a nation with less than one percent land and over 99 percent sea, the
weather obviously plays a significant role in day-to-day life. For a
long time Maldivians have organized their lives based on a system on
nakaiy. Each nakaiy is 13 or 14 days long and is divided into two
seasons; iruvai northest monsoon and hulhangu south west monsoon. The
nakaiy calendar is still used to determine such things as the best time
for fishing, travel or planting crops.
Maldives has a tropical climate with warm temperatures year round and a
great deal of sunshine. The warm tropical climate results in relatively
minor variations in daily temperature throughout the year. The hottest
month on average is April and the coolest, December. The weather is
determined largely by the monsoons.
There is a
significant variation in the monthly rainfall levels. February is the
driest with January to April being relatively dry, May and October
records the highest average monthly rainfall. The southwest monsoon or
hulhangu from May to September is the wet season. Rough seas and strong
winds are common during this period. The northeast monsoon iruvai falls
between December to April. This is a period of clear skies, lower
humidity and very little rain. The Maldives is in the equatorial belt
and therefore severe storms and cyclones are extremely rare events.
However the country is affected whenever cyclones form in the Bay of
Bengal or the Arabian Sea. The spiraling clouds of the weather systems
appear over the Maldives causing spells of rain.
White sandy beaches sparkling in the sun alongside crystal clear
lagoons would be an idyllic place to spend a perfect holiday. While
this is true in most aspects, the degree of fragility of our
environment is gaining much attention within national and international
The fragile marine and terrestrial environment including the reefs and
bio-diversity would be greatly affected unless careful management of
the environment is done. Our beauty and natural resources are strongly
linked with economic development of the country. Such awareness has
raised many concerns and the Government is taking extensive measures
towards protecting the environment.