People tend to think of India as being hot, and Mumbai is no exception. The city has a tropical climate. However, its west coast location, midway between north and south India, means it's protected from extreme temperature fluctuations. The ocean breeze keeps temperatures moderate, although humidity does increase to uncomfortable levels during summer before the monsoon arrives. Mumbai's 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 daylight on the longest day and a generous 11 hours daylight on the shortest day.
The Arabian Sea surrounding Mumbai remains delightfully warm, at around 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius), throughout the year. However, the water isn't clean and women are likely to attract unwanted attention if you wear a swimsuit as Indian women stay covered up on Mumbai's beaches. Hence, it's best to restrict sunbathing and swimming to your hotel pool.
Fast Climate Facts
- Hottest month: May (87 degrees Fahrenheit / 31 degrees Celsius)
- Coldest month: January (75 degrees Fahrenheit / 24 degrees Celsius)
- Wettest month: July (35 inches of rain)
Monsoons in Mumbai
The southwest monsoon brings rain to Mumbai from June to September. During the wet season, it doesn't always rain everyday but it can rain heavily for days in a row.
Mumbai is particularly susceptible to waterlogging when the tide is high. Severe flooding has become more problematic in recent years, with numerous incidents occurring each monsoon. When this happens, the city is forced to a halt as roads and train tracks are submerged. It's difficult to get transport and people become stranded or face long walks home. Traffic congestion in wet conditions also makes traveling arduous and lengthy.
Do be prepared for the possibility of these inconveniences if you visit Mumbai during the wet season, especially in July and August. For those who aren't discouraged, check out these top spots to experience the monsoon in Mumbai.
Winter in Mumbai
Winter is so balmy in Mumbai, it's often said it doesn't exist. While that's not really true, it hardly ever gets cold. Humidity levels and overnight temperatures drop refreshingly but the daytime temperatures are consistently around 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius). You can expect mild nights with temperatures around 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius), although on rare occasions the temperature will reach as low as 54 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius). There's often smog early in the morning and a chilly breeze. Winter is definitely the best time to visit Mumbai for superb weather every single day!
What to Pack: Pants, jeans, shirts, T-shirts, and long dresses. You may not need it but it's handy to have a jacket or long-sleeved top to throw on. Ladies will also find a shawl useful.
Average Temperatures by Month:
- December: 90 degrees F / 68 degrees F (32 degrees C / 20 degrees C)
- January: 86 degrees F / 63 degrees F (30 degrees C / 17 degrees C)
- February: 88 degrees F / 65 degrees F (31 degrees C / 18 degrees C)
Summer in Mumbai
One day in early March, the city's occupants wake up to discover the early morning nip missing from the air, signalling the arrival of summer. This transition often produces a burst of heat, driven by hot winds from Gujarat. From then on, temperatures and humidity levels gradually rise to their muggy peak in May, at which time they're joined by increasingly cloudy skies. The daytime temperature hovers around 92 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit (33 to 36 degrees Celsius) but feels like more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) due to heavy humidity above 80 percent. There's not much relief at night, with minimum temperatures of 81 or 82 degrees Fahrenheit (27 or 28 degrees Celsius) in May. March can still be pleasant but the weather is likely to sap your enthusiasm for sightseeing in April and May.
What to Pack: Light cottons and loose clothing. Dress standards are relatively liberal in Mumbai, so women can wear sleeveless tops and men can wear shorts.
Average Temperatures by Month:
- March: 91 degrees F / 71 degrees F (33 degrees C / 22 degrees C)
- April: 92 degrees F / 76 degrees F (33.5 degrees C / 24 degrees C)
- May: 93 degrees F / 81 degrees F (34 degrees C / 27 degrees C)
Wet Season in Mumbai
The monsoon usually reaches Mumbai with a flourish (think dramatic thunder and lightning) by mid-June. It's preceded by a series of isolated storms and showers, which bring much relief from the oppressive summer weather. This is short-lived though, as it's steamier than ever when the sun comes out again afterwards. Temperatures remain constant throughout the monsoon, with very little difference between daytime and nighttime. Humidity levels remain high at about 85 percent but the omnipresent wind and rain lessen the heat. The monsoon starts to withdraw in September, just in time for Mumbai's epic Ganesh festival. The number of rainy days decreases and there's more sunshine.
What to Pack: An umbrella, raincoat, waterproof footwear, knee length pants in dark colors, and fabrics that dry easily. This monsoon season packing list for India provides a comprehensive list.
Average Temperatures and Rainfall by Month:
- June: 90 degrees F / 81 degrees F (32 degrees C / 27 degrees C); 20 inches
- July: 86 degrees F / 81 degrees F (30 degrees C / 27 degrees C); 35 inches
- August: 84 degrees F / 81 degrees F (29 degrees C / 27 degrees C); 25 inches
- September: 87 degrees F / 80 degrees F (30.5 degrees C / 26 degrees C); 15 inches.
Post-Monsoon Season in Mumbai
The couple of months after the monsoon are locally known as the "second summer." October rivals May in terms of heat and humidity. Quite frankly, it's a miserable time to be in the city, with heat that will sap your energy and bring on a profusion of sweat (especially if you're sensitive to humidity). Depending on the speed of the monsoon's withdrawal, there may be a few isolated rain showers in early October as well. Fortunately, November is more bearable, as the humidity noticeably eases off when the transition to winter takes place.
What to Pack: The same as for summer—light cottons and loose clothing.
Average Temperatures by Month:
- October: 93 degrees F / 77 degrees F (34 degrees C / 25 degrees C)
- November: 91 degrees F / 73 degrees F (33 degrees C / 23 degrees C)