Rainfall & Sky Conditions
Darjeeling, Gangtok, Kalimpong
Depending on the time you visit Darjeeling, you may get heavy to mild rainfalls, light showers or bright sunny days. Overall the rainfall in Darjeeling hill town is on the higher side and averages to 126-inches annually.
The heaviest and almost continuous rainfall takes place during June, July and August which are known as the peak monsoon months in Darjeeling. In May and September also you may face mild showers. During the peak monsoon time, you may not be even see the sky for 20 days in a month due to cloudy sky conditions.
June through September period in Darjeeling is also the time for fog or mist that usually rise from the deep humid valley below and cover up the hill town with a white blanket. December is usually clear and chances of fog or cloud is rarest. Kalimpong also follows the same pattern as Darjeeling town when it comes to fog and rainfall. However the annual rainfall in Kalimpong is 86-inches which is quite lesser than Darjeeling town.
In the Terai area (i.e. the lowers plains of Darjeeling that includes Siliguri, Dooars etc.), fog occurs only on few days and between December to March. Annual rainfall in Siliguri is 131 inches and in Bagdogra (airport area) is 135 inches. Gangtok, which is located in the adjacent state of Sikkim, also has an average annual rainfall of 135 inches which is higher than Darjeeling.
Here is the month by month rainfall chart that will give you comparative figures between Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Gakgtok, so that you can plan your visits to these places accordingly.
Rainfall (in inches)
Jan:0.5, Feb:1.2, Mar:1.9, Apr:4.1, May:9.6, Jun:24.1, Jul:32.0, Aug:26.6, Sep:20.0, Oct:5.1, Nov:0.8, Dec:0.3
Jan:0.5, Feb:1.5, Mar:1.1, Apr:2.6, May:4.5, Jun:15.6, Jul:22.0, Aug:19.2, Sep:10.9, Oct:2.6, Nov:0.2, Dec:0.2
Jan:1.0, Feb:2.5, Mar:5.1, Apr:11.4, May:19.5, Jun:20.6, Jul:24.9, Aug:22.7, Sep:19.5, Oct:5.3, Nov:1.8, Dec:0.9
On an average there are 121 rainy days in a full year in Darjeeling town compared to 100 days in Kalimpong. November till March is practically rain free. Here is a chart showing month by month rainy days in these two places:
Average number of rainy days in a month
Jan:1.5, Feb:2.4, Mar:3.6, Apr:7.1, May:13.9, Jun:20.6, Jul:25.0, Aug:24.4, Sep:17.0, Oct:4.3, Nov:0.8, Dec:0.7
Jan:1.3, Feb:3.0, Mar:3.1, Apr:6.3, May:8.8, Jun:15.9, Jul:23.3, Aug:21.1, Sep:12.8, Oct:3.4, Nov:0.5, Dec:0.5
If you average over the whole year, 58% of the sky remains clouded on a month in Darjeeling. June through September is when most of the sky remains clouded. Here is another chart that shows the sky conditions (cloudiness) for each month of the year. The figures indicate the percentage of the sky clouded (100% means the whole sky is cloud covered).
Sky conditions (%age cloudiness) in morning hours
Jan:41, Feb:43, Mar:36, Apr:49, May:68, Jun:86, Jul:90, Aug:90, Sep:81, Oct:53, Nov:33, Dec:31
Jan:26, Feb:27, Mar:18, Apr:33, May:42, Jun:71, Jul:75, Aug:75, Sep:65, Oct:33, Nov:19, Dec:26
Jan:31, Feb:32, Mar:22, Apr:27, May:40, Jun:61, Jul:67, Aug:59, Sep:55, Oct:34, Nov:24, Dec:20
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