The climate of North West India is predominantly continental with cool winters and very hot summers. It also has a brief rainy season that lasts from July to September. Weathermen have divided the year into these four distinctly different seasons:
- The Cold Season
- The Pre-Monsoon Season
- The Monsoon Season
- The Post- Monsoon Season
In the following lines each will be discussed in a little more detail:
The Cold Season
This season lasts from December to February and is the most delightful season of all. At Amritsar for instance the midday thermometer does not rise as a rule above 70 F in mid-January. The nights, however, are pretty cool with temperatures up to 32 F are not un common. Even at New Delhi the thermometer frequently reaches 40 F.
The weather is generally cool and dry except for western disturbances which visit this area after every ten days or so and bring light to moderate rainfall. Amritsar receives more than 3 inches from December to February and places as far as Delhi receive more than 2 inches of rainfall. Western disturbance is an exception otherwise weather is cool, pleasant and sunny.
The Pre-Monsoon Season
This season lasts from March to end of June and is dry and hot season. By the middle of March it is enough heat to register temperatures up to 90 F at mid-day and end of March has one or two days crossing 95 F. The temperatures in April rise further to about 100 F and by May it is so hot that even at Amritsar which is relatively cooler than other stations, temperatures reach 110 F by first week of May. Afterwards heat waves start and the whole North West India falls in its grip when one sees hottest temperatures of the year. Everywhere across North West India thermometer registers temperatures of 112 F or above and in some years it can reach up to 117 F. Dust storms are frequent which bring the temperatures down temporarily but fill whole atmosphere with fine dust. Rainfall is scanty and average is half an inch.
The Monsoon Season
It commences in late June and continues up to the middle of September. Heavy rain, high humidity and frequent cloudy weather are the hallmarks of this season. When it rains, the weather is cool and pleasant; otherwise hot and sultry. The rain is so much greater than preceding season that even the drier stations get as much as 5 inches in each month from July to September. Some times 10 inch or more can fall in 24 hours causing flooding. On the whole the season is hot and muggy.
The Post Monsoon Season
By the middle of September, the grip of monsoon slackens and by the end of this month it departs from whole of North West India. For a few days the temperatures again rise due to absence of clouds but the heat is not as extreme as that of Pre monsoon period and the thermometer at mid-day is generally confined to 95 F or below. By the middle of October, days are moderate to warm and the day time temperatures drop to 90 F. The nights also become pleasant and 65 F is the usual mean. It is to be noted that this period is the driest of all in the whole year in North west India since neither Monsoon nor western disturbance passes over the area. The rainfall is very scanty indeed. To give you an idea of dryness, New Delhi has one rainy day in four years.