India climate: average weather, temperature, precipitation (2023)

If we consider also the Himalayas, it is said a little emphatically that India has all the climates of the world, but in most of the country, the climate is subtropical in the north (more or less up to the Tropic of Cancer) and tropical in the center-south (south of the Tropic).
Also, the climate in India is affected by the monsoon regime, with a dry and a rainy season. The wettest period goes generally from July to September, except in the southeast, where the monsoon is more intense at the end of the year (retreating monsoon).
The rains are more abundant on the south-west coast (see Mumbai, Goa, Mangalore), where they exceed 2,000 millimeters (80 inches) per year, and in the north-east (see Calcutta and the states bordering Bangladesh), where they exceed 1,500 mm (60 in), but at the foot of the Himalayas, some areas are among the rainiest in the world. In contrast, the northwest is arid, and in western Rajasthan, rainfall is below 300 mm (12 in) per year. In the central-southern inland areas (see Hyderabad, Bangalore), rainfall is generally around 800/1,000 mm (32/40 in) per year.
The hottest period generally runs from April to mid-June, i.e. before the arrival of the monsoon, when the temperature can reach 45 °C (113 °F) in inland areas.
Winter lasts from December to February. January and February are dry months in almost all of India, except in the far north, where it can also snow in the mountains. In winter, it can get cold at night in the northern lowlands, where the temperature can approach 0 °C (32 °F).
India can be affected by tropical cyclones. They are more common in the Bay of Bengal than in the Arabian Sea, but they are also possible in the latter. Cyclones generally occur from April to December, with two intensity peaks before and after the monsoon (in May and October-November). The area most at risk is the northern part of the Bay of Bengal


  • Himalaya - Srinagar, Gangtok
  • Indo-Gangetic plain - New Delhi
  • Arid Northwest - Thar desert, Jodhpur
  • North-east - Kolkata
  • Center-South - Hyderabad, Chennai
  • South-west and islands - Mumbai, The islands


India climate: average weather, temperature, precipitation (1)

At the highest altitudes of the Himalayas, there is a mountainous climate. The temperature decreases with altitude, in addition, it is higher along the southern slope and lower in inland areas and on the north-facing slopes. The amount of rainfall is high on the southern slopes, while it is scarce in inland areas, particularly in the north-west, where we find the Ladakh Plateau, which is arid because it's closed between the Karakoram and the Himalayas (see Leh).
On the slopes of the Himalayas, especially in the western part, in winter sometimes it rains.
In Srinagar, 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) above sea level, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, where it is said that the tomb of Jesus is located, the climate is slightly continental, and quite dry and sunny in autumn. Here are the average temperatures.

Srinagar - Average temperatures (1991-2020)
MonthMin (°C)Max (°C)Mean (°C)Min (°F)Max (°F)Mean (°F)

The monsoon at this latitude is not constant, so the summer is quite sunny. In winter, it can rain, and frosts and snowfalls are possible. Spring is the rainiest season, but without the excesses of the monsoon areas. The rains in winter and spring are due to weather fronts of Mediterranean origin, which can affect this part of the north-western Indian territory.
Here is the average precipitation.

Srinagar - Average precipitation

Above 3,000 meters (9,800 feet), winter in Kashmir gets cold, and it is snowy along the western slopes: in Drass, at 3,000 meters (9,800 ft), it can snow in winter, while summer is dry. On the contrary, in inland areas, the climate is desert: in Leh, located in the Ladakh plateau, at 3,500 meters (11,500 ft) of altitude, precipitation remains below 100 millimeters (4 inches) per year, and the landscape is desert.
While Jammu and Kashmir is quite sheltered from the summer monsoon, this does not apply to the mountains that lie to the east, ie west of Nepal (see the states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand), and even less to those that lie in the north-east (which at high altitudes are almost all situated in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh).
In Gangtok, Sikkim, at 1,400 meters (4,600 feet) of altitude, the average temperature ranges from 8.5 °C (47 °F) in January to 19.5 °C (67 °F) in August. The winter is milder than in Srinagar, which is located further to the north, but in summer it is cooler because the monsoon rains occur almost daily, and the amount of sunshine in this season is poor. Already in May, 525 mm (20.7 in) of rain fall, and in July, up to 630 mm (24.8 in). Total annual rainfall is up to 3,535 mm (139 in). The only period when there is little rain goes from November to January. Here are the average temperatures.

Gangtok - Average temperatures
MonthMin (°C)Max (°C)Mean (°C)Min (°F)Max (°F)Mean (°F)

In Darjeeling, West Bengal, 2,100 meters (6,900 ft) above sea level, where the British colonists used to spend the summer in order to escape the heat, the average ranges from 5 °C (41 °F) in January to 17 °C (63 °F) in July and August. Hence, the British found a cool summer like in England, though much rainy; in fact, more than 400 mm (16 in) fall per month from June to September, and the rains occur almost daily. On the contrary, winter is quite cold, but it's also dry and sunny.

Eternal snows in India start around 4,500 meters (14,800 ft) on average, though they are found a bit lower in Karakorum, which lies more to the north, and a bit higher in the Himalayas.

Indo-Gangetic plain

India climate: average weather, temperature, precipitation (2)

In the Indo-Gangetic plain, the vast plain south of the Himalayas, excluding the eastern area on the Bay of Bengal, the climate is subtropical. Winter is cool enough, given that the average temperatures of January is between 11 °C (52 °F) in the northernmost part (see Amritsar) and 15 °C (59 °F) in the south-eastern part (see Lucknow, Patna). From November to February, fog can form at night and in the early morning. Also, sometimes at night it can get cold, and the temperature can drop to about 0 °C (32 °F).
This is a very polluted area, especially from October to February.
From mid-March to June, before the arrival of the monsoon, there is a very hot and dry period, in which the increasing heat can trigger lightning storms and wind. In the hottest periods, the temperature can reach or exceed 45 °C (113 °F).
During the summer monsoon, which begins in mid-June in the south-eastern part and in early July in the north-western part, the temperature decreases and the humidity increases. There are rainy periods, in which the rains can be abundant (especially in the south-east and at the foot of the Himalayas), but also dry periods, in which it can be very hot. Annual rainfall ranges from approximately 600 millimeters (23 inches) in the northwest to 1,300 mm (51 in) in the southeast.
The monsoon retreats around September 20 in the north-west and around October 10 in the south-east.
The capital of India, New Delhi, receives 760 mm (30 in) of rain per year, the majority of which occurring from July to September.
Here is the average precipitation.

New Delhi - Average precipitation

In Agra, where the Taj Mahal is located, precipitation reaches 725 mm (28.5 in) per year. Further to the east, but also in a thin northern swathe located at the foot the Himalayas, the rains are more abundant, ranging between 800 and 1,400 mm (31 and 55 in) per year, in cities like Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, but otherwise the climate is similar to that of New Delhi. Nevertheless, in the far north, in Jammu, at the foot of the Himalayas, some disturbances of Mediterranean origin can pass in winter and spring (as we have already seen, they affect also the mountainous area of Srinagar); in fact, 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain fall in December, and as many as 80 mm (3 in) per month in February and March. From December to February, in Jammu, which is one of the northernmost cities at sea level, sometimes the night temperature may hit freezing (0 °C or 32 °F) or even drop a few degrees below.

Arid Northwest

India climate: average weather, temperature, precipitation (3)

In the north-west of India, near the border with Pakistan, we find a vast arid area, which covers the western part of the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat, to the west of the Aravalli Mountains. This area receives the monsoon rains for a short period, from late June or early July to mid-September, and with moderate rains.

Thar desert

Total annual rainfall is lower than 400 mm (16 in), but it is usually higher than 250 mm (10 in), which is considered as the limit of the desert climate, except in the far west, where we find the Thar desert. However, the rains are concentrated in such a short period of time that the vegetation survival is difficult, except for some shrubs or xerophile plants. Even in the Thar desert, however, here and there we find a bit of vegetation, albeit in a landscape made of sand dunes. In this area, there are cities such as Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. Sometimes there can be sandstorms, especially from March to June.
During the heatwave of May 2016, Phalodi recorded India's heat record with 51 °C (124 °F).

India climate: average weather, temperature, precipitation (4)

In Jodhpur, Rajasthan, 365 mm (14.4 in) of rain fall per year, of which more than 100 mm (4 in) fall per month only in July and August. In the rest of the year, the sun usually shines. Here is the average precipitation.

Jodhpur - Average precipitation

In winter, from December to March, temperatures are pleasant, with cool or slightly cold nights, around 10/11 °C (50/52 °F), and warm days, around 26/29 °C (79/84 °F). Already in March, the heat becomes intense, with an average maximum of 34 °C (93 °F), which rises to 41.5 °C (106.5 °F) in May. From April to June, before the monsoon, during the hottest days, the temperature can reach as high 47/48 °C (117/118 °F) in the shade. The monsoon lowers a bit the temperature, to 36.5 °C (97.5 °F) in July and 34 °C (93 °F) in August; on the other hand, it increases moisture. After the monsoon, the temperature rises slightly in September and October, and then drops again at the end of the year.

Jodhpur - Average temperatures (1991-2020)
MonthMin (°C)Max (°C)Mean (°C)Min (°F)Max (°F)Mean (°F)

The best time to visit this area is from December to February, but if you can only travel in summer and you still want to visit India, you may choose this area, since it is the one where the monsoon has the lowest impact, together with the mountains of Kashmir.
It should be noted, however, that the monsoon is irregular, and in particular, north-western India (along with Pakistan) is more rainy than normal in the years of La Niña, when it can experience flooding, while during other years, the whole area can remain almost completely dry (in the years of El Niño, all of India can experience warmer winters than normal, and weaker summer monsoons, though this does not always happen).

East of the first area we find an area in which the climate is semi-arid, since the annual rainfall is between 400 and 800 mm (16 to 31.5 in). Under other circumstances, this would not be a low amount, but if we consider both the high temperatures and the fact that the rains are concentrated in a few months, the vegetation that occupies this area is certainly not lush. Nevertheless, in the monsoon season, there may be heavy rains.
The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur, is located east of the Aravalli Mountains, where, as we said, it rains more than in the desert area: here, 565 mm (22.2 in) of rain fall per year, with a maximum of 190 mm (7.5 in) in August.


India climate: average weather, temperature, precipitation (5)

In north-eastern India, the climate more humid, and not as hot as in the rest of the northern areas analyzed above. Here too, winter is dry, and it is very mild, with average temperatures in January slightly below 20 °C (68 °F). However, the strong increase in temperature from March to May, is only relatively felt in the area located west of Bangladesh, and is almost absent to the east and the north, which are outside of the Indian landmass. The monsoon rains are abundant and sometimes torrential, and in any case, the total annual rainfall exceeds 1,400 mm (55 in). The monsoon period is quite long, in fact it runs from early June to early October, and it's often preceded, in April and sometimes even in March, by some thunderstorms in the afternoon, especially at the foot of the mountains.
West of Bangladesh, in West Bengal, we find Kolkata (Calcutta), which is at the limit of this area, in fact the average in January is around 19 °C (66 °F). Winter is pleasantly warm because of the proximity to the sea; the increase in temperature from March to June is evident, although it's not as strong as in New Delhi; nevertheless, the temperature can exceed 40 °C (104 °F) in the worst moments. Here are the average temperatures.

Kolkata - Average temperatures (1991-2020)
MonthMin (°C)Max (°C)Mean (°C)Min (°F)Max (°F)Mean (°F)

The monsoon goes roughly from June 5 to October 15, but already in May, the first showers in the afternoon may occur. Total annual rainfall is 1,750 mm (69 in). From November to April, the sun shines and it almost never rains. Here is the average precipitation.

Kolkata - Average precipitation

Near Kolkata, the sea is warm enough for swimming throughout the year, although it drops to 23/24 °C (73/75 °F) in January and February.
In the rest of the north-east, the rains are generally more abundant, except in some areas a bit more sheltered such as Guwahati, in the Brahmaputra Valley, where it rains as much as in Kolkata. In general, however, precipitation exceeds 2,000 mm (79 in) per year, and in some areas, where humid air masses are forced to rise on the mountain slopes, it reaches spectacular amounts. Cherrapunj, 1,300 meters (4,250 feet) above sea level, in the northeastern state of Meghalaya, is the rainiest place in the world, and receives 10,866 mm (428 in) of rain per year, that is, almost 11 meters (or 36 feet)! Rainfall exceeds 1,000 mm (40 in) per month for 5 months in a row, from May to September, with a peak of 2,600 mm (102 in) in June. Luckily, here as in the rest of the region, there is little rain from mid-November to February, but already in March, when the first thunderstorms occur, 220 mm (8.7 in) of rain fall, and in April, the early monsoon brings more than 700 mm (27.5 in) of rain. At this altitude, the temperature is pleasant, in fact, highs are around 22 °C (72 °F) from April to October, while in winter they are around 15/17 °C (59/63 °F).
As already mentioned, in spring, the extreme north-east (Meghalaya, Assam etc.) does not become too hot; in fact, at sea level, the maximum temperatures remain around 30/32 °C (86/90 °F) from April to October.


India climate: average weather, temperature, precipitation (6)

Central-southern India is occupied in the interior by a plateau, the Deccan, where the altitude tempers the climate. For the lower latitude, however, winter is warmer than in the Indo-Gangetic plain.
To the west we find the Western Ghats, a mountain range parallel to the coast, while to the east we find the Eastern Ghats.
In this area, which includes the whole of south-central India except the western coast and the Western Ghats, the climate is tropical, since the average temperature in January exceeds 20 °C (68 °F). The summer monsoon is partially blocked by the Western Ghats, so from June to September the rains are moderate (zone A) or even quite rare (zone B).
Around mid-October, the northeast monsoon (or retreating monsoon) begins to blow, which unlike in the rest of India, here brings rainfall between October and December, especially in the south-eastern part (zone B).
Also in this area, the hottest period is from March to May, before the monsoon. In general, in the central-southern inland areas, the summer rains are not more abundant than in northern India, but they are more frequent, and in this season the sky is often cloudy. Some cities in the central plateau of India are Nagpur, Pune and Hyderabad. The latter city is located at 550 meters (1,800 ft) above sea level. Here are the average temperatures.

Hyderabad - Average temperatures (1991-2020)
MonthMin (°C)Max (°C)Mean (°C)Min (°F)Max (°F)Mean (°F)

The rainfall amounts to 855 mm (33.6 in), including more than 100 mm (4 in) per month from June to October, so we are still in a semi-arid zone. Here is the average precipitation.

Hyderabad - Average precipitation

In Bangalore, in southern Karnataka, it is not as hot as in Hyderabad, also because the altitude is higher, that is, 920 meters (3,000 feet) above sea level. In May, already 115 mm (4.5 in) of rain fall, then the monsoon season is from June to mid-November. The rainfall amounts to 920 mm (36 in) per year.
During the empire, the British who were in this area, in summer took refuge in Ootacamund (Aka Ooty or Udhagamandalam), located at 2,200 meters (7,200 ft) above sea level, 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of the coast of Calicut. Here, the summer monsoon is still felt, and partly that of autumn (ie the retreating monsoon), but in a manner not too evident; in fact, more than 100 mm (4 in) fall per month from May to November, with two peaks in July and October.
We now come to the B area. In the south-east, affected by the north-east monsoon or "retreating monsoon", the rainiest period goes from September to November in inland areas (see Madurai, Tiruchirappalli), and from September to December on the coast (see Chennai, Puducherry). The maximum rainfall is recorded in the area of Puducherry, a territory within Tamil Nadu, where 1,700 mm (67 in) of rain fall per year, with a peak between October and December.
In Chennai (formerly Madras), the retreating monsoon is pronounced as well, since precipitation is about 265 mm (10.4 in) in October, 310 mm (12.2 in) in November, and still 155 mm (6.1 in) in December. Here is the average precipitation.

Chennai - Average precipitation

Even though Chennai is located on the coast, the heat is intense in the months preceding the monsoon. Here are the average temperatures.

Chennai - Average temperatures (1991-2020)
MonthMin (°C)Max (°C)Mean (°C)Min (°F)Max (°F)Mean (°F)

The Bay of Bengal at this latitude is warm all year round.
Further to the south, the southern part of the Coromandel coast, the one facing south-east and beyond which lies Sri Lanka (see Kanyakumari, Rameswaram, Thoothukudi), is quite arid, since it receives 700 to 900 mm (27 to 35 in) of rain per year, and above all it receives little rain from July to September.
It's the case of Kanyakumari, at the southern tip of the country, in the state of Tamil Nadu, where it's hot throughout the year, since the average maximum never drops below 30 °C (86 °F), while the rains, after an initial period of instability from April to June, with some thunderstorms not too intense, experience a relative break from July to September, with just 40/45 mm (1.6/1.8 in) per month, while the real monsoon arrives later and is limited to the months of October and November.

South-west and islands

India climate: average weather, temperature, precipitation (7)

Along the west coast and on the islands (see the Lakshadweep or Laccadive Islands in the Arabian Sea, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal), the climate is hot and humid throughout the year, with heavy rains for a few months, and a dry season in winter and spring, which is longer in the northern part.
Along the west coast it's hot throughout the year, while the monsoon period is gradually longer as you proceed from north to south. During winter, temperatures are particularly high for the season because the north-easterly wind that blows in this season (winter monsoon) descends from the Western Ghats and become slightly warmer, with a foehn-like effect.
In Mumbai (formerly Bombay), the temperature exceeds 30 °C (86 °F) during the day even in January; however, at night it drops, albeit slightly, below 20 °C (68 °F). From November to May, the rains are scarce and sunshine is frequent. From March to May, the temperature increases, but not as much as in the interior: the minimum at night goes up to 27 °C (80.5 °F), and the maximum reaches around 34 °C (93 °F), even though it can reach 40 °C (104 °F) in the worst moments.
Here are the average temperatures in Mumbai

Mumbai - Average temperatures (1991-2020)
MonthMin (°C)Max (°C)Mean (°C)Min (°F)Max (°F)Mean (°F)

The monsoon lasts from June to early October and is very intense, especially in July, when 710 mm (28 in) of rain fall, and it rains very often. In July and August, the sky is almost always cloudy and the humidity high. In Mumbai, about 2,200 mm (86 in) of rain fall per year. Here is the average precipitation.

Mumbai - Average precipitation

The sea temperature in the Arabian Sea is warm enough for swimming all year round.
Continuing south along the coast, the climate is even more rainy.
In Dabolim, in the former Portuguese colony of Goa, precipitation reaches 2,900 mm (114 in) per year, including up to 995 mm (39 in) in July. The temperature is high throughout the year, and it remains about 20 °C (68 °F) at night even in winter. The sea temperature is also steadily high throughout the year, and in winter, it's a bit warmer than in Mumbai.
Further south, in Mangalore, Karnataka, where the Malabar Coast begins, the maximum temperature is 33 °C (91 °F) even in January, and precipitation reaches 3,300 mm (130 in) per year. Here, the first thunderstorms occur in May, while the monsoon runs from June 5 to October 15 or so.
Further south, in Calicut, Kerala, the first thunderstorms occur in April, while the monsoon lasts until November, when 130 mm (5.1 in) of rain still fall.
In Trivandrum, at the southern tip of Kerala, the rains are less abundant, amounting to 1,700 mm (67 in) per year, but the rainy season is very long: as early as in April, 125 mm (4.9 in) of rain fall in the form of showers and thunderstorms, and 215 mm (8.6 in) still in November. Therefore, in this southernmost part of the west coast, the retreating monsoon is partly felt as well.
The west coast is very rainy because of a mountain range parallel to the coast called Western Ghats, which forces the ascent of moist air coming from the sea. Along the western mountain slopes, rainfall is more abundant, so much so that in some places it even reaches six meters (20 feet) per year! The scenario is very different on the eastern side, where the south-west monsoon penetrates with difficulty, and as we said, the rainfall drops below 1,000 mm (40 in) per year.


We now turn to the islands. Here, the climate is hot all year round, with lows around 24/25 °C (75/77 °F) and highs around 28/30 °C (82/86 °F); here too, there's an increase in temperature between March and May, but it's not remarkable.
In the Lakshadweep Islands, located in the Arabian Sea, from 1,500 to 2,000 mm (60 to 79 in) of rain fall per year, and the rains occur from May to mid-December. Since the temperature slightly increases by March, the best time on these islands is from late December to February.
On the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, located in the Bay of Bengal, the rains are a bit heavier, since they range from 2,500 to 3,000 mm (98 to 118 in) per year. The rains are abundant from May to November. In Car Nicobar and on the southern islands, the rains continue even in December and mid-January, while they end earlier in Port Blair and in the northernmost regions. So, you can go from late January to March on the southern islands, and from late December to March on the northern ones.

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