Climate Change

East and Northeast India recorded second-warmest July in over a century: IMD

Rainfall over East & Northeast India was the 4th lowest since 1901, stated IMD

By Kiran Pandey
Published: Friday 11 August 2023
Representative photo:

As July breaches global climate records of thousands of years, records were also broken in East and Northeast India. On the heels of receiving record-low monsoonal rainfall, these regions now recorded their second warmest July in 122 years, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The two regions have seen unprecedented mean, minimum and maximum temperatures in July since 1901. The average temperature of 29.38ºC remained 1.45ºC above normal. 

Also read: July 2023 likely to be warmest month on record

The regions comprising 11 states — Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and West Bengal — clocked the second-highest average maximum temperature, with mercury levels soaring to 33.23 ºC — 1.78ºC above normal, said the weather agency.

The average minimum temperature of 25.53ºC, too, was above normal for July and broke the previous record of 25.31ºC recorded in 2022. 

Though the regions have crossed records previously in February and June this year, the surge was more prominent in JulyThe temperature anomaly in the regions — the average mean and the average maximum recorded — was the highest in July 2023. For example, the average mean temperature in July was 1.45ºC above normal, compared to 1.37ºC above normal in June, according to the IMD monthly climate reviews.


Average mean temperature

Average maximum temperature

Average minimum temperature


3rd highest

3rd highest



3rd highest

3rd highest

2nd highest


2nd highest

2nd highest

1st highest

 A table showing temperature records in East and Northeast India since 1901.

Overall, India recorded its seventh warmest July in 2023 since 1901, when the average temperature of 28.40 ºC remained 0.43 ºC above normal (1981-2010 average), said the weather agency.

During the month, the average maximum and minimum temperatures in the country were also above normal by 0.29 ºC and 0.57 ºC, respectively. The average minimum temperature of 24.9ºC in July 2023 was record-breaking and the second-highest since 1901.

Read more: Heatwaves, droughts, extreme rain may be near permanent in 20 countries at 1.5°C warming

July 2023 was the hottest month on record, fuelled by global warming and an El Nino event in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. 

The average rainfall the country received was 13 per cent more than the normal rains of 280.5 mm based on data from 1971-2020. The rainfall in Northwest, Central and the Peninsular India too exceeded the normal by 22 per cent, 25 per cent and 45 per cent, respectively.

This can be attributed to unprecedented and devastating extremely heavy rains, especially during the first half of July.

However, East and Northeast India was an exception among all the IMD regions and remained rain-deficit during the month. The average rainfall of 286.9 mm received by the region was 32 per cent less than the normal rain (424.1 mm) 


% departure from long-term average rainfall  (1971-2020) in East and Northeast India

Rainfall since 1901

Jan 2023


4th lowest

Feb 2023



March 2023



April 2023


5th lowest

May 2023


3rd lowest

June 2023



July 2023


4th lowest

Between January-July, 2023, the region received deficit rains during six of the seven months: January, February, April, May, June and July. The region had also received the lowest rainfalls in January, April, May and now in July, which broke records since 1901.

The rainfall over East and Northeast India was the fourth lowest in July 2023 since 1901, stated IMD.

According to experts, climate change is behind the increasing variability and unpredictability of rainfall in the region. 

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