253 hours of sunlight, and the darkest is January with 153 hours. The sunlight is strong, with a high ultraviolet index between 10 and 12 throughout the year. The average seawater temperatures remain in the warm zone of 26.1°C (79°F) to 30°C (86°F), which is comfortable for swimming all year round.
The highest temperature on record for Victoria, Seychelles is 37.2°C (99°F), while the record for the lowest temperature is 16.1°C (61°F).
The best time to visit Seychelles
The best time to visit Seychelles is from June to August when the temperatures and humidity levels keep the conditions comfortable. Temperatures are slightly lower between June to August and rarely cross 31.1°C (88°F). The lowest precipitation occurs in the dry season period, and accompanied by bright sunshine makes it is an excellent time for beach holidays. Afternoon showers usually give way to light showers at night, which keeps the days mostly clear. Wind speeds pick up in August and make the seawaters choppy to the thrill of surfers. Beaches in the northwest are preferable during windy conditions. October also has fair weather and lies outside the cyclone season.
The worst time to visit Seychelles
The worst time to visit Seychelles is from December to January in the humid and wet season. The humidity levels are at the highest of the year and raise the heat index. The highest precipitation period keeps the daily sunshine to 5 hours. The skies are mostly cloudy, and the muggy conditions induce much sweat. Heavy rainfall curtails time on the beaches. The wet season is also prone to afternoon thundershowers. Frequent showers pose challenges in swimming, diving, and other water activities, although the seawater temperatures are comfortable. Nights are warm and humid.
Seychelles is susceptible to weather hazards, such as floods, droughts, cyclones, and tsunamis. The northern islands, such as Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue, face fewer cyclonic events due to proximity to the equator. The southernmost islands from the Outer Island group, such as Aldabra and Farquhar, are susceptible to cyclones. Tropical storms, such as Ikonjo in May 1990 and Felleng in January 2013, caused substantial damage to Seychelles. Cyclones bring damaging winds and heavy rain. The monsoon brings rainstorms and floods in the low-lying regions. Tsunamis and global warming pose a risk to the low-lying terrain. Coral bleaching damaged the reef ecosystem in 1998.
Weather in January
January is the wettest month of the year in Seychelles, with 254mm (10") to 381mm (15") of rainfall in many places. The relative humidity between 75% and 95% keeps the conditions muggy and induces much sweat. The average temperatures in Victoria range between 23.9°C (75°F) and 30°C (86°F), with little variations in the rest of the country. The skies remain overcast for 72% of the time, and the daylight lasts for 12 hours and 20 minutes. Crowds are fewer on the beaches due to frequent rainfall, with 17 wet days in the month. The daily sunshine registers for 5 hours, but the sunlight is strong whenever the sun breaks the cloud cover. The average daily wind speeds are only 15.6km/h (9.7mph), with wind directions predominantly from the west and north. Fresh breezes occasionally occur in evenings. Loose-fitting tropical clothing, a sweatshirt, and an umbrella are suitable for the wet weather. Expect the conditions to remain humid in January in Seychelles.
Weather in February
February is wet and humid in Seychelles, with the average temperatures in the zone of 25°C (77°F) and 30°C (86°F). The ample precipitation of 203.2mm (8") to 254mm (10") makes it challenging to explore the Inner Islands. The southernmost islands receive less than 101.6mm (4") of rain, but the chance of a wet day is between 35% and 45% everywhere. The daily sunshine improves to 6 hours, and the days and nights are of equal duration. The average seawater temperatures scale to 28.9°C (84°F) and are comfortable for swimming during dry periods in the day. The sunrise before 6.24 p.m. gives an excellent opportunity to make use of the early morning hours for beach visits. Afternoons are avoidable due to frequent thundershowers. Sweatshirts are useful in sticky conditions, with high humidity levels between 75% and 95%. Wind speeds are usually in the moderate range of 14km/h (8.7mph) to 15.8km/h (9.8mph). February sees a gradual decline in rainfall in Seychelles.
Weather in March
March sees a rise in temperatures in the wet season in Seychelles. The average temperatures in Mahe are in the hot range of 25°C (77°F) to 31.1°C (88°F). The northwest monsoon continues the wet season, but the precipitation is significantly lower than the early part of the season. Victoria registers 200.7mm (7.9") of rain in 15 wet days in the month. The cloud cover is on the decline, and skies remain overcast up to 65% of the time. The average rainfall is 76.2mm (3") to 127mm (5"), and the humidity slips to 79% in March. The conditions are muggy, with average daily wind speeds of 11.3km/h (7mph) to 13.8km/h (8.6mph). Visitors find the afternoons humid, wet, and generally uncomfortable. The daily sunshine increases to 7 hours and the shortest day of the month is March 31, with 12 hours and 4 minutes of daylight. A light rain jacket or umbrella is a useful accessory in the wet season. Expect the heat index to rise significantly by the second half of March in Seychelles.
Weather in April
April is usually the hottest month of the year in Seychelles, with the average temperatures in the range of 25°C (77°F) to 31.1°C (88°F). The mercury column climbs to 32.2°C (90°F) on April 6, the hottest day of the year. The average precipitation in Victoria is 177.8mm (7") but is short of 127mm (5") in most of the islands. The skies remain overcast 65% of the time, as the wet season recedes gradually. The daily sunshine lasts for 8 hours during the 12 hours of daylight. Isolated thunderstorms occur in the afternoons, while nights remain warm and humid. The days are muggy with relative humidity in the range of 70% to 95%. Sweatshirts, t-shirts, and tropical summer clothing are suitable in the sticky conditions that induce much sweat. Evenings see light breezes at the most, with wind speeds between 11.3km/h (7mph) and 13.8km/h (8.6mph). April seawater temperatures of 30°C (86°F) make it a perfect time for beach holidays in Seychelles.
Weather in May
May is the sunniest month of the year in Seychelles, with 253 hours of bright sunshine. The southeast trade winds reach the islands and begin to cool the atmosphere. The transition to the dry season yields an average of 101.6mm (4") to 152.4mm (6") of rainfall. The chance of a wet day decreases from 32% at the start to 24% by the month-end. The skies are cloudy for 65% of the time, and the relative humidity is in the 70% to 95% zone. The average temperatures are in the 25°C (77°F) to 31.1°C (88°F), with a slight drop in the heat index. Beach visitors need sunscreen for protection from the harmful sun rays during the 8 hours of daily sunshine. Ocean waters at 28.9°C (84°F) offer respite from the heat and a chance for swimming. Scattered thunderstorms occur mostly in the afternoons, which are also the hottest part of the days. Budget travelers find May trips economical and the weather bearable in Seychelles.
Weather in June
June sees a slight drop in temperatures in Seychelles, registering in the 25°C (77°F) to 28.9°C (84°F) range. The conditions are dry and sunny, with bright sunshine of 8 hours every day. The skies are clear for 37% of the time, and the daylight lasts for slightly less than 12 hours. The average relative humidity drops to 79%, and night precipitation supersedes afternoon showers. The precipitation falls sharply to register in the average range of 76.2mm (3") to 101.6mm (4"). Wind speeds increase from a daily average of 23.2km/h (14.4mph) to 25.9km/h (16.1mph) during the month. The wind direction is predominantly from the south due to the southeast trade winds. Windsurfers find the seawaters choppy but adventurous. Swimmers find the waters rough, with average temperatures at 27.2°C (81°F). Expect moderate breezes in the evenings. A light jacket is useful for wind and rain. Beaches see fewer crowds in June in Seychelles.
Weather in July
July is the coldest month of the year in Seychelles, with the average temperatures in the 23.9°C (75°F) to 27.8°C (82°F) range. Even the wettest islands of Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue see a significant decrease in precipitation. July registers 17 wet days, with light showers mostly during the night that register below 76.2mm (3") in much of the country. The skies are clear for 39% of the time, and the chance of a wet day drops to 15%. The conditions are comfortable, with 8 hours of daily sunshine and a drop in humidity levels. The average daily wind speeds register at 26.6km/h (16.5mph), which provides moderate breezes in the evenings. Seas are rough due to the winds, but the dry season does not experience tropical storms. Seawater temperatures at 26.1°C (79°F) are at the lowest of the year, but the crowds are fewer. Expect rain even in the dry season in the tropics and carry a rain jacket. July is an excellent time to visit Seychelles.
Weather in August
August is a dry and sunny month in Seychelles, with comfortable weather. Temperatures are usually in the range of 23.9°C (75°F) to 27.8°C (82°F), with warm days and mild nights. The average precipitation ranges between 76.2mm (3") and 127mm (5"), with less than 16 wet days in the month. Rain is mostly in the form of light showers during the night. The relative humidity is in the range of 70% to 95%, and the conditions are comfortable, with less moisture. The skies remain clear 43% of the time, and the 12-hour days offer ample sunshine of 8 hours. August 19 is one of the windiest days of the year, with an average wind speed of 27.2km/h (16.9mph). Beach lovers prefer the white sandy beaches in the northwest part of the country, sheltered from gusty winds, and with calm waters. A Seychelles trip in August does not encounter the hot and humid conditions of the wet season.
Weather in September
September registers the least average monthly humidity of 79% in Seychelles. The conditions are comfortable in the dry season, with ample sunshine and less rain. The precipitation is in the range of 101.6mm (4") to 152.4mm (6") in the Inner Islands and 76.2mm (3") to 127mm (5") in the Outer Islands. The average temperatures remain in the warm 23.9°C (75°F) to 28.9°C (84°F) range, with daily highs rarely above 30°C (86°F). Nights seldom drop below 21.1°C (70°F) but are mild and comfortable. The skies remain clear for 48% of the time, and the days register 7 hours of brilliant sunshine. September 30, the longest day in the month, records 12 hours and 8 minutes of daylight. The average daily wind speeds decrease from 26.9km/h (16.7mph) to 21.9km/h (13.6mph) during the month. Expect winds predominantly from the south during the evenings. A light raincoat and scarf are useful in the evenings. Expect the rainfall to gradually increase by the end of September in Seychelles.
Weather in October
October begins the reign of the wet season in Seychelles, with a significant increase in precipitation. Much of the country receives above 180.3mm (7.1") of precipitation, and the northernmost islands near the equator are the wettest. The average temperatures are in the zone of 23.9°C (75°F) to 30°C (86°F), with hot days and warm nights. The frequency of afternoon thunderstorms and rain increases with each passing day in October. The daylight lasts for more than 12 hours, with the earliest sunrise at 5.53 a.m. and the latest sunset at 6.12 p.m. October 1 is the clearest day of the year, with clear skies for 49% of the time. The average sea temperatures rise to 27.8°C (82°F), but the waters are calm and suitable for swimming and diving. Snorkelers and scuba divers have 7 hours of bright sunshine every day to explore the beautiful coral reefs. Expect little temperature variations between days and nights. October is a transitional month with fair weather in Seychelles.
Weather in November
November lies in the wet season of Seychelles, with humid and rainy conditions. The average temperatures are in the 23.9°C (75°F) to 30°C (86°F) range in much of the country. The increase in humidity is evident even in the nights, which remain warm and cloudy. The skies are overcast for 55% of the time, and the chance of a wet day is 38%. The average precipitation in Victoria is 190.5mm (7.5") and registers above 254mm (10") on the mountain slopes. November sees an increase in daylight to 12 hours and 22 minutes, with average humidity at 80%. The southeast trade winds stop blowing, and the conditions are sultry. The average daily wind speeds decrease from 14.3km/h (8.9mph) to 12.4km/h (7.7mph) over the month. Evenings breezes become rare, and the atmosphere becomes stifling. Expect daily afternoon thunderstorms and rain. Each passing day sees a rise in the heat index. Rain jackets are necessary during November in Seychelles.
Weather in December
December is wet and humid in Seychelles, as the rainy season gathers momentum. The average temperatures remain in the zone of 23.9°C (75°F) to 30°C (86°F), with a significant rise in the heat index. The average humidity is at the highest of the year at 82%. The average precipitation in Mahe registers 304.8mm (12"), with the number of wet days at 21, the largest during a month. The daily sunshine lasts for 6 hours, but the sunshine is intense whenever the sunrays break out of the clouds. Outdoor excursions are avoidable during afternoons, with the sun's ultraviolet index at the peak of 12. The average sweater temperatures at 27.8°C (82°F) provide relief from the sticky conditions when the skies are clear. Wind speeds register between 12.6km/h (7.8mph) to 15.3km/h (9.5mph), and fresh breezes are rare. Carry a raincoat for protection from the daily rainfall. Tropical cyclones that originate from the south of the equator occasionally reach the shores of the southern islands. December is a time to avoid a visit to Seychelles.