Current Climate


This page presents India's climate context for the current climatology, 1991-2020, derived from observed, historical data. Information should be used to build a strong understanding of current climate conditions in order to appreciate future climate scenarios and projected change. You can visualize data for the current climatology through spatial variation, the seasonal cycle, or as a time series. Analysis is available for both annual and seasonal data. Data presentation defaults to national-scale aggregation, however sub-national data aggregations can be accessed by clicking within a country, on a sub-national unit.  Other historical climatologies can be selected from the Time Period dropdown list. 

Observed, historical data is produced by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of University of East Anglia. Data is presented at a 0.5º x 0.5º (50km x 50km) resolution.

India’s land surface can be divided into six physiographic regions: Himalayan mountains in the north, Peninsular Deccan Plateau, the Indo-Gangetic Plains, Thar Desert in the west, Coastal Plain, and the Islands. All these regions have different climate profile and vulnerabilities. The country’s is influenced by the presence of the Himalayas in the northern part of the country and the Thar Desert in the west. The Himalayan Mountains act as a barrier to winds from Central Asia and China, enabling India’s climate to be warmer than other countries at similar latitudes. The northern part of the country is characterized as a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. The coastal regions of the country, however, experience warmer temperatures with little variation throughout the year and frequent rainfall. India’s seasonal cycle for the latest climatology, 1991-2020, conceals considerable regional variation. India’s monsoon season runs approximately from June to October, arriving later in more northerly regions and delivering over 80% of the territory’s annual precipitation. A shorter rainy season occurs during the months of October through December following the summer monsoon and is referred to as the post monsoon season. The southwest monsoon season (June-September) generates average monthly rainfall between 150 millimeters (mm) to 270 mm and the northeast monsoon season (October-December) generates average monthly rainfall between 10 mm and 75 mm. Large inter-annual variability is a key feature of the rainfall regime of India. This is due to both remote and regional climate influences of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Indian Ocean Dipole on the monsoon. Summer (May-September) temperatures are consistently high across India’s territory, with some small exceptions in its most mountainous regions. Winter (November-March) temperatures are more variable, and this variation along with different precipitation patterns determines the many climatic zones of India. The winter season brings dry and clear weather with low humidity and temperature during the months of January and February. To the west are arid and semi-arid climates including the Thar desert region, the driest areas of which experience less than 300 mm of annual precipitation and high inter-annual variability. In contrast, the Southwestern region of India has a wet tropical climate with high annual precipitation commonly well over 1,500 mm. The east coast of India also experiences consistently high temperatures and high precipitation rates, but like much of central India, precipitation is strongly controlled by the monsoon and is highly variable between years. India’s central regions experience greater seasonal temperature variation.