The best times to visit Kota Kinabalu for ideal weather are
based on average temperature and humidity from NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Read below for more weather and travel details.
Kota Kinabalu Travel Guide
Other Kota Kinabalu Travel Info
Weather in Kota Kinabalu
Average temperatures in Kota Kinabalu vary barely at all. Considering humidity, temperatures feel hot all year with a chance of rain throughout most of the year. The area is far less temperate than some — in the bottom 1 percentile for pleasant weather — compared to tourist destinations worldwide. Weeks with ideal weather are listed above. If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Kota Kinabalu, the hottest months are May, June, and then April. See average monthly temperatures below. The warmest time of year is generally early to mid May where highs are regularly around 92.3°F (33.5°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 76.3°F (24.6°C) at night.
Kota Kinabalu Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
Kota Kinabalu Temperatures (Celsius)
The way we experience weather isn’t all about temperature. Higher temperatures affect us much more at higher humidity, and colder temperatures feel piercing with high winds. Our perceived temperatures factor in humidity and wind chill to better represent how hot or cold the day feels to a person.
Kota Kinabalu Perceived Temperature (F)
Kota Kinabalu Perceived Temperature (C)
Average Kota Kinabalu Temperatures by Month
Daily highs (averaged for the month) usually give the best indication of the weather. A significantly lower mean and low generally just means it gets colder at night.
|Month||Avg. High (°F)||Avg. Mean (°F)||Avg. Low (°F)|
|Month||Avg. High (°C)||Avg. Mean (°C)||Avg. Low (°C)|
Precipitation (Rain or Snow)
If dry weather is what you’re after, the months with the lowest chance of significant precipitation in Kota Kinabalu are February, March, and then April. Note that we define “significant precipitation” as .1 inches or more in this section. The lowest chance of rain or snow occurs around early to mid March. For example, on the week of March 12th there is 1 day of precipitation on average. By contrast, it’s most likely to rain or snow in early to mid October with an average of 4 days of significant precipitation the week of October 8th.
When can you find snow in Kota Kinabalu? Weather stations report no annual snow. Please note that a value of 0 for snow in the graph below may either mean there was no snow, or that snow is unreported.
Chance of Precipitation
The graph below shows the % chance of rainy and snowy days in Kota Kinabalu.
Snow on the Ground
The graph below shows the average snow on the ground in Kota Kinabalu (in).
Average Rain and Snow by Month
|Month||Daily Chance of Rain||Average Snow Depth (in)||Total Precipitation (in)|
|Month||Daily Chance of Rain||Average Snow Depth (cm)||Total Precipitation (cm)|
Humidity and Wind
Kota Kinabalu has some very humid months, and high humidity throughout the year. The least humid month is June (75.4% relative humidity), and the most humid month is November (80.2%).
Wind in Kota Kinabalu is usually calm. The windiest month is September, followed by August and July. September’s average wind speed of around 4.5 knots (5.1 MPH or 8.3 KPH) is considered “a light breeze.” Maximum sustained winds (the highest speed for the day lasting more than a few moments) are at their highest in late September where average top sustained speeds reach 10.7 knots, which is considered a gentle breeze.
Relative Humidity (%)
The graph below shows the average % humidity by month in Kota Kinabalu.
The graph below shows wind speed (max and average) in knots.
Average Wind Speeds
Show Wind Speeds
All wind speeds are in knots. 1 knot = 1.15 MPH or 1.85 KPH.
|Month||Avg. Wind||Avg. Wind Feel||Sustained High Wind||High Wind Feel|
|Jan||3.7||Barely noticeable||7.9||Gentle breeze|
|Feb||3.6||Barely noticeable||7.7||Gentle breeze|
|Mar||3.6||Barely noticeable||7.7||Gentle breeze|
|Apr||3.8||Barely noticeable||7.9||Gentle breeze|
|May||4.1||Light breeze||8.4||Gentle breeze|
|Jun||4.2||Light breeze||9.2||Gentle breeze|
|Jul||4.4||Light breeze||9.5||Gentle breeze|
|Aug||4.4||Light breeze||9.2||Gentle breeze|
|Sep||4.5||Light breeze||10.1||Gentle breeze|
|Oct||4.3||Light breeze||9.4||Gentle breeze|
|Nov||3.9||Barely noticeable||8.7||Gentle breeze|
|Dec||3.8||Barely noticeable||8.1||Gentle breeze|
Show Relative Humidity by Month
|Month||Avg. Relative Humidity|
Is it Safe to Travel to Kota Kinabalu?
Our best data indicates this area is somewhat safe, but with extra warnings in a few regions. As of Oct 07, 2019 there are travel warnings and regional advisories for Malaysia; exercise a high degree of caution and avoid some areas. Check this page for any recent changes or regions to avoid: Travel Advice and Advisories. This advisory was last updated on Aug 22, 2019.
The Busiest and Least Crowded Months
The busiest month for tourism in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia is December, followed by November and June. Prices for hotels and flights will be most expensive during these months, though you can save if you purchase well in advance. Tourists are unlikely to visit Kota Kinabalu in May. Those willing to visit at these times will likely find it the least expensive month.
Estimated Tourism by Month
Most Popular Months to Visit
Overall Kota Kinabalu Travel Experience by Season
Spring (March through May)
Humidity and temperatures combine to make this season feel warm. Highs range from 92.3°F (33.5°C) and 89.1°F (31.7°C) with similar temperatures in the later months. Rain is somewhat common with 7 to 9 days of significant precipitation per month. Spring is the slowest for tourism, which makes it a good time for those looking for deals.
Summer (June through August)
The middle-year months have very comfortable weather with high temperatures that are quite warm. These months see moderate precipitation with 11 to 14 days of precipitation per month. June – August is the second busiest season for tourism in Kota Kinabalu, so lodging and other accommodations may cost slightly more.
Fall (September through November)
Fall daily highs range from 90.8°F (32.7°C) and 88.9°F (31.6°C), which will feel very nice given the humidity and wind. It rains or snows a great amount: 13 to 15 days per month. Tourism is fairly slow during these months due to the weather, so hotels may be lower priced.
Winter (December through February)
Weather is perfect this time of year in Kota Kinabalu to be enjoyable for warm weather travelers. The average high during this season is between 90.2°F (32.3°C) and 87.6°F (30.9°C). On average, it rains or snows a fair amount: 6 to 11 times per month. These times of year are the busiest with tourists.