Weather in Kolkata: Climate, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperature

Kolkata sunset.

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Positioned at the top of the east coast of India close to the Bay of Bengal, the tropical weather and climate in Kolkata ensure that the city never gets really cold. Unfortunately, it also makes the city quite uncomfortable for around six months of the year, from April to October, first with an extremely hot and humid summer followed by a torrential wet season. Kolkata's close proximity to the equator and the Tropic of Cancer also means there's not a lot of variation in daylight hours during the year. The city gets a bit over 13 hours of daylight on the longest day and a generous 11 hours of daylight on the shortest day. Read on to learn more about the temperature changes from month to month, so you know when to go and what to pack.

Fast Climate Facts

  • Hottest month: May (88 F / 31 C)
  • Coldest month: January (66 F / 19 C)
  • Wettest month: July (16 inches of rain)

Monsoons in Kolkata

Kolkata receives most of its rainfall during the southwest monsoon from June to September. However, the northeast monsoon, which covers the south Indian states during October and November, also produces sporadic rainfall in Kolkata in October. This can affect the Durga Puja festival.

The monsoon rain in Kolkata is particularly heavy during July and August. Although it may not rain every day, incessant downpours for days in a row are common. The city's drainage doesn't handle the excess rainwater well and many low-lying areas are prone to prolonged water logging. Getting transport is difficult at such times, making travel arduous and undesirable. On occasion, boats are required to rescue people. In addition, the monsoon season sometimes produces cyclonic storms. Most recently, in late May 2020, Cyclone Amphan caused extensive damage to the city.

Do be prepared for the possibility of these inconveniences if you visit Kolkata during the wet season.

Winter in Kolkata

Winter is the most enjoyable time of the year in Kolkata, and is the time when most tourists choose to visit the city. Humidity is low, and the days are dry and sunny, making it best for sightseeing. The winter season sets in quickly in early December, with overnight temperatures dropping as low as 54 degrees F (12 degrees C). Daytime temperatures remain warm though and can reach up to 86 degrees F (30 degrees C). The only drawback is that winter brings a troublesome deterioration in air quality, as pollution becomes trapped in the atmosphere and smog blankets the city. Pollution levels are increasing each year too, causing breathing issues for people with asthma or other respiratory conditions.

What to Pack: Clothes that you can layer are ideal. Think pants, jeans, shirts, long-sleeved tops, T-shirts, shawls, and long dresses. Also consider bringing, a warm jacket to throw on in nippy evenings and early mornings.

Average Temperatures by Month:

  • December: 80 F / 59 F (26 C / 15 C)
  • January: 77 F / 55 F (25 C / 13 C)
  • February: 86 F / 62 F (30 C / 17 C)

Summer in Kolkata

Kolkata heads straight into summer in March, as the overnight nip disappears from the air and daytime temperatures begin to climb. However, it's not until April, when the dreaded humidity sets in, that the weather in the city becomes exhausting and intolerable. Humidity levels reaching 85 percent are oppressive in May. In the second half of the month, the approaching southwest monsoon makes the weather particularly unsettled and muggy. Dusty squalls, followed by thunderstorms and spells of heavy rain (locally known as kalbaishakhi) are a feature of summer in Kolkata, mostly in the afternoons. This brings down the mercury and provides some relief. In between, heat waves do occur, at times pushing the daytime temperature up over 104 degrees F (40 degrees C). It feels much hotter than this though because of the humidity. Expect about seven rainy days in May, with a total of 5 inches of rain.

What to Pack: Bring lightweight and loose clothing. Kolkata isn't an overly conservative city, however, modest dress is appropriate at religious places and in older neighborhoods in north Kolkata.

Average Temperatures by Month:

  • March: 93 F / 72 F (34 C / 22 C)
  • April: 97 F / 79 F (36 C / 26 C)
  • May: 97 F / 81 F (36 C / 27 C)

Wet Season in Kolkata

The uncomfortable summer weather continues until the monsoon reaches Kolkata by mid-June. You can expect rain on most days in the second half of June. The rain intensifies in July and continues through August, with up to 21 rainy days each month. It finally begins to ease off in September, much to the delight of the city's residents. There are still around 15 rainy days in the month though. Temperatures and humidity remain high, with very little variation, during the wet season but the omnipresent clouds and rain lessen the impact.

What to Pack: An umbrella, raincoat, waterproof footwear, knee-length pants in dark colors, and fabrics that dry easily are essential for this season. This monsoon season packing list for India provides a comprehensive list of recommended item.

Average Temperatures and Rainfall by Month:

  • June: 93 F / 81 F (34 C / 27 C); 11 inches
  • July: 91 F / 79 F (33 C / 26 C); 16 inches
  • August: 91 F / 79 F (33 C / 26 C); 14 inches
  • September: 91 F / 79 F (33 C / 26 C); 12 inches

Post-Monsoon Season in Kolkata

October brings welcome respite to the city with shorter spells of rain, lower temperatures, and less humidity. The move towards winter is usually felt towards the end of the month when nighttime temperatures noticeably start decreasing. By the end of November, nights are generally balmy but occasionally the temperature may reach as low as 61 degrees F (16 degrees C). While you can expect eight to ten rainy days in October, this drops to only one or two in November.

What to Pack: The same as for summer—bring lightweight and loose clothing. A jacket may come in handy towards late November in case of the odd cool night.

Average Temperatures by Month:

  • October: 90 F / 75 F (32 C / 24 C)
  • November: 86 F / 66 F (30 C / 19 C)

Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours

Avg. Temp. Rainfall Daylight Hours
January 66 F / 19 C 0 inches 11 hours
February 74 F / 23 C 0 inches 11 hours
March 82 F / 28 C 1 inch 12 hours
April 87 F / 31 C 2 inches 13 hours
May 88 F / 31 C 5 inches 13 hours
June 90 F / 32 C 11 inches 13.5 hours
July 86 F / 30 C 16 inches 13 hours
August 84 F / 29 C 14 inches 13 hours
September 87 F / 31 C 12 inches 12 hours
October 93 F / 34 C 6 inches 12 hours
November 91 F / 33 C 1 inch 11 hours
December 90 F / 32 C 0 inches 11 hours
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