Intellicast's Climate Guide To The Indian Subcontinent

The Indian Subcontinent includes a wide variety of terrains and climates. It ranges from permanent snowfields in the highest mountains in the world to steamy lowlands where rice is widely cultivated, and from deserts in the interior Northwest Plains to one of the wettest places on earth (Cherrapunji, India with 425 inches per year).

The main controlling feature of the climate in this part of the world is the Asian monsoon. The winter monsoon sets in from November through May. Northeast winds bring clear skies and little rain during this period. It can be relatively cool from December to February, but in the spring, very hot temperatures often develop quickly and predominate until the arrival of the summer "wet" monsoon.

During this time of year and in the steamy summer to follow, the cooler climes in the northern, hilly regions provide some welcome respite from the oppressive conditions of the Plains.

During the summer monsoon, the winds turn to the southwest and heavy showers and thunderstorms develop. This arrival of the wet season, locally referred to as the "burst of the monsoon," starts in the south in late May or early June and spreads slowly to the north by July in most years. Extremely heavy rains can fall over the windward slopes of the mountains. Cherrapunji, at 4300 feet of elevation, is an example of such a favored area for rainfall. It averages over 100 inches of rain in June alone (over 3 inches per day!).

In some years (usually El Nino years) the summer monsoon winds remain weak and the monsoon is said to have "failed." The result can be crop failures and famine. La Nina years can, on the other hand, lead to excessively heavy summer monsoon rains and enhanced tropical activity with major flooding.

CALCUTTA, INDIA

Month
Record Low
Normal Low Normal High Record High Average Rainfall Average # Of Rain Days
January 44°F
7°C
55°F
13°C
80°F
27°C
89°F
32°C
0.4 inches
10 mm
1
February 46°F
8°C
59°F
15°C
84°F
29°C
98°F
37°C
1.2 inches
31 mm
2
March 50°F
10°C
69°F
21°C
93°F
34°C
104°F
40°C
1.4 inches
36 mm
2
April 61°F
16°C
75°F
24°C
97°F
36°C
107°F
42°C
1.7 inches
43 mm
3
May 65°F
18°C
77°F
25°C
96°F
36°C
108°F
42°C
5.5 inches
140 mm
7
June 70°F
21°C
79°F
26°C
92°F
33°C
111°F
44°C
11.7 inches
297 mm
13
July
73°F
23°C
79°F
26°C
89°F
32°C
98°F
37°C
12.8 inches
325 mm
18
August 74°F
23°C
78°F
26°C
89°F
32°C
96°F
36°C
12.9 inches
328 mm
18
September 72°F
22
°C
78°F
26°C
90°F
32
°C
96°F
36
°C
9.9 inches
252 mm
13
October 63°F
17°C
74°F
24°C
81°F
27°C
92°F
36°C
4.5 inches
114 mm
6
November 51°F
11°C
65°F
18°C
75°F
24°C
87°F
33°C
0.8 inches
20 mm
1
December 45°F
7°C
55°F
13°C
69°F
21°C
88°F
31°C
0.2 inches
5 mm
0

DELHI, INDIA

Month
Record Low
Normal Low Normal High Record High Average Rainfall Average # Of Rain Days
January 31°F
-1°C
44°F
7°C
70°F
21°C
84°F
29°C
0.9 inches
23 mm
2
February 32°F
0°C
49°F
9°C
75°F
24°C
89°F
32°C
0.7 inches
18 mm
2
March 45°F
7°C
58°F
14°C
87°F
31°C
103°F
39°C
0.5 inches
13 mm
1
April 53°F
12°C
68°F
20°C
97°F
36°C
114°F
46°C
0.3 inches
8 mm
1
May 65°F
18°C
79°F
26°C
105°F
41°C
115°F
46°C
0.5 inches
13 mm
2
June 66°F
19°C
83°F
28°C
102°F
39°C
115°F
46°C
2.9 inches
74 mm
4
July
71°F
22°C
81°F
27°C
96°F
36°C
113°F
45°C
7.1 inches
180 mm
8
August 72°F
22°C
79°F
26°C
93°F
34°C
104°F
40°C
6.8 inches
173 mm
8
September 64°F
18
°C
75°F
24°C
93°F
34
°C
105°F
41
°C
4.6 inches
117 mm
4
October 51°F
11°C
65°F
18°C
93°F
34°C
103°F
39°C
0.4 inches
10 mm
1
November 41°F
5°C
52°F
11°C
84°F
29°C
93°F
34°C
0.1 inches
3 mm
0
December 34°F
1°C
46°F
8°C
73°F
23°C
83°F
28°C
0.4 inches
10 mm
1

CHERRAPUNJI, INDIA

Month
Record Low
Normal Low Normal High Record High Average Rainfall Average # Of Rain Days
January 34°F
1°C
46°F
8°C
60°F
16°C
80°F
27°C
0.7 inches
18 mm
1
February 33°F
1°C
49°F
9°C
62°F
17°C
84°F
29°C
2.1 inches
53 mm
3
March 33°F
1°C
55°F
13°C
69°F
21°C
87°F
31°C
7.3 inches
185 mm
7
April 39°F
4°C
59°F
15°C
71°F
22°C
83°F
28°C
26.2 inches
666 mm
16
May 38°F
3°C
61°F
16°C
72°F
22°C
82°F
28°C
50.4 inches
1280 mm
22
June 53°F
12°C
64°F
18°C
72°F
22°C
82°F
28°C
106.1 inches
2695 mm
25
July
53°F
12°C
65°F
18°C
72°F
22°C
83°F
28°C
96.3 inches
2446 mm
27
August 56°F
13°C
65°F
18°C
72°F
22°C
83°F
28°C
170.1 inches
1781 mm
26
September 51°F
11
°C
65°F
18°C
73°F
23
°C
84°F
29
°C
43.3 inches
1100 mm
19
October 44°F
7°C
61°F
16°C
72°F
22°C
85°F
29°C
19.4 inches
493 mm
9
November 39°F
4°C
54°F
12°C
67°F
19°C
80°F
27°C
2.7 inches
69 mm
2
December 45°F
7°C
48°F
9°C
62°F
17°C
74°F
23°C
0.5 inches
13 mm
1

The southeast part of India and Bangladesh, on the Bay of Bengal, are vulnerable to severe cyclones, especially during the period from October through November. Cyclones here have resulted in major loss of life and damage over the years. This very low delta region is vulnerable to major flooding when the cyclones blow ashore with their storm surge and torrential rains. The surge is further magnified due to the shape of the coastline.

DACCA, BANGLADESH

Month
Record Low
Normal Low Normal High Record High Average Rainfall Average # Of Rain Days
January 45°F
7°C
54°F
12°C
77°F
25°C
88°F
31°C
0.7 inches
18 mm
1
February 46°F
8°C
55°F
13°C
82°F
28°C
93°F
34°C
1.2 inches
31 mm
1
March 55°F
13°C
61°F
16°C
91°F
33°C
102°F
39°C
2.3 inches
58 mm
3
April 64°F
18°C
73°F
23°C
95°F
35°C
108°F
42°C
4.1 inches
103 mm
6
May 66°F
19°C
77°F
25°C
93°F
34°C
108°F
42°C
7.6 inches
194 mm
11
June 72°F
22°C
79°F
26°C
90°F
32°C
97°F
36°C
12.6 inches
321 mm
16
July
75°F
24°C
79°F
26°C
88°F
31°C
93°F
34°C
17.2 inches
437 mm
12
August 73°F
23°C
79°F
26°C
88°F
31°C
97°F
36°C
12.0 inches
305 mm
16
September 73°F
23
°C
79°F
26°C
88°F
31
°C
95°F
35
°C
10.0 inches
254 mm
12
October 63°F
17°C
75°F
24°C
88°F
31°C
93°F
34°C
6.7 inches
169 mm
7
November 54°F
12°C
64°F
18°C
84°F
29°C
88°F
31°C
1.1 inches
28 mm
1
December 45°F
7°C
55°F
13°C
79°F
26°C
84°F
29°C
0.1 inches
2 mm
0

Nepal is a small mountainous country bordering India on the north. Nowhere on earth does the climate and terrain vary more in short distances - from the tropical forests of the low Plains in northern India to the permanent ice and snow of the world's highest mountains, the Himalayas. The climate here is highly elevation-dependent but is controlled by the same monsoon cycle we find in India. The rainy season here is from late June to September. This is a cloudy period with rather warm temperatures and heavy rains. The rest of the year is much drier and pleasant. In the high mountains, the snow cover is permanent, despite the warmth of summer below.

KATMANDU, NEPAL

Month
Record Low
Normal Low Normal High Record High Average Rainfall Average # Of Rain Days
January 28°F
-2°C
35°F
2°C
65°F
18°C
77°F
25°C
0.6 inches
15 mm
1
February 31°F
-1°C
39°F
4°C
67°F
19°C
77°F
25°C
1.6 inches
41 mm
5
March 35°F
2°C
45°F
7°C
77°F
25°C
92°F
33°C
0.9 inches
23 mm
2
April 40°F
4°C
53°F
12°C
83°F
28°C
95°F
35°C
2.3 inches
58 mm
6
May 50°F
10°C
61°F
16°C
86°F
30°C
96°F
36°C
4.8 inches
122 mm
10
June 58°F
14°C
67°F
19°C
85°F
29°C
97°F
36°C
9.7 inches
246 mm
15
July
64°F
18°C
68°F
20°C
84°F
29°C
91°F
33°C
14.7 inches
373 mm
21
August 63°F
17°C
68°F
20°C
83°F
28°C
92°F
33°C
13.6 inches
345 mm
20
September 56°F
13
°C
66°F
19°C
83°F
28
°C
92°F
33
°C
6.1 inches
15 mm
12
October 43°F
6°C
56°F
13°C
80°F
27°C
92°F
33°C
1.5 inches
38 mm
4
November 31°F
-1°C
45°F
7°C
74°F
23°C
83°F
28°C
0.3 inches
8 mm
1
December 29°F
-2°C
37°F
3°C
67°F
19°C
76°F
24°C
0.1 inches
3 mm
0
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