The climate of Maharashtra is typically monsoonal in character, with
'hot' rainy and cold weather seasons. The months of March-April and May
are maximum heat. During this season, especially in April and May thunderstorms
are a common feature all over the state. The first week of June is the
time for the onset of the south-west monsoon. Rains spread out from
the south western and western sides all over Maharashtra. July is the
wettest month and August is substantially rainy, by September the
south west monsoonal current weakens. 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.
In the general March of seasons in Maharashtra, the dominant
natural factor that affects basically the life and economy of the peoples
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 precipitations 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 heaviest rainfall in Maharashtra
occurs in the main Sahyadris. Different regions have different rainfalls.
These regional difference in the total annual rainfall help in distinguishing
three zones of Maharashtra; the wet, the intermediate and semiarid zones.
The variability of monsoonal rains is common all over Maharashtra. This
unpredictable monsoonal rains affect the agriculture and this will impact
economic distress and human suffering. 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.
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 do help the growth of some important crops like wheat,
gram, linseed and grapes. High summer temperatures induce local thunder
showers. Dew, frost, hail and other local weather phenomena are not absent
from the climate.