What is the terrain and geography like in Sri Lanka?
A pear-shaped island in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka lies 18 miles from India at its closest point. It has an area of 25,332 square miles, a length of 268 miles, a width of 139 miles. Located in the tropical zone between 5 N and 9 N and between 80 E and 82 E.
Sri Lanka has many areas of scenic beauty and historic interest. The island consists of
two main topographical sections: the mountainous south-central region which rises to 8,281 feet above sea level and the low-lying northern, eastern, and southwestern coastal plains. Dense vegetation covers a large part of Sri Lanka, particularly the southern and western coasts. Rubber and coconut trees grow in the midlands and lowlands, and the highlands have vast tea estates.
In Colombo, temperatures rarely rise above 90 F or drop below 70 F; relative humidity varies from 70% during the day to 90% at night. The mountainous districts have an average day temperature of about 60 F, but at night it drops rapidly, sometimes to near freezing in winter in places such as Nuwara Eliya (altitude of 5,905 feet).
Monsoons produce two rainy seasons. The southwest monsoon lasts roughly from May to September. During this period, the southwestern part of the island, including Colombo, receives much of its average annual rainfall of 100 inches.
The northeast monsoon, from about October or November through February, provides the northern and eastern parts of the island virtually all their average annual rainfall of 60 inches. Monsoon showers can become torrential in the Colombo area. December through March generally proves the driest period.