[The write-up on Climate is contributed by the Meteorological Department, Government of India, Pune.]
The climate of this district is on the whole agreeable and is characterised by general dryness in the major part of the year. The cold season from December to about the middle of February is followed by the hot season which lasts up to the end of May. June to September is the south-west monsoon season. October and November constitute the post-monsoon or retreating monsoon season.
Rainfall: Records of rainfall in the district are available for 9 stations for periods ranging from 55 to 84 years. The details of the rainfall at these stations and for the district as a whole are given in table Nos. 2 to 3. The average annual rainfall in the district is 584.3 mm. (23.00"). The rainfall in the district varies from 448.8 mm. (17.67") at Akluj near the western border to 689.2 mm. (27.14") at Akkalkot near the south-eastern border of the district. Some rainfall in the form of thunder-showers occurs during the months of April and May. The rainfall during the south-west monsoon in the months of June to September amounts to about 74 per cent of the annual rainfall. September is the rainiest month. About 17 per cent of the normal annual rainfall in the district is received in the post-monsoon months of October and November. The variation in the annual rainfall from year to year is large. In the fifty-year period from 1901-1950, the highest annual rainfall amounting to 181 per cent of the normal occurred in 1916. The lowest annual rainfall which was only 51 per cent of the normal occurred in 1905. In the same period the annual rainfall in the district was less than 80 per cent of the normal in 10 years. Two and three consecutive years of such low rainfall occurred once each during this period. Considering the annual rainfall at the individual stations it is seen that two consecutive years of such low rainfall have occurred more than twice at most of the stations. In the period from 1911 to 1913 and in the case of two stations, 1914 also, the rainfall was less than 80 per cent practically throughout the district. It will be seen from table No. 2 that the annual rainfall in the district was between 500 and 800 mm. (19.69" and 31.50") in 31 years out of 50.
On an average there are 37 rainy days (i.e., days with rainfall of 2.5 mm. - 10 cents - or more) in a year in the district. This number increases from 30 at Akluj near the western border of the district to 45 at Akkalkot near the south-eastern border.
The heaviest rainfall in 24 hours recorded at any station in the district was 251.5 mm. (9.90") at Pandharpur on September 7, 1895.
Temperature: There are two meteorological observatories in the district, one at Sholapur and the other at Jeur. The data of Sholapur are available for a longer period. The records of these two observatories may be taken as fairly representative of the meteorological conditions in the district in general.
The cold season starts by about the end of November when temperatures, especially night temperatures, begin to fall rapidly. December is the coldest month with the mean daily maximum at 29.39'C (84.70°F) and the mean daily minimum at 14.8°C (58.6°F). The minimum temperature may occasionally drop down to 4°C or 5°C (39.2°F or 41.0°F). The period from about the middle of February to the end of May is one of continuous increase of temperature. May is the hottest month with the mean daily maximum temperature at 39.9°C (103.8°F) and the mean daily minimum at 25.1 °C (77.2°F). The heat during the summer season is intense and the maximum temperature may sometimes go up to about 44°C or 45°C (111.2°F or 113.0°F). Afternoon thunder-showers bring welcome relief from the heat. The onset of the south-west monsoon by about the first week of June brings down the temperatures appreciably. After the withdrawal of the south-west monsoon early in October day temperatures increase slightly but the night temperatures steadily decrease. After mid-November both day and night temperatures begin to drop rapidly. Except during the south-west monsoon season the daily range of temperature is large and is of the order of 12°C to 16°Cat Sholapur.
The highest maximum temperature recorded at Sholapur was 45.6°C (114.1°F) on May 12, 1939 and the lowest minimum was 4.4°C (39.9°F) on January 7, 1945.
Humidity: The air is highly humid during the south-west monsoon months, and mostly dry during the rest of the year. The driest part of the year is the summer season when the humidity is between about 20 and 25 per cent on the average in the afternoons.
Cloudiness: During the south-west monsoon season the skies are heavily clouded or overcast. Skies are generally clear or lightly clouded during the period November to March. Cloudiness increases progressively from May and the afternoons are comparatively more clouded than the mornings.
Winds: Winds are light to moderate in force with some strengthening during the period May to August. In the south-west monsoon season winds are mainly from directions between south-west and north-west. In the period October to December winds blow from directions between north-west and south-east in the mornings and between north and east in the afternoons. In the next four months winds are variable in direction. In May winds are mostly from directions between west and north.
Special weather phenomena: Thunder-storms occur during the period March to October, the highest incidence being in June and September. Dust-storms occur occasionally during the hot season.
Table Nos. 4, 5 and 6 give the temperature and relative humidity, mean wind speed and special weather phenomena for Sholapur, and table Nos. 7, 8 and 9 give similar data for Jeur.