Weather in Thailand (compared to Australia)

The most questions I get from friends in Australia (and elsewhere) are along the lines: How is the weather in Thailand? And from Thai's here, one of the first questions they ask after meeting you is Do you like the weather in Thailand? Whatever I answer, most people do not fully comprehend, especially those: So maybe some facts and figures will help explain the difference in weather between Thailand (Bangkok) and Australia (Mt Gambier and Adelaide). Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia, and is where I worked and lived for 12 years. Mt Gambier is where I grew up, and most of my family still live. It is about 500 km south of Adelaide, and known to be much cooler and wetter than Adelaide. The state of South Australia is the driest state in the driest (inhabited) continent on Earth. The following table summarises the average maximum temperature, average minimum temperature, and yearly rainfall for the three locations. On average, Bangkok is about 10°C hotter than the locations in Australia! However, this is the average over the year - Australia has same extremely hot temperatures during summer. In Adelaide there 5 to 10 days per year with the temperature above 40°C. The most recent hottest day I recall was 46°C! In Bangkok, it seldom (if ever) reaches 40°C.
  Bangkok Mt Gambier Adelaide
Average Maximum Temperature (°C) 32 19 21
Average Minimum Temperature (°C) 23 8 11
Yearly Rainfall (mm) 1400 700 450
The difference in rainfall is also significant: Bangkok is twice as wet as Mt Gambier, and three times as wet as Adelaide. In short, when it rains in Thailand, it rains a lot! The follow graphs show some more detail of the temperature and rainfall on a monthly basis. This is good for illustrating the difference between seasons. In Bangkok, it is warm to hot all year. And the overnight temperature hardly drops below 20°C. The only respite you get is around December. This year (2007), there was about 2 weeks of "winter" when I actually felt cold when getting out of bed in the morning. One night I walked outside at 10pm in shorts and t-shirt and had a slight feeling of coldness. But this "winter" was brief (mid-December) - I am back sleeping with an air-conditioner on. In Mt Gambier and Adelaide, the seasons are more pronounced: hot in summer, cold in winter. Even in summer you get cooler temperatures overnight. Another comparison: I guess I have slept without air-conditioning in Bangkok for about 20 days per year. In Adelaide, it was about half that many days when I slept with the air-conditioning on.

Although the temperature does not distinguish seasons in Bangkok, the rainfall does. A wet season (May to November) and a dry season.

In summary, although the weather is a lot different to that which I am used to in Australia, I cope well with it in Thailand. I actually like the warm weather, and am dreading going back to Mt Gambier in March 2008 (which may contain some 40+ days) and having to get out the jeans and jumpers. Source of weather data: Australian Bureau of Meteorology and BBC.