6

When I hitchhiked through KL last year it didn't rain at all so I didn't need to take precautions. I think it was July/August.

Now at the end of November there's a big downpour every day and rain is not a plus for hitchhikers.

Now I read somewhere that the rain comes at pretty much the same time each day, but I don't know if that's an exaggeration or just made up, but it does at least sound plausible for the tropics.

So is it actually true? Could I plan to be on the road in certain parts of the day to greatly increase my chances of avoiding downpours?

Or is it equally likely to rain at all times of the day?

  • Are you hitch-hiking through Malaysia or just around KL...? KL has it's own micro-climate and weather away from the city can be different. – Josh B Nov 27 '14 at 7:30
  • @JoshB: I'll be hitchhiking around Asia, but the first step is to get un-stuck from the city and actually start travelling (-: – hippietrail Nov 27 '14 at 8:55
4

I don't have any references for this (most rainfall charts don't go down to the hour of the day...), but yes, based on living in Singapore for years, there is a general pattern to rainfall in that area of the world. It goes like this:

  • Morning: Clear blue skies.
  • Noon: Clouds gathering.
  • Afternoon: Sudden onset of violent lashing rain, often accompanied by thunder, lasting 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Evening: Skies clear up again.

So the TL;DR would be that if you're going to hitchhike in the rainy season, it would behoove you to get on the road as early as possible and try to finish up before the afternoon. Which is actually good advice when hitchhiking anywhere, lots of long rides in the morning and it gives you some buffer until darkness closes in.

Now obviously this is only a rough pattern, and particularly in the rainy season, it's fairly common to have spells of several days when it rains pretty much non-stop. But if it's sunny when you wake up, hit the road and make the most of it.

  • 1
    This is the same experience I had in Puerto Vallarta. in the Caribbean though, rainy season was much less predictable, sadly. So I think, getting specific information about KL or at least peninsular Malaysia would be needed to answer this specific question. – Itai Nov 27 '14 at 3:04
  • 1
    The pattern above is based on my experience of living in Singapore (at the tip of Peninsular Malaysia) for ~7 years, including on the order of a year's worth of business travel to KL. – jpatokal Nov 27 '14 at 3:19
  • 5 years in Hawaii taught us all about afternoon Mauka showers. – CGCampbell Nov 27 '14 at 3:21
  • Right then. Today I'm shopping for rainwear (any suggestions?) and tomorrow I'm heading off early for Malacca... – hippietrail Nov 27 '14 at 5:56

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