Land and Resources, Climate
wet zone, dry zone, monsoon season, lowlands, average annual temperature
Because Sri Lanka is situated near the equator, the climate is generally hot and humid. The hill and mountain areas, however, are cool, and the humidity is relatively lower in the dry zone. The average annual temperature is about 32°C (about 90°F) in the lowlands and about 21°C (about 70°F) in the higher mountainous regions.
Precipitation is characterized by wide seasonal and regional variations. The monsoon season in the southwest is from May to November, at which time the rainfall is exceptionally heavy. In the northern dry zone the main precipitation of about 1,020 mm (about 40 in) annually occurs during the monsoon season, which begins in the first week of November. Most crops in the dry zone, however, require irrigation. The hills and the lowlands of the southwestern section, which is known as the wet zone, normally have some rainfall throughout the year, but peaks occur in May and June and in October and November.
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