Geographically located just north of the Equator, Malaysia weather has a tropical climate, with warm year-round temperatures averaging 32˚C during the day and 26˚C at night. Most of the region’s average rainfall of 250 cm falls during the monsoon season, when Malaysia’s typically sunny days give way to persistent cloudiness and night-time temperatures falling as low as 23˚C.
Malaysia has two separate monsoon seasons, with winds blowing from either the north-east or the south-west. The north-east monsoon season falls between October and February, with intense deluges often flooding East Malaysia; while the reverse pattern occurs during the south-west monsoon season of April through October, when Peninsular Malaysia suffers torrential rains. Southern regions around notoriously damp Kuala Lumpur tend to be perpetually rainy during both monsoon seasons, but precipitation is usually in the form of short, heavy showers.
Peninsular and East Malaysia have somewhat different climates, with weather in the western areas influenced more by winds off the mainland, while East Malaysia is more directly affected by sea-borne winds. Geographically, temperatures vary within the region, with the highlands, lowlands and coastal regions exhibiting different weather patterns. Coastal regions are generally most sunny and dry, while the lowlands have similar warm temperatures but more rainfall and humidity. The cooler highlands sometimes have night-time temperatures as low as 17˚C; with highest peak Mount Kinabalu occasionally showing recorded temperatures as low as 10˚C.
Visitors to Malaysia may want to time holidays in accordance with driest weather, which is usually during June and July in East Malaysia and Sarawak, and January and February on the west coast. April is driest and sunniest in Sabah.