The Maldives have a tropical climate, hot all year round and influenced by the monsoons: the south-west monsoon, from late April to September, it's stronger in the northern islands, and it's accompanied by the wind, which can make the sea rough and therefore may discourage activities such as diving, and is also accompanied by higher humidity and more frequent cloudiness. The northeast monsoon, from October to December, it's quieter and simply brings showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon or evening, especially in the southern atolls.
The driest period, outside the monsoons, runs from January to April, and is felt more in the northern atolls.

The temperatures are stable: highs are around 30 °C (86 °F) and lows around 25 °C (77 °F) for most of the year. Relative humidity is high and stable throughout the year as well, around 80%. However, between February and May, there is a slight increase in temperature, and even in the feeling of sultriness, especially in the northern atolls, given that in this period the maximum temperature rises to 31/32 °C (88/90 °F), and the minimum temperature to 26/27 °C (79/81 °F).
Here are the average temperatures of the capital Malé.
Malé - Average temperatures
Min (°C)252526262626252525252525
Max (°C)303131323130303030303030
Min (°F)777779797979777777777777
Max (°F)868888908886868686868686

The rains occur, as it's common in tropical climate areas, mostly in the form of short and intense downpour or thunderstorm. They are a bit more abundant in the southern atolls, where they hovers around 2,200/2,300 millimetres (87/91 inches) per year, and less in the north, where they hover around 1,700/1,800 mm (67/71 in) per year. The difference is mainly due to the fact that in the central and northern atolls there is a relatively dry season from January to mid-April, which is more pronounced in the northernmost atolls.
In the capital, Malé, situated at the centre, rainfall amounts to about 1,950 mm (77 in) per year. Here there is a rainy period which runs from May to December, while the least rainy months are January, February and March, when precipitation drops below 100 mm (4 in) per month.
Here is the average precipitation in Malé.
Malé - Average precipitation

Here is the average precipitation in Gan, in Addu Atoll (or Seenu), the southernmost island of the Maldives. Here there is no dry season, so the climate can be defined as equatorial (in fact, the atoll is located just south of the Equator).
Gan - Average precipitation

The amount of sunshine in the Maldives is good from January to April, and the sunniest months are February and March; in the rest of the year it is acceptable, because even in the rainiest months the sun shines on average for a few hours a day (about 7), although there may be days, or periods of a few days, when the sky is often cloudy, especially in the season of the southwest monsoon (late April-September).
Malé - Sunshine


The sea in the Maldives is warm all year round, since the water temperature varies from 28 °C to 30 °C (82 to 86 °F).
Malé - Sea temperature
Temp (°C)282829303029292929282928
Temp (°F)828284868684848484828482

Tropical cyclones

The Maldives can be occasionally reached by tropical cyclones, which usually affect these islands in the early stages of their formation, as happened with the depression of May 2016, which then became Cyclone Roanu and drifted northwards, or they brush them as they pass further north in the Indian Ocean, as happened with Cyclone Ockhi, which struck more directly Sri Lanka and Southern India, in early December 2017. However, being flat islands and having constructions at sea level, they can suffer damage due to rain, wind and anomalous waves generated by cyclones.
Cyclones are formed more often between April and December, with two peaks in May and November, but given the warm sea, they may occur throughout the year. The southernmost atolls (Huvadhu, Addu, Fuvahmulah) being located near the Equator, are affected in a more marginal way.

When to go

The best time to visit the Maldives runs from January to mid-April, since it is the driest and sunniest of the year. However, there can be showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon also in this period, especially in the southern islands.
If you want to travel in the summer, you can choose the southernmost islands, which are less exposed to the south-west monsoon, therefore are less windy and more sunny, and are also protected from tropical cyclones.

What to pack

All year round: lightweight, tropics-friendly clothing, light sweatshirt for the evening, scarf for the breeze, light raincoat or umbrella, sunglasses, sunscreen.
For the reef, equipment for snorkeling, water shoes or rubber soled shoes.