Sri Lanka

Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Sri Lanka.

Country Summary

This page presents high-level information for Sri Lanka's climate zones and its seasonal cycle for mean temperature and precipitation for the latest climatology, 1991-2020. Climate zone classifications in the map below use observed, historical data (sourced from the Climate Research Unit [CRU]) and are derived by applying the Köppen-Geiger climate classification methodology. This classification divides climate into five primary climate groups, which are divided based on seasonal precipitation and temperature patterns. The five primary groups are A (tropical), B (dry), C (temperate), D (continental), and E (polar). All climates, except for those in the E group are assigned a seasonal precipitation sub-group (second letter). It is important to understand the different climate contexts that exist within a country as well as the surrounding region when analyzing current climates and projected change. Climate classifications are identified by hovering your mouse over the legend. A narrative overview of Sri Lanka's country context and climate is provided following the visualizations.

Köppen-Geiger Climate Classification, 1991-2020
  • Af
  • Am
  • As/Aw
  • BWh
  • BWk
  • BSh
  • BSk
  • Csa
  • Csb
  • Csc
  • Cwa
  • Cwb
  • Cwc
  • Cfa
  • Cfb
  • Cfc
  • Dsa
  • Dsb
  • Dsc
  • Dsd
  • Dwa
  • Dwb
  • Dwc
  • Dwd
  • Dfa
  • Dfb
  • Dfc
  • Dfd
  • ET
  • EF

Sri Lanka is a small island nation lying between 6°N and 10°N latitude and 80°E and 82°E longitude in the Indian Ocean, with a land area of approximately 65,000 square kilometers (km2). The island consists of a mountainous area in the south-central region and a surrounding coastal plain. The climate of Sri Lanka is wet and warm, ideal for forest growth; almost all of the nation’s land area was at one time covered with forests. Over the last century, more than two-thirds of this forest cover, rich in biodiversity, has been removed to accommodate human use. Nonetheless, rich natural resources remain and, alongside its vibrant cultures, contribute to the nation’s successful tourism industry. Approximately a quarter of Sri Lanka’s population are believed to live within the metropolitan area of its commercial capital, Colombo. However, official statistics suggest Sri Lanka’s urban population is relatively low, reportedly 18.6% in 2019. Sri Lanka’s high temperatures, unique and complex hydrological regime, and exposure to extreme climate events make it highly vulnerable to climate change.