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Climate of Uttar Pradesh

The climate of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) is primarily defined as humid subtropical with dry winter (CWa) type with parts of Western U.P. as semi-arid (BS) type. Alternatively, some authors refer to it as tropical monsoon. Variations do exist in different parts of the large state, however the uniformity of the vast Indo-Gangetic Plain forming bulk of the state gives a predominantly single climatic pattern to the state with minor regional variations. U.P. has a climate of extremes. With temperatures fluctuating anywhere from 0 °C to 50 °C in several parts of the state and cyclical droughts and floods due to unpredictable rains, the summers are extremely hot, winters cold and rainy season can be either very wet or very dry.


Seasons of Uttar PradeshEdit

Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) breakdowns the climate of India into the following seasons:[1][2]

  1. Winter Season / Cold Weather Season (January and February)
  2. Summer season/ Pre-monsoon season/ Hot weather season/ Thunderstorm season (March, April and May)
  3. South-west Monsoon/ Summer Monsoon (June, July, August and September)
  4. Post-monsoon or Northeast monsoon or Retreating SW Monsoon season (October, November and December)

This classification is primarily Monsoon centric given the vast effect that it casts on the lives and agriculture of India.

Classification of the Uttar Pradesh climateEdit

The climate of Uttar Pradesh is generally defined to be tropical monsoon type.[3] However based on the Köppen climate classification, it can be classified mostly as Humid Subtropical with dry winter (CWa) type with parts of Western U.P. as Semi-Arid (BS) type (refer to map of India above)

Based on IMD classification, UP has the following three predominant seasons:[4][5]

  1. Winter Season - November to February
  2. Summer season - March, April and May
  3. South-west Monsoon - June, July, August, September and October

Retreating Monsoon season, although existent, has a very negligible effect in Uttar Pradesh and only occasional mild showers are experienced in winter. Some of these showers are not even due to the Monsoon but due to western disturbances.[6]

The primary temperature, rainfall and wind features of the three Distinct Seasons of U.P. can be summarized as below:

  1. Summer (March–June): Hot & dry (temperatures rise to 45 °C, sometimes 47-48 °C); low relative humidity (20%); dust laden winds.
  2. Monsoon (June–September): 85% of average annual rainfall of 990 mm. Fall in temperature 40-45° on rainy days.
  3. Winter (October–February): Cold (temperatures drop to 3-4 °C, sometimes below -1 °C); clear skies; foggy conditions in some tracts.

Given significant climatic differences, U.P. has been divided into two meteorological sub-divisions - U.P. East and U.P. West.[7]

Geographical terrainEdit

The state of Uttar Pradesh is in the heart of Indo-Gangetic Plain with River Ganges flowing right through it, Himalayas to the north of it and the Chota Nagpur Plateau and the Vindhyas to the south of it.


Temperature varies from 0 to 46 °Cs.[5] High temperatures of around 50 °C have been recorded in Gonda district of U.P.[3] Given such a wide range of temperature fluctuations in most parts of the state, it can lead to either cold waves or heat waves both resulting in substantial loss of life and economy.

Heat wavesEdit

In 2007, Banda with 45.5 °C temperature was the leader in terms of hot districts of U.P. for several days.[8] At least 62, people were reportedly dead during the heat wave that year.[9] In June 2009, 30 people died of heatstroke in U.P.[10] Highest temperatures reached 49 °C in Bundelkhand district of northern U.P.[11][12] In June 2010, Jhansi recorded the highest temperature of 46.7 °C, the hottest for U.P. for that year.[13]

Cold wavesEdit

In recent years, winters at the end of 2007 and beginning of year 2008 caused a string of cold-wave related deaths in U.P.[14] with temperatures as low as 2.8 °C in the city of Meerut, U.P. Simultaneously it also led to a loss of crops and agricultural produce. Similarly last part of 2009, saw the mercury-dipping to lows of 2.9 °C in Meerut again causing loss of human life.[15] End of 2010 and starting of 2011 was no different with winters bringing news of cold-wave related deaths.[16][17] This time Churk town in Mirzapur district ranked coldest with 1.4 °C.[16]


It rains over most of U.P. with very few arid or semi-arid patches. Snowfall doesn't occur but hail-storms, frost and dew occur often in U.P. The type of rainfall that U.P. receives is orographic, cyclonic and convectional.[5]


Primarily a summer phenomenon, the Bay of Bengal branch of the Indian Monsoon is the major bearer of rain in most parts of U.P. It is the South-West Monsoon which brings most of the rain here, although rain due to the western disturbances[6] and North-East Monsoon also contribute small quantities towards the overall precipitation of the state.[5] The rain in U.P. can vary from an annual average of 170 cm in hilly areas to 84 cm in Western U.P.[5] Given the concentration of most of this rainfall in the 4 months of Monsoon period, excess rain can lead to floods and shortage to droughts.[3] As such these two phenomenons of floods and droughts are a common recurrence in the state.

Floods in U.P.Edit

Floods are a known hazard of U.P. due to overflowing of its main rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Ramganga, Gomti, Sharda, Ghaghra, Rapti and Gandak.[7] Estimated annual losses due to floods in U.P. is 4.32 billion (US$66 million).[7] Major flood management efforts have been undertaken to mitigate the risk. Most of these floods occur due to the Monsoon rains and overflowing of rivers during the rainy periods. Year 2010 witnessed one such year of flooding in U.P.[18][19]

Droughts in Uttar PradeshEdit

Shortage of rain during the highly variable Monsoon season can cause droughts in U.P. leading to severe loss to man and property. Recent 2002 and 2004 drought related financial estimates have been reported to be 75.4 billion (US$1.2 billion) and 72.92 billion (US$1.1 billion).[7] The recurrence of a major deficiency in annual rainfall follows a 6–8 years cycle in Eastern U.P. whereas in Western U.P., it is a 10 years cycle.


In summers, hot winds called loo blow all across U.P. They are dust-laden and quite damaging.[5] In winters, dry and rainless winds blow across the state. Fog may also form in parts of U.P.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ S D Attri and Ajit Tyagi. "CLIMATE PROFILE OF INDIA" (PDF). Indian Meteorological Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "Climate". Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Mathur, Raj B. "Uttar Pradesh: Climate". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "Home » Uttar Pradesh Profile » Geography » Climate". UPonline. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Upkar Prakashan - Editorial Board (2008). Uttar Pradesh General Knowledge. Upkar Prakashan. pp. 26–. ISBN 978-81-7482-408-0. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Sethi, Nitin (13 February 2007). "Met dept blames it on 'western disturbance'". Times of India. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Disaster Management Department, Govt of U.P." Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "9 more succumb to heatwave in UP, rain claims 5 lives in south". 11 June 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "46 more perish in heat spell; toll crosses 100". The Hindu. 11 June 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  10. ^ "120 die in unrelenting heatwave across India". 25 June 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  11. ^ "Deadly heatwave sweeps India". 26 June 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  12. ^ "Deadly heat wave sweeps India". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  13. ^ "Heat tightens grip over N-India, Rajasthan hottest". 20 June 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  14. ^ IANS (3 January 2008). "Uttar Pradesh cold wave toll rises to 38". DNA. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  15. ^ "Three die due to cold in UP as winter firms its grip on north". 27 December 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  16. ^ a b IANS (7 January 2011). "Four more die in freezing Uttar Pradesh, toll climbs to 63". Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  17. ^ "Rajasthan temperature dips to 0°, N India frozen". 6 January 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  18. ^ "Floods play havoc in Bihar & Uttar Pradesh". Samachar today. 28 August 2010. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  19. ^ "Nine die in Uttar Pradesh India floods: Toll 429". Climate Himalaya Initiative-NEWS. 2 October 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2011.