In a nation with less than one percent land and over 99 percent sea, the weather obviously plays a significant role in day-to-day life. For a long time Maldivians have organized their lives based on a system on nakaiy. Each nakaiy is 13 or 14 days long and is divided into two seasons; iruvai northest monsoon and hulhangu south west monsoon. The nakaiy calendar is still used to determine such things as the best time for fishing, travel or planting crops.
The Maldives has a tropical climate with warm temperatures year round and a great deal of sunshine. The warm tropical climate results in relatively minor variations in daily temperature throughout the year. The hottest month on average is April and the coolest, December. The weather is determined largely by the monsoons.
There is a significant variation in the monthly rainfall levels. February is the driest with January to April being relatively dry, May and October records the highest average monthly rainfall. The southwest monsoon or hulhangu from May to September is the wet season. Rough seas and strong winds are common during this period. The northeast monsoon iruvai falls between December to April. This is a period of clear skies, lower humidity and very little rain. The Maldives is in the equatorial belt and therefore severe storms and cyclones are extremely rare events. However the country is affected whenever cyclones form in the Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea. The spiraling clouds of the weather systems appear over the Maldives causing spells of rain.