Climate and Average Weather Year Round in Chiang Mai Thailand
In Chiang Mai, the wet season is oppressive and overcast, the dry season is mostly clear, and it is hot year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 59°F to 97°F and is rarely below 53°F or above 102°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Chiang Mai for warm-weather activities is from mid November to early March.
Average Temperature in Chiang Mai
The hot season lasts for 1.9 months, from March 12 to May 7, with an average daily high temperature above 94°F. The hottest month of the year in Chiang Mai is April, with an average high of 97°F and low of 74°F.
The cool season lasts for 2.2 months, from November 18 to January 25, with an average daily high temperature below 86°F. The coldest month of the year in Chiang Mai is January, with an average low of 59°F and high of 85°F.
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Santa Fe y la Mar, Mexico (9,716 miles away) and Mwaya, Tanzania (4,848 miles) are the far-away foreign places with temperatures most similar to Chiang Mai (view comparison).
In Chiang Mai, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in Chiang Mai begins around October 27 and lasts for 5.7 months, ending around April 19.
The clearest month of the year in Chiang Mai is February, during which on average the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 75% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around April 19 and lasts for 6.3 months, ending around October 27.
The cloudiest month of the year in Chiang Mai is July, during which on average the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 93% of the time.
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Chiang Mai varies very significantly throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 5.8 months, from April 25 to October 19, with a greater than 31% chance of a given day being a wet day. The month with the most wet days in Chiang Mai is August, with an average of 18.0 days with at least 0.04 inches of precipitation.
The drier season lasts 6.2 months, from October 19 to April 25. The month with the fewest wet days in Chiang Mai is January, with an average of 0.5 days with at least 0.04 inches of precipitation.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. The month with the most days of rain alone in Chiang Mai is August, with an average of 18.0 days. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 61% on September 3.
To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Chiang Mai experiences extreme seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
The rainy period of the year lasts for 9.0 months, from March 8 to December 7, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The month with the most rain in Chiang Mai is September, with an average rainfall of 7.1 inches.
The rainless period of the year lasts for 3.0 months, from December 7 to March 8. The month with the least rain in Chiang Mai is January, with an average rainfall of 0.2 inches.
The length of the day in Chiang Mai varies over the course of the year. In 2023, the shortest day is December 22, with 11 hours, 0 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 13 hours, 16 minutes of daylight.
The earliest sunrise is at 5:46 AM on June 6, and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 14 minutes later at 6:59 AM on January 19. The earliest sunset is at 5:45 PM on November 25, and the latest sunset is 1 hour, 20 minutes later at 7:05 PM on July 6.
Daylight saving time (DST) is not observed in Chiang Mai during 2023.
The figure below presents a compact representation of the sun's elevation (the angle of the sun above the horizon) and azimuth (its compass bearing) for every hour of every day in the reporting period. The horizontal axis is the day of the year and the vertical axis is the hour of the day. For a given day and hour of that day, the background color indicates the azimuth of the sun at that moment. The black isolines are contours of constant solar elevation.
The figure below presents a compact representation of key lunar data for 2023. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the colored areas indicate when the moon is above the horizon. The vertical gray bars (new Moons) and blue bars (full Moons) indicate key Moon phases.
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
Chiang Mai experiences extreme seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.
The muggier period of the year lasts for 8.3 months, from March 30 to December 8, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 27% of the time. The month with the most muggy days in Chiang Mai is August, with 29.2 days that are muggy or worse.
The month with the fewest muggy days in Chiang Mai is January, with 1.5 days that are muggy or worse.
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.
The average hourly wind speed in Chiang Mai does not vary significantly over the course of the year, remaining within 0.5 miles per hour of 2.5 miles per hour throughout.
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Chiang Mai varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the south for 2.3 weeks, from January 12 to January 28; for 1.6 months, from May 6 to June 23; and for 2.6 weeks, from September 7 to September 25, with a peak percentage of 55% on June 7. The wind is most often from the west for 3.3 months, from January 28 to May 6 and for 2.5 months, from June 23 to September 7, with a peak percentage of 56% on March 27. The wind is most often from the east for 3.6 months, from September 25 to January 12, with a peak percentage of 40% on January 1.
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Chiang Mai throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.
The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Chiang Mai for general outdoor tourist activities is from mid November to early March, with a peak score in the second week of January.
Tourism Score in Chiang Mai
The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Chiang Mai for hot-weather activities is from late February to mid April, with a peak score in the third week of March.
Beach/Pool Score in Chiang Mai
For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.
Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.
Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.
Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.
Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.
Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).
Temperatures in Chiang Mai are sufficiently warm year round that it is not entirely meaningful to discuss the growing season in these terms. We nevertheless include the chart below as an illustration of the distribution of temperatures experienced throughout the year.
Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences some seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 2.1 months, from February 21 to April 24, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 6.0 kWh. The brightest month of the year in Chiang Mai is March, with an average of 6.3 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 2.5 months, from July 6 to September 23, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 4.9 kWh. The darkest month of the year in Chiang Mai is August, with an average of 4.6 kWh.
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Chiang Mai are 18.790 deg latitude, 98.985 deg longitude, and 1,027 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Chiang Mai contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 148 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 1,027 feet. Within 10 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (4,573 feet). Within 50 miles also contains extreme variations in elevation (7,723 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Chiang Mai is covered by artificial surfaces (95%), within 10 miles by cropland (59%) and trees (26%), and within 50 miles by trees (78%) and cropland (19%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Chiang Mai, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Temperature and Dew Point
There are 2 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Chiang Mai.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Chiang Mai according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
The estimated value at Chiang Mai is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Chiang Mai and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are:
To get a sense of how much these sources agree with each other, you can view a comparison of Chiang Mai and the stations that contribute to our estimates of its temperature history and climate. Please note that each source's contribution is adjusted for elevation and the relative change present in the MERRA-2 data.
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Algorithms 2nd Edition , by Jean Meeus.
All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for airports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © OpenStreetMap contributors.
The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.
We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.
We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.
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