Compared to other Indian states, Kerala lies closer to the equator. Yet Kerala is bestowed with a pleasant and equable climate through out the year. This is because of the land’s nearness to the sea and the presence of the fort like Western Ghats on the east. Kerala would have been a dry land because of the dry winds blowing from the north, but for the Western Ghats which prevent this wind from entering the land. Kerala receives copious rain (average 3000 mm a year )each year. The temperature in Kerala normally ranges from 28° to 32° C (82° to 90° F) on the plains but drops to about 20° C (68° F) in the highlands. The Highlands of Kerala, which is an area of major tourist attraction, enjoys a cool and invigorating climate the year-round . Owing to its diversity in geographical features, the climatic condition in Kerala is diverse. It can be divided into 4 seasons – Winter, Summer, South-West Monsoon and North-East Monsoon.
Winter Season in Kerala
Winter in Kerala starts with the end of the northeast monsoons i.e. from the later part of November lasting till the middle of February. During this season temperature is comparatively low but as mentioned earlier it does not vary much from other seasons. In the highlands of Kerala, where the climate is cool throughout the year, winter temperatures often fall below 10°C. Winter season in Kerala witnesses the lowest amount of rainfall.
Temperature during Winter in Kerala: : Maximum : 28°C
Minimum : 28°C
Average Rainfall during the season : Maximum : 25 mm
Summer Season in Kerala
Towards the end of February temperature starts climbing and this marks the beginning of summer in Kerala. Relatively higher temperature, low rainfall and slightly humid weather are the characteristics of the summer season in Kerala. When compared to other Indian states where temperature soars to over 40°C, summers in Kerala are cool and pleasant, thanks to the Western Ghats which prevent the dry northern winds from entering the state and the Arabian sea for the cool breeze that blows towards the land providing it with a moderate temperature . Erratic rains accompanied by lightening and thunder is another feature of the season. Starting from March, summer season continues till the end of May or the beginning of June and is concluded with the outset of monsoons.
Temperature during Summer in Kerala: : Maximum : 36°C
Minimum : 32°C
Average Rainfall during the season : 135 mm
South West Monsoon in Kerala
Southwest monsoon is the main rainy season in Kerala. This season ( Edavappathi – as the rains starts by the middle of the Malayalam month Edavam ) begins by the end of May or early June with the outset of the southwest monsoon winds. The next few months are periods of torrential rain. Lying on the windward side of the Western Ghats and being the first state to be hit by the monsoon winds, Kerala receives copious rainfall.
Almost 85% of the rains received in Kerala is contributed by the monsoons. The slopes of the Western Ghats are among the places in India which receives the highest amount of rain. Most of the rivers of Kerala are fed by the monsoons. The southwest monsoon in Kerala lasts till the end of September.
Temperature during this season: : Maximum : 30°C
Minimum : 19°C
Average Rainfall during the season : 2250 – 2500 mm
North East Monsoon in Kerala
Also known as the Retreating Monsoon or the Reverse monsoons, northeast monsoon hits Kerala during the return of the southwest monsoon winds. These rains ( Thulavarsham – as it rains during the Malayalam month of Thulam) are in the months of October and November and sometimes lasts till December. Heavy afternoon rains accompanied by thunder and lightening is the main characteristic of the season. Days are warm and humid but there is not much variation in temperature.