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Tioman and Monsoon, what you should know

Though it varies from year to year, by October or November, atmospheric conditions over the southeast asia region start to change. Obviously, Mersing and Tioman Island are subject to these changes too.

Typically, what this means is that the weather over the area takes on a somewhat less stable character; skies gradually become a bit more cloudy and the average daily frequency of showers increases.

Usually, the pattern isn't quite so clear-cut of course, given that this is the weather. For instance, even in the middle of the monsoon, the region can still experience dry sunny spells. However, the odds of this are quite long.

Instead, particularly during December, wet weather is expected, including persistent rainy spells. Usually, the rains come in the form of so called "surges", periods with heavy rainfall and strong winds. Since the prevailing wind changes from southwest to northeast, this period is called the northeast monsoon.

As a result of the occasionally strong winds, seas tend to be higher than usual, which can effect Tioman's ferry services. In addition, the at times relentless rain can cause flooding in certain areas along Malaysia's east coast, in turn affecting traffic to and from the area.

Tioman's beaches are affected too, by the changes in weather and sea. For one thing, some of the beaches get eroded by the action of the stronger than usual currents and waves, leaving less beach than before.

Tioman's otherwise crystal-clear sea water also becomes a little more murky than usual, due to all this churning, not so good for snorkelling and scubadiving.

Now, all these processes reverse towards the end of the monsoon, but if you're contemplating going to Tioman during this time the year, it's good to take note of these periodic changes all the same.

Is Tioman open during monsoon at all? Some resorts remain open, others close. This also applies to Tioman's restaurants, provisions shops, equipment rental outfits etc. Each year is different, so each year different companies decide to stay open or close shop during these months.

But it's not all bad news. As the monsoon brings good-sized swell to the island, this is the time surfers, local and from overseas, flock to its eastern shore especially.

In fact, Tioman Surf Festival exists courtesy of the northeast monsoon. So expect Kampong Juara, Tioman's east coast village, to remain fully abuzz during this time.

Lastly, once the monsoon surges have spent themselves, usually by the end of December, what remains are blue skies, clear air and fair weather.

As a matter of fact, with lower than usual humidity and temperatures, spending time outdoors becomes very enjoyable.

Do keep in mind, however, that strong sea breezes remain likely, which means the ferry to Tioman, and more importantly: the ferry back to Mersing, can be suspended or even cancelled, potentially for a number of days.

For more details about the northeast monsoon and Tioman, please click here.

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