Index


Introduction



The climate of Bangladesh is subtropical in the center-north and tropical in the south, with a pleasantly warm and sunny winter from November to February, a short hot spring between March and May, and a long rainy season from June to October due to the summer monsoon. The country is flat and occupied by the huge Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, and it's therefore exposed to floods as well as to storm surges when cyclones hit the Bay of Bengal.

Temperatures



The dry season runs from November to March. The monsoon has left the country during the month of October, but sometimes the rains can last until November, especially in the south-east, or when a cyclone arrives. In general, however, November is hot but not too much, with highs around 30 °C (86 °F), and sunny.
The actual winter begins in December and is characterized by warm and sunny days, followed by cool nights. In the far north, in cities like Saidpur and Rangpur, in January, the coldest month, lows are around 11 °C (52 °F) and highs around 23 °C (73 °F).
Here are the average temperatures of Saidpur.
Saidpur - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)111317212425262625231813
Max (°C)232631333232323231312925
Min (°F)525563707577797977736455
Max (°F)737988919090909088888477

In the central area, which includes Dhaka, the capital city, the temperatures are higher, around 13 °C (55 °F) at night and 25 °C (77 °F) during the day. Here are the average temperatures of Dhaka.
Dhaka - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)131620242526262626241914
Max (°C)252832343332313232323026
Min (°F)556168757779797979756657
Max (°F)778290939190889090908679

Along the southern coast, night temperatures are slightly higher because of the influence of the sea.
During winter, from December to February, sometimes the north wind can bring cold temperatures at night, around 3/6 °C (37/43 °F) in the north, and around 10 °C (50 °F) in the center-south and in Dhaka.
In February, the temperature begins to rise, and from March it begins to get really hot. Spring, from March to May, is actually the hottest season: the average maximum temperatures reach 35 °C (95 °F) in April in inland areas, while they don't go above 32/33 °C (90/91 °F) along the coast, where the hottest month, because of the thermal inertia of the ocean, is May. The highest peaks are about 42/43 °C (108/109 °F) in the north, 40 °C (104 °F) in Dhaka and in the center, and 37/38 °C (99/100 °F) in the south. Relative humidity gradually increases, and the heat becomes more stifling. In this season, lines of thunderstorms coming from the Himalayas, called northwesters, bring rain accompanied with hail and wind gusts, so much so that in May, more than 250 millimeters (10 inches) of rain fall in the south and 150 mm (6 in) in the north.

Bangladesh

Rainfall



The real monsoon arrives from late May to early June, starting from the south-east. It brings a more compact cloudiness, high humidity even during the day, frequent rains, but also a decrease in temperature, which drops to 30/32 °C (86/90 °F) during the day, but remains high at night, about 25 °C (77 °F). The rains are more abundant along the south coast, particularly the south-east (see Chittagong, Cox's Bazar), but also in the north-east, close to the mountains of India (see Sylhet). In Sylhet, in July rainfall amounts to 800 mm (31.5 in), in Chittagong to 750 mm (29.5 in), in Cox's Bazar to 900 mm (35.5 in), and in Teknaf to as high as 1,000 mm (40 in).
The monsoon is felt less in the west, where the annual rainfall is around 1,500/1,600 mm (60/63 in), with a maximum in July of about 300/350 mm (12/13.5 in), as happens for example in Pabna, Jessore and Rajshahi. In Dhaka, precipitation amounts to 2,100 mm (83 in) per year, of which 370 mm (14.5 in) fall in July. Here is the average precipitation in Dhaka.
Dhaka - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)7256515534033537531531517535152155
Prec.(in)0.312.66.113.413.214.812.412.46.91.40.684.8
Days13381518212116810115

In Chittagong, on the east coast, the rains reach 2,900 mm (115 in) per year. Here is the average precipitation.
Chittagong - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)5255514030560073554026519070152940
Prec.(in)0.212.25.51223.628.921.310.47.52.80.6115.7
Days02371218222016930112

More to the south, rainfall reaches 3,500 mm (138 in) per year in Cox's Bazar, and up to 4,000 mm (157 in) in the more southern city of Teknaf. In Sylhet, in the northeast, where as we said the other very rainy area is found, they reach 4,000 mm (157 in) per year.
The monsoon gradually withdraws between October and November.

Sunshine



The sun in Bangladesh shines regularly in the dry season, while in the monsoon season, from June to September, it is rarely seen. Here are the average daily sunshine hours in Dhaka.
Dhaka - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours987653223689

Sea temperature



The sea is warm enough for swimming all year round, although the water temperature drops to 24 °C (75 °F) in winter, as we can see in the following table.
Cox's Bazar - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)242426282930292929292825
Temp (°F)757579828486848484848277

Tropical cyclones



Bangladesh is particularly vulnerable to tropical cyclones, which come from the Bay of Bengal, usually from mid-April to early December. In general, they are most intense both at the beginning and the end of the period, that is, in May-June and October-November. The most destructive cyclone on record occurred in October-November 1876, in November 1970, and in late April 1991.

Best Time



The best time to visit Bangladesh is winter, between mid-December and February. Typically, in November and in the first half of December the weather is good, and it's hot but not too much, but we cannot exclude that some cloud banks can still form, or that a cyclone, maybe outside of the normal season, can arrive. In March and April, it's hot, and thunderstorms, sometimes intense, can develop in the afternoon or in the evening.

What to pack



In winter: bring spring/autumn clothes (light for the day), a jacket and a sweater for the evening, and possibly hat and scarf for cooler evenings in the north (see Rangpur and Saidpur).
In summer: bring tropics-friendly, lightweight clothing of natural fibers, a light raincoat or umbrella (the latter not always effective against the monsoon rains).

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