The climate of Maharashtra is typically monsoonal in character, with hot, rainy and cold weather seasons.
Summer: The hottest months are March, April and
May. During this season, especially in April and May thunderstorms are a
common feature all over the state.
Rainy: The first week of June marks the onset of the southwest monsoon. Rains spread out from the southwestern and western sides all over Maharashtra. July is the wettest month and August is substantially rainy, by September the southwest monsoonal current weakens.
Winter: October marks the transition from the rainy season to winter. The general drying up of the land and greater sunshine, accompanied by high humidity, produce familiar phenomenon of October heat. From November to February there is a cool dry spell, with clear skies gentle breezes and pleasant weather, though the eastern margins of Maharashtra receive some rainfall.
Temperature variations in Maharashtra are not of that consequence as those in rainfall. Tropical conditions are common all over and even the hill stations are not that cold. But lower winter temperature on the plateau does help the growth of some important crops like wheat, gram, linseed and grapes. High summer temperatures induce local thundershowers. Dew, frost, hail and other local weather phenomena are not absent from the climate.
The rainfall in the state varies in different places. These
regional differences in the total annual rainfall help in distinguishing
three zones of Maharashtra; the wet, the intermediate and semiarid zones.
The major portions of the area of the state that lie in the rain shadow of
Sahyadris receive an average rainfall of about 60 to 75 centimeters
annually. But the areas in the districts of Nasik
(also spelt as Nashik),
, Ahmednagar, Dhule, Jalgaon,
Solapur and parts of Kolhapur
get rainfall less than 50 centimeters. Areas in the districts of Thane,
Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, however get heavy rains of an average of
200 centimeters annually.
The dominant natural factor that affects basically the life and economy of the people is the rainfall in its regime amount and variability. In regime quite major part of the rain is received during the four months from June to September. This concentration is particular to the Konkan and Sahyadrian Maharashtra. In central Maharashtra, though the total precipitation is much lower, there is a wider spread over the months of June to October with a noticeable maximum in September. From Maharashtra, the total rainfall steadily increases towards the east under the influence of the Bay of Bengal monsoon and hence eastern Vidarbha receives its major rains in the month of July, August and September.
The rainfall in Maharashtra is not fully utilised. A major portion goes waste to the sea in torrents during rainy season. While in the summer months many of these areas suffer acute shortage even of drinking water.
Clothing: Lightweight cottons and linens in summer, warmer clothes in winter and on cooler evenings and waterproof clothing during monsoons.