Shillong Weather and Best Time to Go

 
 

Overall Climate in Shillong

 
Shillong is said to possess “sub-tropical highland climate” according to Koppen’s Climatic classification. Summers in Shillong are quite cool and for most people in the plains... summers in Shillong will feel like early spring. Summers are also rainy and humid and the onset of monsoons is early though it usually does not arrive before May. Winters are cool and dry with clear skies and monsoons are very heavy. 
 
In Shillong the monsoon begins quite early and stretches across September sometimes. As you may be knowing the wettest place in India - Mawsynram is quite near Shillong and it has a whooping annual average of 11,873 mm of rainfall. Cherapunjee (Sohra) is quite near too and it’s considered to be a place which sees rain the whole year through. 
 
 
 
Shillong basically holds the reputation of being a year round tourist destination as each season has a unique kind of beauty and attractions to offer to tourists. The peak tourist season is the summer (April-May), spring (Feb-march) and winter (December- January) while November is also a popular month to plan a visit to Shillong.  The best season to visit Shillong depends upon what you wish to experience in the land of waterfall. 
 
For experiencing the loveliest (and driest) weather, visiting in Feb and March will be a good idea. For visiting natural reserves and sanctuaries and sightseeing summer visits would be ideal. Autumns are preferred because of the variety of festivals that happen around this time. 
 
For honeymoons and romantic holidays, December and January are the best times to visit and to see the city at her most glamorous…you must visit around Christmas- New Year. And if you really want to see waterfalls at their loveliest then brave it out and visit Shillong in the monsoons. 
 

February to March

 
(Spring in Shillong) 
Shillong has cool climate in spring and the months of February and March (especially Feb) have a mild wintry feeling about them which will appeal to you if you are from the plains. By March end, summers set in and the weather becomes warmer. 
 
Min and Max Temp 
The minimum temperature in February is about 10 degree C while the maximum temperature goes up to 22 degree C with the average being 17 degree C. March is much warmer with a minimum temperature of 14 degree C and a maximum temperature of 22 degree C with an average temperature of 21 degree C. Though summers are peak season in Shillong, spring is also quite busy and you will find most areas crowded. Most popular hotels and resorts are booked early and it’s difficult to get train/ flight tickets at short notice. 
 
Rainfall 
Chances of rainfall happening in either Feb or March is slim. However occasional showers might occur in rare cases. 
 
Sunny and Cloudy Days 
February and March have a lot of sparkling sunny days and in fact February usually yields the maximum number of sunny days on an average in Shillong. The combination of pleasant temperature and crisp skies makes these months ideal for sightseeing, watching the mountain ranges and catching the sunrise. 
 
Humidity 
If you hate humidity then make it a point to visit Shillong in spring…usually Feb and March are two of the least humid months. While Feb has around 70% humidity, in March the humidity dips down even more to about 65%. 
 
 
 

April to June

 
(Summer in Shillong) 
Shillong has temperate climate in the summers and you will find your stay comfortable even in the hot months of April, May and June. By the end of June, monsoon will set in and the temperature takes a dip. 
 
Min and Max Temp 
In April, the minimum temperature is likely to be around 18 degree C while the maximum temp is generally around 26 degrees with the average temperature hovering around 23 degrees. 
 
In May, the minimum and maximum ranges of temperatures tend to remain the same as April, i.e. 18 degrees to 26 degrees and the average temperature is again 23 degree C. 
 
In June, the minimum temperature climbs up slightly to 19 degree C while the upper range tends to remain constant at around 26 degree C with a similar daily average temperature of 23 degree C. 
 
Rainfall 
Shillong summers mostly have rains though the rain is gentle and drizzling and heavy rainfall is uncommon especially in April. In May, there might be heavy rainfall that continues the whole day long. Rainfall in May frequently exceeds 500 mm i.e. rains are really heavy on some days. It’s better to come armed with umbrellas and raincoats if you visit Shillong in the summers. 
 
Sunny and Cloudy Days 
Summers in Shillong are quite mild and pleasant with the sun hidden behind masses of clouds most of the time. There are very few actual full sunny days in the summer months of April and May but there is usually enough sunny hours. 
 
Humidity 
Summers in Shillong are humid with average humidity in April about 80% and average humidity in May about 87%. The climate gets more and more humid as summer progresses and the approach of monsoons can be felt early. 
 
There is a lot of tourist pressure on Shillong during the summers and you have to book your rooms, flight/ train tickets really early as this is the peak season. If you are fond of temperate climate and are verse to experiencing rains then choosing to go to Shillong during April or May is a good option. Expect the weather to be balmy and moist with no such piercing heat that most people in the plains are used to. 
 

June to September

 
(Monsoon in Shillong) 
Monsoons are the time when Shillong is at her greenest and freshest. However monsoons in Shillong and the surrounding areas is quite heavy and it’s common to experience incessant rainfall. This is the leanest season as few tourists visit Shillong during the rains. Hotel rates and transport rates are therefore slashed down. Monsoons in Shillong officially set in from June to September but regular rain showers are common in summers and autumn too. 
 
Min and Max Temp 
In June, the climate is rather hot and humid with minimum temperature around 19 degree C and Maximum temperature around 26 degree C with average temperature around 23 degree C. 
 
In July the heat and humidity continues with minimum temperature is around 19 degree C while the Max temperature goes down to 24 degree C with the average temp being around 22 degrees. 
 
August would probably be the hottest month if the average temperature ranges are concerned. The min-max range is 20 degree C to 27 degree C while the Average Temp is 25 degree C 
 
September sees the Celsius dipping slightly with the min to max average range as 19 degrees to 26 degrees with 23 degree C as an average 
 
Rainfall 
Expect all 4 monsoon months in shillong to have heavy rains…June, July, August and September all have more than 500 mm of rainfall on an average with the intensity of rains peaking around mid-June to mid-July (it can go up to 950 mm) and tapering down in late August and September (450 mm to 550 mm). Shillong rains are extremely unpredictable, the skies can open up anytime and it sometimes drizzles the whole day long. Make sure that you carry umbrella, raincoats and mud boots when you venture out. 
 
Hiking and exploring the wetter swampy zones around Shillong is not recommended during these months. If you are not too fond of wet weather then its best to avoid visiting Shillong in these months. 
 
Sunny and Cloudy Days 
Monsoon months in Shillong are beautiful in a romantic melancholic way. The sky is mostly laden with clouds and very few sunny days exist in these months. You can see dark silver edged Nimbus clouds covering the skies almost all the time. 
 
Humidity 
As expected, the monsoon months score the highest on the humidity scale. Humidity will mostly exceed 90% on each of the 4 monsoon months. July and August are the most humid months typically with humidity exceeding 96% on an average. 
 
However these months can be excellent for photographers and nature lovers who would love to capture the unusual beauty of Shillong in the rains. Shillong is famous for its waterfalls which are at their majestic best in monsoons. 
 
 
 

October and November

 
(Autumn in Shillong) 
Autumn in Shillong carries the aftermath of monsoons…there are frequent showers. The foliage is beautiful, festivals are on in full swing and cherry blossom trees flower making this a beautiful phase. 
 
Min and Max Temp 
October has beautiful weather with minimum temperature around 15 degree C while the max range can stay as high as 25 degree. The average temperature is around 21 degree. 
 
November sees a further dip in the Celsius as the winter chills promise their arrival. At night, the in temperature can dip to 10 degree C while the max daytime temperature is around 22 degree C with the average temperature being 17 degree C. 
 
Rainfall 
October in Shillong can be quite rainy with avg rainfall exceeding 500 mm sometimes... the month passes as a pleasanter (and drier) after-lude to the monsoons. In November, the skies clear up a bit and the rainfall reduces a lot. In fact November rains are quite uncommon making it a more viable tourist slot. 
 
Sunny and Cloudy Days 
October is mostly cloudy and the weather is balmy and moist. However in November, there is a distinct change in the weather and the skies clear up to a large extent. There would be many bright and sunny days in November with the skies turning a clear azure blue which indicates the onset of winters. 
 
Humidity 
Autumn in Shillong is quite humid though there is a drop in humidity post September. Expect October to have around 90% humidity while November is slightly less humid. 
 
Autumns are a great time to visit Shillong because of the famous festivals like Autumn Festival (grand cultural event organized by Meghalaya Gov.), the Autumn Flower Show, Cherry Blossom Festival, Wangala Festival etc. 
 

December and January

 
(Winter in Shillong) 
Winter in Shillong is milder than it is in Darjeeling but it still is quite cold. You would need moderate to heavy woollens depending upon your tolerance to cold. These months have beautiful weather otherwise and Shillong holds the reputation of being one of the less intensively cold hill station destinations in India. 
 
Min and Max Temp 
December is one of the coldest months in Shillong with the minimum temperature dipping to 6 degrees while the maximum temperature is around 18 degree C. The average temperature is around 13 degree C. However, January would still be the coldest month if the average temperature ranges are concerned. The min-max range is 5 degree C to 17 degree C while the Average Temp is 12 degree C only. 
 
Cloudy and Sunny Days 
December usually has a lot of sunny days and the skies are mostly crisp and clear which makes it ideal for you to go and watch sunrises/ sunsets. January too has many sunny days but a lot lesser than December usually. 
 
Rainfall 
It almost never rains during December and January and the skies are mostly clear and relatively cloud free. However Shillong being a part of one of the wettest zones of India, one can never really rule out the possibility of rains. 
 
Humidity 
Winters in Shillong are not as dry as most other hill station winters are and the humidity is around 85% in December and January. Lips do not chap as easily in Shillong in the winters and you can go easy with moisturizers too!! 
 
If you do not mind the nip in the air then December January visits to Shillong would be a lovely idea. In case you have managed to enjoy our visits to Darjeeling in the winter…you can relax…Shillong will be much warmer. The city will be all dressed up around Christmas and New Year and it’s a great place to eat, drink, be merry and also soak in the lovely natural beauty around. 
 
 
 

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