What Type Of Climate Does Cambodia Have?

Rain in the Cambodian jungle.
Rain in the Cambodian jungle.

Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia. Its capital city is Phnom Penh. It covers an area of about 181,000 square kilometers. The country’s population is slightly above 16 million. Countries that border Cambodia are Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. The country has been a United Nations member state since 1955 which was two years after its independence. The climate of Cambodia is a tropical climate which is characterized by warm temperatures all through the year. The two major climatic seasons in Cambodia are winter and summer which are defined by the prevailing monsoon winds. The monsoon winds originate from the annual shifting of high and low pressure in the central Asian landmass. Unlike many other countries whose climates are varied due to various terrains in the country, Cambodia’s climate is fairly uniform as it is not a vast nation.

Climate Of Cambodia

Cambodia’s climate is tropical and is divided into two seasons: southwest monsoon season and northeast monsoon season.

Southwest Monsoon Season

The southwest monsoon season is characterized by the southwest monsoon winds that carry with them heavy rains as well as high humidity. In most cases, the rains fall in the afternoons. This season covers mid-May to early October with the month the months of September and October being the wettest. The total annual average rainfall is between 5000 mm and 1270 mm. Three-quarters of the total rainfall in Cambodia comes during the southwest monsoon season. The heaviest downpours are experienced in the southwestern highland parts of the country. Whenever it rains in Cambodia, the roads become impassable. Consequently, most tourists prefer to visit the country during the dry season. The most preferred months to visit Cambodia in December and January.

Northeast Monsoon Season

The northeast monsoon season begins from early November to mid-March. It is ushered in by the drier northeast monsoon winds. These winds are characterized by low humidity, light showers of rain as well as high temperatures. Generally, temperatures in Cambodia are high throughout the year. However, the coolest month is January whose temperatures range from 82-83˚F. In April, temperature rise as high as 95-104˚F. The driest period in the northeast monsoon season is between January and February. Unlike the rainy season, road travel is easier during summer. Besides, the days are bright and sunny.

The Vulnerability Index

Generally, the climate of Cambodia has been affected by global warming and climate change. According to the findings posted by the International Development Research Centre, the United Nations, and the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance; the vulnerability index of the country is high. Most of the effects of climate change are felt by the rural coastline population. The population is exposed to shortages of clean water, extreme flooding, mudslides, higher sea levels, and potentially destructive storms.

Thus, Cambodia experiences tropical climates that feature warm temperatures in the 12 months of every year. The climate is marked by two seasons namely the northeast monsoon season and the southwest monsoon season.


More in Environment