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How is the weather in Delhi?

Discussion in 'North India' started by Sandya, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. Sandya

    Sandya New Member

    My trip to India is being planned for the month of April and then again in November. I will be staying in Delhi to do some shopping and as I have not been to Delhi before I need to know how the weather is there during the months of April and November?

    I don't want to be carrying things which I don't need, and I need to keep it minimum as I will be bringing back more from there.
     


  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Sandya, welcome to the forum!

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    (Images from Amaninder, Mick Jennings and Max Kosher)

    Overview

    The beauty of Delhi is its chaos, where streets brimming with both people and establishments are a common sight. It is an enticing experience, one that can overload your senses, yet would make you crave more. A trip to India would certainly not be complete without visiting its bustling capital, Delhi. However, this city experiences extreme weather conditions all throughout the year. In fact, summers here are very hot, while winters can be very cold. It is, thus, important to understand the different climatic patterns of the city, as well as the weather conditions, prior to reaching it. This way, you can plan your itinerary more properly and pack for the right clothes to wear.

    Climate of Delhi (How is the Weather in Delhi?)

    Generally, the climate of Delhi can be categorised as having the features of both a humid sub-tropical climate and hot semi-arid climate. This means that Delhi has a hot summer season, a specific monsoon season that has ample rain and a cool winter season. Because of its unique location, nestled between the desert state of Rajasthan and the cold Himalayan region, this affects the climatic conditions of Delhi as well. We can divide the specific seasons of Delhi into five, namely: summer, monsoon, interlude autumn, winter and interlude spring.

    1. Summer (April to June) - 'Hot and Dry Season'

    The summer season extends from April to June, which is considered as the hottest season. Temperatures usually range around 35°C to 40°C during these months. One characteristic of summers in Delhi is that it has relatively low humidity. As such, summers are relatively drier, thereby decreasing the possibility of heat stroke. April is the beginning of the summer season, wherein temperatures begin to climb higher. Though the city can receive rainfall during this month, chances of it are lesser as compared to other months. As compared to the other summer months though, April is relatively cooler and more bearable.

    May is considered as the hottest month of the year. While temperatures usually remain around 36°C, it is also not unusual for it to reach 40°C and above. As mentioned above, Delhi is located quite close to the desert state of Rajasthan, hence the occurrence of dust storms is quite common during this month as well. Dust storms are characterised by a gust of wind carrying dirt and sand into another area. It can be quite dangerous as it limits visibility and at the same time, can affect the respiratory system of humans. Aside from these dangers, May still has lower humidity, so you would be more comfortable sightseeing.

    The last month for this season is June, which also marks the beginning of the monsoon season. Temperatures remain below 38°C by this time, but humidity begins to rise. Rain showers are also quite common, as well as thunderstorms. As compared to the previous months, June can pose some comfort issues due to the higher humidity, which makes the actual temperatures seem higher and hotter.

    Generally, the summer season is considered as an off-peak tourist season in Delhi. The higher temperatures though can render one uncomfortable, especially during early to mid afternoons. Thus, if you're considering sightseeing during any of these months, make sure you do so only during early mornings or late afternoons. Most especially so if you plan to visit open areas like the Qutub Minar, Humayun's Tomb and India Gate. For the time in-between, you can visit indoor attractions like the National Museum or National Gallery of Modern Art.

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    National Museum in Delhi (Image from Daderot)

    When it comes to clothing, make sure you're wearing light cotton ones. Adequate sun gears like caps, scarves and sunscreen are also necessary. If you can spare a bit of money, the best option for transportation would be an air-conditioned taxi or hired vehicle. Hydrate yourself with lots of water and oh, why not try the famous summer thirst quenchers of Delhi like Badam Milk, Lassi and the healthy, Coconut Water.

    2. Monsoon (July to September) - 'Wet and Humid Season'

    The monsoon season extends from the end of June or July until September. Temperatures usually remain around 35°C or even lower but the higher humidity can make this season more uncomfortable. July is the onset of the monsoon season and it does receive heavy rainfalls. Last year, the city recorded its wettest day, for the month of July, in about a decade. The recorded rainfall average exceeded the normal values, by double the number! As such, you can imagine the unpredictable weather patterns during this time.

    On the other hand, August is usually considered as the wettest month of the season and the year. Temperatures remain around 34°C to 35°C during this month. Average rainfall is around 248 mm but can go higher. Again, humidity is high so those coming in from cold and dry regions might experience some discomfort. Further, flooding can also occur, since the city is home to the Yamuna River as well. Last year, the river reached beyond the warning level mark, resulting in some precautionary evacuation for some people dwelling near it.

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    Rainy Delhi (Image from Churning the Word Mill)

    The last month for this season is September, which receives relatively less rainfall as compared to the previous months. Temperatures drop around 33°C but humidity still remains. Rain showers occur mostly during early morning or late afternoon. This gives you some time in the afternoon to do some sightseeing. This is, perhaps, the best month in the monsoon season for visiting Delhi. The rains won't delay much of your schedule and you can enjoy the somewhat cooler climate.

    Again, the monsoon season is considered as an off-peak tourist season in Delhi. If you do love greenery though, Delhi is home to several parks or gardens, like the Nehru Park and Lodhi Gardens. During monsoon season, these places would be greener and livelier, with the plants and trees enveloping the place. Museums and temples are also good attractions to visit during the rainy season. You can also still visit heritage sites, just make sure you bring the essential rainy season gears like raincoats, umbrellas and waterproof shoes.

    3. Autumn (October to November) - 'Interlude for Winter'

    The autumn season extends from October to November. Temperatures remain even lower, barely exceeding the 33°C mark. Humidity begins to lower during this season as well. The sun continues to shine for the whole two months, making sightseeing even more exciting and clearer. Rainfall is scanty making your trip even more worth it and comfortable. As part of the peak tourist season, rates for hotels and tour packages go higher as well.

    There's not much difference between the months of October and November. October might be slightly warmer, with temperature still around the 30°C mark. November is slightly cooler, with temperatures around the 28°C mark. Cloud covers aren't that frequent yet so you can enjoy the full visibility on the streets. The drier season makes for travelling from point to point easier, you can even utilise the Delhi Metro more easily, as well as other forms of local transport.

    Both months are good for heritage sightseeing, with attractions like the Red Fort, Purana Qila, Mehrauli Archaeological Park and more awaiting you. Outdoor museums like the National Rail Museum and Jantar Mantar can also be explored. This is also the perfect opportunity for flea market shopping in areas like Chandni Chowk, Sarojini Nagar, Dilli Haat and Paharganj.

    For clothing, light woollens would suffice, since night time temperatures can be lower. For day time, dresses, jeans, shirts or just any form of casual clothing would be fine. If you plan to do sightseeing all throughout the day, you might still need essential sun covers like caps, scarves or shades, to protect you from the sun.

    4. Winter (December to February) - 'Cold and Dry Season'

    The winter season extends from December to February. This is considered as the coldest and driest season of Delhi. Temperatures usually remain below 20°C during this season. As mentioned above, due to its proximity to the Himalayan regions, Delhi can be affected by the the winter winds from the north. These cold waves can make the seemingly cold climate even colder. The onset of winter begins in December and by the middle of the month, temperatures can go below 10°C.

    By January, temperatures can go as low as 5°C or even lower. This year, Delhi recorded its lowest temperature (3°C) for the month of January in about 5 years time. You also have to be used to the foggy mornings, which can lead to delays in flights, trains and other forms of transport in the city. By afternoon though, most of the fog would have cleared up so you can enjoy sightseeing. Snowfall is rare, it hasn't occurred yet, because temperatures rarely fall below 0°C and rainfall is scanty as well. Hail is more of a common possibility in the city. By the end of January though, temperatures begin to go higher but can still be on the colder side.

    The last month, February, marks the end of the winter season. Temperatures shoot higher, reaching around 15°C to 20°C. In fact, just this year, the city experienced its hottest February, with temperatures not going below 30°C. Fogs would have cleared up by this time so you can expect clearer skies. Rain showers might occur but the chances are relatively low.

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    Foggy Delhi (Image from Jepoirrier)

    Sightseeing is very much possible during this season but make sure you do so during mid afternoons and beyond only. The dense fog covers can render one's visibility low and accidents can occur. If you come from a tropical country, heavy woollens might be necessary. But if you come from colder regions, light woollens would be good enough. Socks and bonnets are always helpful to shield you from the chilly winds. Jackets and scarves can also come in handy.

    5. Spring (March) - 'Interlude for Summer'

    The last season is short, including the end of February until March, but mostly just within the latter. Temperatures are around 30°C during this time, but the lower humidity makes it a pleasant season for sightseeing. March is one of the driest months so the chances of experiencing rain showers are lower. This is, perhaps, one of the peak tourist months, since the fun Holi Festival is also celebrated during this time.

    You can do everything during this time but be prepared for the crowds. Indulge in shopping in upscale malls like DLF Promenade or Pacific Mall, even in street markets like Karol Bagh or Sadar Bazaar. Go explore the Old Delhi where the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Lal Mandir and Ghalib Ki Haveli can all be found. Some New Delhi sights like the Qutub Minar, India Gate and Gandhi Smriti can also be visited during this month. Religious sites like the Swaminarayan Akshardham and Bahai Lotus Temple are also worth visiting.

    March calls for lighter cotton clothing and comfortable shoes. If you're visiting Hindu temples though, make sure you're covered up properly. You can explore the city on your own, travelling by the train, the bus or the famed auto rickshaws. Further, the city also has a HOHO Bus tour that can make your sightseeing more comfortable and easy.

    Summary of Climate and Weather in Delhi

    SeasonMonthsAverage TemperaturesFeaturePeak/Off-PeakBest For
    SummerApril to June35°C to 40°CHot and DryOff-PeakBudget Travellers or Avoiding Crowds
    MonsoonJuly to September35°C to 38°CWet and HumidOff-PeakBudget Travellers or Nature Lovers
    AutumnOctober to November30°C to 33°CMildly ColdPeakSightseeing
    WinterDecember to February5°C to 20°CCold and DryBoth (Peak in December/February, Off-Peak in January)Sightseeing
    SpringMarch20°C to 30°CMildly WarmPeakSightseeing
    The table above highlights the summary of the year-round climate and weather in Delhi. It can be summer up in two parts generally. The months of April to September are considered as the off-peak tourist months. April to June can be very hot but dry, while July to September can be hot and humid. However, you can enjoy the discounted rates in hotels and tour agencies during these months. The months of October to March are the peak tourist months. October to November is mildly cold, December to February can be very cold and March can be mildly warm. Sightseeing is best done during these months though the crowds and higher rates might be the disadvantages.

    Conclusion

    All in all, you have picked quite contrasting months to visit Delhi. April can be very hot, though low in humidity. During this time of your visit, you can explore mostly indoor sights like museums, malls and even temples. November, on the other hand, is mildly cold so you can enjoy sightseeing in open areas like the heritage sites of Delhi or the flea markets. April is an off-peak tourist season while November is part of the peak tourist season. Both seasons have their advantages, as mentioned above. Good luck and I hope this helps you!:)
     

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