Weather issue: When is the best time to go to Mount Kinabalu?

I received at least 3 emails asking about the weather on Kinabalu each week. I think I better write this post and lead the inquirer about the issue here. It will save me a lot of time, answering the same emails over and over again.

After doing some research, I managed to find a good climate details of Kota Kinabalu:

To make your life easy, the higher the precipitation, the higher the amount of rainfall. If you look closely at the table (climate for Kota Kinabalu is for the year 2007), January to April are the driest months where the precipitation are the lowest (i.e. below 150mm per month). This is the best time to come here and climb Mount Kinabalu. However, seasonal variations can occur in any year.

Rain can occur at any time of the year. In Sabah the main rainy seasons are from October to January when the rains come with the north east monsoon, and from May to July, with the south west monsoon.

Mornings are usually clear at any season. Sabah lies below the typhoon (hurricane) belt, though the tail-ends can cause strong winds and rain during the typhoon season.

At Kinabalu Park Headquarters (1,560m a.s.l) the mean monthly temperature is approximately 20 ºC, with a daily fluctuations of 7 – 9 ºC. Mean annual rainfall at this location is 2,380mm.

A common climatic feature to the park are bright early mornings, followed quickly by clouding mid-morning, which obscures the mountains by mid-day. Showers usually occur on the upper slopes in the afternoon.

Although they say ‘the driest time’, a good raincoat is a must. Otherwise, you may get wet when it rains while on the way up to Laban Rata, at the slopes of Kinabalu.

Got raincoat?

Raincoat Adult – 1

4 thoughts on “Weather issue: When is the best time to go to Mount Kinabalu?

  1. cornelius

    for the raincoat part..I recommend that you buy from kota kinabalu. Don’t wait until you are in Kinabalu Park…the prices are different. It tripple the normal price in KK. I bought mine from Survey Hypermarket for rm2+.

  2. Chang HP

    Yes, get yourself a light weight raincoat. Not the heavy duty one as it will be heavier when you hike up from Kinabalu Park to Laban Rata.

    A note of advice : It always shower (sometimes for 5 or 1o minutes) on the way up/down to Laban Rata.

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