SCUBA DIVING IN PHUKET IN MONSOON SEASON
WHAT CAN I EXPECT ON A MONSOONAL DAY?
Scuba diving in Phuket with Thailand Divers during monsoon season can be a great time of year to visit phuket thailand. Phuket is positioned about half way down the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman ocean. Thailand has a northern and southern monsoon. Phuket being central can get either northern or southern monsoon, both or neither. Phuket this time of year can have warm sunny days and mainly short sharp showers at night. During the day can produce again heavy showers that last 20 minutes or so then dry up in 15 minutes as well. During Monsoon season the weather and winds come from the west, right across the Indian Ocean and can produce good surf all along the west coast resorts such as Patong, Karon and Kata beaches.
What is Monsoon?
The word monsoon literally means ‘season’ in Arabic. Traders traveling the waters of the Arabian and Indian coast noted for centuries that dry, cool, northeast winds blew for 6months and then suddenly changed to warm, moist air from the southeast. So in a nutshell, the monsoon weather is a change in the type and direction of winds (and therefore swell) that brings moist air.
When and How Does it work?
Between April to September, the wind blows from the southeast as the land mass of India, the Himalayas and beyond heats up relative to the ocean. This causes moist warm air from the Indian ocean to rush into the gap as the warmer air rises. This is the moist ‘maritime’ air that brings the monsoonal rains. Between October and March, this phenomenon is reversed, as the temperature of the Indian Ocean is warmer relative to the land. This pulls dry, cool ‘continental’ winds to Phuket Thailand. This is often called the ‘dry’ or ‘high’ season
What does it mean for Phuket scuba diving?
During Low or monsoon season is the best time to come to go diving in phuket to get you PADI Open Water or any other course. The crowds of high season are gone, the hotel and flights are a lot cheaper. The diving in many ways is better. There can be many creatures thet are scared off in high season due the numbers of boats and people but return when it gets quiet again. The weather can be as good as high seaon too. The main difference the weather can change from week to week. We can have a week of rain or a week of sun. But if you are diving it makes no difference.
During monsoon season in Phuket is really mid-May till mid-October. This time of the year, it is not bad for scuba diving in Phuket. The weather is better in monsoon season than it is in many countries on a good day. As far as the ocean goes we can have flat seas on good days and up to three-meter waves on the really bad days. As an average, the waves are 75cms to 1 meter high.
This does not really effect the dive boats here as they are mostly large sturdy boats built for diving in these conditions. The main difference is the direction of the wind, weather and swell. All the locations are useable all year round. The only exceptions are King Cruiser, Shark point and Anemone reef. Although very rare these sites can be canceled in extreme conditions as they are situated out in the middle of the ocean with no protection.
The diving is fine but if the waves become too big it can become too risky getting back on the boats after a dive. Both Phi Phi and Racha Noi and Yai are good all year as they both offer sheltered bays on both the East and West side of the islands. This means calm flat water all year. The trip out and back to Phi Phi can be longer if there is strong wind or big waves as the boats run with the wind and waves on the way out and against on the way back. The trips to the racha Islands is ok too as there is protection from the waves for most of the way from Phuket and Coral island then from Racha Yai.
However from Coral island to Racha Yai can be a bit exposed as can from Racha Yai to Noi. This however, is only in the worst conditions and most days are great conditions. You can expect an odd shower at any time during monsoon season, but then again the clouds do tend to hang around the mountains on Phuket and the days on the sea tend to be nice. During this time of the year the weather will change from day to day, week to week. Just ask in the office to check the conditions on the days you wish to dive and you can pick the locations depending on the weather.
The best things about Monsoon season.
The best thing about scuba diving in Phuket with Thailand Divers during this time of year is the cheap hotel prices and there are less people on the dive boats. The dive sites are less crowded and the fish are less spooked. The visability is normally very good too unless a big storm has just passed by. There can be a bit more wind or an odd shower and remember even if it’s cloudy and raining on phuket there is a good chance of sun out on the ocean. Phuket scuba diving is great all year round. In a two week holiday you can get a bit of everything. From one extreme to another. One day can be a typical monsoon day and the next a typical tropical island paradise style weather. scuba diving in phuket this time of year is awesome and does create the most stunning sunsets. Truly worth a visit.