The Maldives usually straddles the equator and lies
outside the infamous cyclone belt in the vicinity of the Bay of Bengal. One
would also expect the country to suffer from scorching equatorial heat.
However, this is where the sea plays its vital role as a buffer, storing and
giving up heat at a much slower rate than solid ground. Indeed, this what
today's science says. At the same time, the Maldives tradition has a very
unique method of measuring the weather, obviously this is a forecast by the
traditional fishermen. Still today, some of the islanders do believe in this
measurement of traditional weather.
Temperatures fluctuate between a minimum 23 Degree Celsius and a maximum 32
Degree Celsius with the thermometer normally hovering round the 30 Degree
mark. Sea breezes take the sting from the sun except or perhaps, at mid-day
when it reaches its zenith. The islands which extend latitudinal from almost
1 Degree South of the Equator to fractionally over 7 degree North, lie
scattered along and on either side of the 73 Degree East longitudinal line,
shows little climatic variation. Indeed, its convenient for
sun-lovers/seekers, leisure-seekers and holiday-makers who are in search of
an escape from the rigorous winter conditions of Europe and elsewhere, where
the temperature vary little in every 24 hours, encouraging the idyllic
freedom of a total outdoor life all-year-round.
The beauty of the Maldivian weather is that it is during Europe's worst
time of the year, November through to March, that the equatorial tropical
climate of Maldives exerts its maximum appeal. As an added bonus, the indoor
climate in the majority of the resort hotels is gently moderated by air
conditioning. Those who like their lives timed by the four seasons may find
the Maldivian climate extremely monotonous. The day-equals-night clock with
sunny days throughout the year is seasoned only with the two-monsoons that
prevail in the region. The Southwest monsoon tend to bring with it
more rain, normally in June and July; while the Northwest monsoon
is considered to be good fishing season. A look at the actual yearly
statistics quickly shows one that it is not a good idea to upgrade this
observation beyond an expectation. Rain can occur at any time and often
without the slightest warning! But the rain is normally of the variety that
can normally be dealt with by ducking into a shop for a quick browse, unless
one happens to be on the beach when a good short freshwater soak can be a
They say! "..... there can be no paradise without rain." The
weather pattern is mainly determined by the above said two monsoon seasons,
in which the winds blow from opposite directions. Heavy rain storms
occur mainly between May and October. As in most parts of the world, it is
impossible to make precise forecasts, but even in the rainy season the sun
shines most of the time. Every day at 6 PM. the sun bids its brief farewell.
Here, close to the equator the days and nights last an equal 12 hours.
Although the temperature only drops by few degrees at night, it feels
pleasantly cool. The relatively high humidity is made tolerable by the
gentle but steady sea breeze. The average annual rainfall is 1,967
millimeters (77 inches), although it is more variable in the South. The
cloud bursts are so heavy that the islands are often a wash. Even in the
rainy season, however, the tropical sun bursts through and quickly dries the
coconut leaves and coral sand.
We, Maldivians who live by the subtle changes in the weather, have
developed our own complex calendar based on the rising and setting of
individual stars matched with the sun or the moon. We have organized our
lives around a calendar of Nakaiy - A series of 13 or 14 Day intervals, each
with a predictable weather pattern.
Every year brings Two Monsoons, Iruvai (the north-east) and Hulhangu
(the south-west) monsoon. To most visitors this simply means the Hot and
Dry season. Iruvai which has 9 Nakaiy, the wind blows from the East.
The Hot and Wet season Hulhangu which has 18 Nakaiy, is a season of strong
winds and stormy weather.
The first Nakaiy in the Hulhangu Season, for instance, is called
Assidha (from 8 April to 21 April) when the first rains fall. The
following Nakaiy are good for clearing and planting. During the sixth
Nakaiy, Adha (from 17 June to 30 June), seafarers steer towards the
middle of storm clouds, as they tend to divide and give a clear path. And
towards the end of the Hulhangu Season, fishing is generally good.
The first period of theIruvai Season is Mula (from 10
December to 22 December), when winds blow from the north east and with
sunshine. During this period, fishing is usually good on the eastern side
and in the northern atolls. Nothing shows as clearly as this subtle and
complex calendar of the Maldivians' profound practical knowledge of nature
and their careful adaptation to their environment.