Best Time to Visit India – Weather Overview
Climate in India varies greatly, from the arid deserts of Rajasthan to the cool highlands of Assam, allegedly the wettest place on earth. But basically India has a three-season year – the hot, the wet and the cool.
The heat starts to build up on the northern plains around February and by April it becomes unbearable – expect 35-45°C (95-113°F) days in most places. The first signs of the monsoon appear in May, with high humidity, short rainstorms and violent electrical storms. The monsoon rains begin around 1 June in the extreme south and sweep north to cover the whole country by early July. The monsoon doesn’t really cool things off, but it’s a great relief – especially to farmers.
The main monsoon comes from the southwest, but the southeastern coast is affected by the short and surprisingly wet northeastern monsoon, which brings rain from mid-October to the end of December. The main monsoon ends around October, and India’s northern cities become crisp at night in December. In the far south, where it never gets cool, the temperatures are comfortably warm rather than hot.
Extending from 8 degrees north to 33 degrees north and with a wide variety of terrain it is understandable why such a variety of weather conditions prevail. India is home to the highest mountain range in the world- the Himalayas, so here you will find permanent snow fields that are frozen year in year out. As you move south and head toward the tropical coastlands you will find conditions that are fairly typical of a tropical climate. In the vast plains of the Ganges valley, summers can get unbearably hot and even in the winter months the conditions stay fairly warm.
As a whole, India’s climate is driven by the Asiatic Monsoon system which differs from any other weather system in the world in that the winds which determine the climate are ever changing from year to year, and there is no predictable weather pattern from year to year as the prevailing winds can change direction at any point in time.
JUNE – OCTOBER is when the south west monsoon comes through India. In different parts of the country the monsoon will come in at later periods, though on average it will hit in about June. During this time, in the mountains, very heavy rainfall is recorded.