Climate and monthly weather forecast

Flag of India
Flag of India

The climate of India

India is a tropical country with several climate subtypes. A tropical monsoon type (Köppen climate classification Am) in the Western Ghats couples with a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen Aw), in much of central and south India. Hot semi-arid (Köppen BSh) climatic patches in the southern interior culminate into a hot desert (Köppen BWh) in the extreme northwest. Much of the north and northeast displays a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa, Cwb). The climate is alpine (Köppen ET) in the Himalayas and the northern mountains and is of cold desert type (Köppen BWk) in the trans-Himalayan belt of the north. The Himalayan mountain range, the Thar Desert, monsoon rains, proximity to large bodies of water, and tropical to subtropical latitudes, chiefly influence the climate.

India lies in South Asia and shares land borders with six countries. It is a land of diverse geography, with a topography that ranges from high mountain ranges to fertile plains, deltas, coasts, wetlands, rivers, and deserts. The major rivers like the Ganges and Bramhaputra from the Himalayan north and the Godavari, Kaveri, and Krishna from the peninsular south drain eastward into the Bay of Bengal. The Narmada and the Tapti flow westward to meet the Arabian Sea. The Indian Peninsula covers a vast coastline of 4671 miles that touches the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, and the Bay of Bengal. The islands of Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep, and others have hundreds of miles of coastal land. The highest point in India is at 8586 meters in Kanchenjunga in Sikkim along the Nepal border. Nanda Devi is the highest peak at 7816 meters that lies entirely in India. The Himalayan mountain range protects India from the cold Central Asian katabatic winds. The Western Ghats and the northeastern rainforests rank high as global biodiversity hotspots.

The best time to visit India

The best time to visit India is from November to February in the mild winter, with comfortable temperatures in the plains and hills. The summer is the best time to visit the Himalayan region and Jammu and Kashmir. The end of the rainy season lowers the humidity and temperatures and generally brings pleasant conditions. Nights are cozy in most regions except for the extreme north, where they occasionally drop below freezing. The harvest season brings joy, as the lush green landscape and beautiful nature catches the imagination of the tourists. Deepawali, the festival of lights, in the winter season, is a great time to explore the Indian culture. Misty mornings and temperate days with clear skies are perfect for visiting national parks, archaeological sites, and mountains.

The worst time to visit India

The worst time to visit India is from May to September in the hot and humid summer season. Peak temperatures often soar up to 46.1°C (115°F) during May, and the intense sun rays are unbearable for people from temperate regions. Temperatures routinely remain above 37.8°C (100°F) during the day, with oppressive sunshine due to the heat waves that lash many places. The monsoon rains peak during July and August in much of the country, which is the period of heavy precipitation, high humidity, and sticky heat. Substantial and prolonged showers make roads hazardous, with a risk of landslides and avalanches in the hilly ghats. Overcast skies are generally not suitable for photography.

Spring weather in India

Spring in India, which typically extends from February to April, is a season of moderate temperatures and vibrant blossoms. The average temperature ranges from 20°C (68°F) to 30°C (86°F) across the country, with the north experiencing cooler conditions compared to the south. The hills and valleys of the north come alive with blossoms, offering mesmerising landscapes. Rainfall is sporadic and mild, contributing to the freshness of the air. In contrast, the coastal regions may start experiencing early summer heat towards the end of the spring season.

Summer weather in India

Summers in India, extending from May to August, are characterised by high temperatures, often soaring between 37.8°C (100°F) and 46.1°C (115°F). The interior regions like Rajasthan experience intense heat, with temperatures occasionally reaching record highs, as noted in Phalodi, Rajasthan, which recorded 51°C (123.8°F) in May 2019. The onset of the southwest monsoon brings showers across the country from June, offering some respite from the heat. Coastal areas, while hot, remain more tolerable due to sea breezes. However, the desert areas receive less than 254mm (10") of rainfall annually, maintaining their harsh conditions.

Autumn weather in India

Autumn, from September to November, sees a reduction in temperatures across India, with averages ranging between 15°C (59°F) to 25°C (77°F). The withdrawal of the monsoon ushers in clear skies and milder temperatures, especially in the northern plains. The coastal regions continue to experience rainfall due to the northeast monsoon, primarily benefiting Tamilnadu with showers in October and November. Meanwhile, the desert regions remain dry, as rainfall is sparse and infrequent.

Winter weather in India

Winter in India spans December to January and offers mild and bright weather across most regions. While low temperatures in regions like Goa drop to an average of 20°C (68°F), the northern mountains and highlands witness substantial snowfall. In contrast, southern regions benefit from ample sunshine during the cold season, offering a pleasant winter experience. Regions like Ladakh experience severe winters, with temperatures dropping to extreme lows, as witnessed in Dras, Ladakh, where the lowest temperature on record is -60°C (-76°F).

Weather in January

January presents a stark contrast in weather across different parts of India. Northern regions, protected by the Himalayan range, experience severe winters. In Ladakh, temperatures often plummet to extreme lows, with Dras, famously known as the coldest place in India, having registered a record low of -60°C (-76°F) during winter. In stark contrast, the southern regions of the country enjoy mild and pleasant weather. Weather in January »

Weather in February

In February, the weather across India begins to transition from winter to spring, offering an array of comfortable climatic conditions. While the month is characterized by mild to moderate temperatures across the country, regional differences are noteworthy. Northern India, which experiences harsh winters, begins to see a gradual rise in temperatures. Weather in February »

Weather in March

March marks the onset of spring in India, bringing with it warmer temperatures and blooming landscapes. As winter recedes, weather conditions across the country start to shift towards summer, and regional variations continue to offer an array of climatic experiences. In the northern plains, including states like Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, temperatures begin to rise. Weather in March »

Weather in April

April signifies the arrival of the summer season in India, characterized by soaring temperatures and a dry climate in many parts of the country. The regional variations, however, continue to paint a diverse climatic picture. In the northern plains, including cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, and Lucknow, temperatures rise significantly. Weather in April »

Weather in May

May is typically the hottest month of the year in India, with the summer season in full swing. Temperatures soar across the country, with several regions experiencing extreme heat. The monsoon's arrival is still a month away, leading to predominantly dry conditions, except for some parts of the northeast and extreme south. In the northern plains, encompassing cities such as Delhi, Jaipur, and Lucknow, temperatures frequently cross the 40°C (104°F) mark, with instances of heatwaves pushing the mercury even further. Weather in May »

Weather in June

June signals a transition period in India's climate as the fierce heat of summer starts giving way to the monsoon season. The southwest monsoon, a climatic phenomenon responsible for most of the country's annual rainfall, begins its journey in the southern state of Kerala typically around the first week of June, gradually spreading northwards and eastwards. In the northern plains, cities like Delhi, Jaipur, and Lucknow experience high temperatures at the beginning of the month, often crossing 40°C (104°F). Weather in June »

Weather in July

July marks the peak of the monsoon season in India, bringing torrential rains to much of the country. With the southwest monsoon fully established, the overall temperatures see a decline from the scorching summer highs, providing a much-needed relief to the populace. In the northern plains, including cities such as Delhi, Jaipur, and Lucknow, the temperatures remain between 30°C (86°F) to 35°C (95°F). Weather in July »

Weather in August

In August, the Indian subcontinent continues to be under the spell of the southwest monsoon. As one of the wettest months of the year, August ushers in high humidity and cooler temperatures across much of the country. In northern India, including cities like Delhi, Jaipur, and Lucknow, the monsoon is in full swing, bringing temperatures down to between 25°C (77°F) to 35°C (95°F). Weather in August »

Weather in September

September signifies the receding phase of the southwest monsoon in India. However, the country continues to receive significant rainfall, mainly during the early part of the month. Temperatures start showing a marginal increase as the days progress, signalling the onset of the post-monsoon season. In the northern plains, including cities like Delhi, Jaipur, and Lucknow, the rainfall begins to diminish gradually. Weather in September »

Weather in October

In October, India begins its transition into the post-monsoon or retreating monsoon season. The southwest monsoon completely withdraws from most parts of the country, paving the way for clearer skies and a steady decline in humidity levels. Northern India, comprising cities like Delhi, Jaipur, and Lucknow, sees a significant decrease in rainfall and temperatures range from 20°C (68°F) to 30°C (86°F). Weather in October »

Weather in November

November in India marks the onset of the winter season in most regions, characterized by a marked drop in temperatures, especially during nights and early mornings. The retreating monsoon showers are almost negligible by this time, giving way to clear, bright, and sunny days. In the northern plains, cities like Delhi, Jaipur, and Lucknow, witness significant temperature fluctuations, with daytime temperatures averaging between 20°C (68°F) to 25°C (77°F), while nights start to get significantly colder, often dipping below 10°C (50°F). Weather in November »

Weather in December

December in India signifies the heart of winter, with temperature differences becoming more prominent when moving from the southern tip to the northern extremities of the country. The skies remain clear, rainfall is minimal, and the weather is typically cool to cold, depending on the region. In the northern plains, including cities such as Delhi, Lucknow, and Amritsar, December is characterized by low temperatures that often range from 5°C (41°F) to 20°C (68°F). Weather in December »


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