Situated in the equatorial zone, Malaysia is indeed a tropical holiday destination. Temperatures fluctuate between 25 degrees to 35 degrees Celsius. Sometimes it could be as cool as 18 degrees or as hot as 40 degrees depending on the location, time of the year and what part of the day. The greatest nuisance is haze. Before traveling to this part of the world do check on this phenomenon. It is a self-inflicted disaster created by ignorant farmers and greedy business interests. When haze occurred, it tends to trap the warm air making cities and towns hot. The worst thing is experiencing limited visibility. What is the point of traveling when you can’t see anything? The best place to escape from haze is to go for high places such as Mount Kinabalu or Cameron Highland.
To understand about the weather pattern of Malaysia one must understand the monsoon. Monsoon means reversing wind corresponding to changing precipitation. It is actually a large scale sea breeze coming from the sea. Malaysia is influenced by the South Asian Monsoon (coming from the Indian Ocean) as well as the East Asian Monsoon (originating from the Pacific).
Usually in the month from late December right to late April, most part of Malaysia will experience a dry season due to the southeast monsoon. However the southern part of Sarawak might face occasional heavy downpour during this period. Starting from late May to August, Malaysia will face a very wet period due to the northeast monsoon. There would be a brief dry period in between late August to November. Historically, this is the time when the haze emerged. Haze is due to the massive forest clearance for plantation and farming activities taking place in Kalimantan Borneo and Sumatera. Those people are taking advantage of the brief period of dry weather. Because of its close proximity, Malaysia and other neighboring Southeast Asian countries are affected too. Then the rain comes again somewhere between November to early January.
From my own personal experience, those of you who want to travel here and to enjoy the great sunny beaches and islands; or going hiking and mountaineering; and doesn’t want to be caught by bad weather and the lousy haze, the best time are January to April. Being experienced with farming and horticultural activities, I am forced to take notice of the weather patterns for decades. However for the past several years, weather is getting unpredictable. Many scientists said the freakish weather is due to the global warming; and I do believe what they say. Whatever it is, the best thing to do when comes to weather is to seek advice from the Malaysian meteorological department.