Surprisingly, Vietnam’s weather is not
particularly extreme, apart from torrential rain in areas
that experience summer or autumn monsoons, drought conditions
in some places and, occasionally, typhoons.
‘Typhoon’ is the name used in the west Pacific/China Sea
region for tropical cyclones. They are small, but very intense,
low-pressure areas that produce violent winds and torrential
cyclones that affect Vietnam form over the ocean in a band
stretching from the equator to latitude 50 north, and then
move slowly northward following a well-defined clockwise
course at around 20km per hour. A fully developed cyclone
has a diameter ranging between 150km to 300km, and is one
of the most destructive forces in nature.
well to the north of the tropics, so the power of typhoons
is weakened by the time they reach its coast. Even so, a
typhoon will usually have retained enough energy to devastate
crops and buildings, and sometimes cause loss of life among
people living in central coastal areas. Fortunately, its
slow approach gives plenty of time to rearrange itineraries
If you travel
with Haivenu, we’ll be monitoring the weather and will be
aware of the approach of a typhoon several days in advance
– plenty of time for schedules to be re-routed to avoid
Tropical storms are frequent in the summer. Typically, they
are preceded by a darkening of the sky, a drop in temperature
and a fresh wind. Shortly after, the storm heralds its arrival
by lightning and a colossal clap of thunder. The noise and
flashes continue for a while, and rain begins to fall, slowly
at first, then a deluge. After an hour or two, the rain
stops, the skies clear and the temperature and humidity
rise rapidly. Tropical storms tend to occur more commonly
in afternoons or at night.
are spectacular and noisy, but do little more than give
visitors a soaking if they are unlucky enough to be caught
without shelter. Of course, warnings about not standing
under tall trees, playing golf, etc. in thunderstorms apply
to tropical storms as well!
Typhoons are most prevalent in the Central Coast provinces.
From October to the beginning of December, the coastline
is battered by a series of storms with torrential rain and
strong winds usually causing severe flooding, extensive
damage to property and, in the past, considerable loss of
There are occasional
heavy hailstorms in the Central Area. Hailstones can reach
the size of golf balls and are obviously dangerous, but
occur very infrequently. Damage is usually confined to crops,
roof tiles, glass and vehicles.
The Central Highland plateau and other central and southern
areas are prone to prolonged heat waves causing drought
and salination of lakes and rivers in the early months of
the year. Although posing considerable problems for farmers,
visitors are not affected.
also occur elsewhere in the country, particularly in the
Hue area and on the Red River delta. The main implication
for visitors is the need to revise itineraries and/or switch
from road or rail to air travel if flooding is severe enough
to affect land routes.