Weather in Penang

In Malaysia, the weather is characterized by two monsoon seasons1. They are the Southwest Monsoon from late May to September and the Northeast Monsoon from November to March. The Northeast Monsoon brings heavy rainfall, particularly to the east coast states of Peninsular Malaysia and western Sarawak, whereas the Southwest Monsoon typically signifies relatively drier weather. When to visit Malaysia is a matter of preference. Different states are affected differently by the different monsoon seasons.

Avg. Rainfall, mm Rain, days High °C (°F) Low °C (°F)
Jan 70 5 32 (90) 24 (75)
Feb 70 4 31 (88) 24 (75)
Mar 120 8 32 (90) 24 (75)
Apr 240 11 32 (90) 25 (77)
May 240 12 32 (90) 25 (77)
June 170 8 32 (90) 25 (77)
July 210 9 32 (90) 24 (75)
Aug 190 11 32 (90) 24 (75)
Sept 330 13 31 (88) 24 (75)
Oct 340 15 31 (88) 24 (75)
Nov 230 13 31 (88) 24 (75)
Dec 140 8 31 (88) 24 (75)

The best time to visit Penang is between April and August. This is when the weather is more relaxed, and there is less humidity. Penang is prone to frequent thunderstorms, heavy rainfall, and flash floods during the rainy season. The rain is usually heavy from September to November, especially during the Northeast Monsoon season. During rainfall, locals would go indoors or hit the shopping malls. Avoiding driving during heavy rains is another ritual to avoid traffic jams.

Otherwise, the best way to decide when to come to Penang is to consider the timing of various events. Look for an annual event calendar and research the various festivals or events held throughout the year.

Ultimately, no matter when you come to Penang, it will be hot and humid. You may see some rain, but the sun will shine. You can be assured of delicious food being always widely available and something to do no matter the weather or the time of year.

1 A "monsoon" does not necessarily mean rain. It is the name of the prevailing winds blowing at a particular time.