Madhya Pradesh (MP), which literally means the central land, acquired its name primarily because of its location – it is situated in the heart of India. It is also the largest state in India in terms of area, sprawling across a massive 443,450sq km, which makes it twice as big as the United Kingdom. and that, mind you, is just a single state in India. Hills, plateaus, plains, rivers, forest – you name it and this state has it.
The temperature starts rising in Madhya Pradesh from March onwards, varying from region to region. In summer, the mean maximum temperature goes up to around 42.5 ºC in northern MP at places like Gwalior. It is 40 ºC - 42.5 ºC in places like Bhopal, Sagar, Rewa, Bilaspur and Raigarh, to name a few. In other places, it ranges from 35 ºC-40 ºC. May is hotter than June when moisture-laden clouds arrive and bring down the temperature considerably. The monsoon begins in end-June/July and last till end-August. The temperature remains more or less the same till September-October, after which, it starts falling, announcing the arrival of winter. Winter reaches its peak in the month of December in some places, and in January, in others. The average temperature in winter is as low as -10 ºC in the northern half of MP, while in the southern half the average temperature varies from 10 ºC-15 ºC.
Due to their distance from the sea, the Northern Plains have an extreme climate. If they are extremely hot in summer, they are equally cold in winter.
The Hilly Region of the Vindhyas is better. It does not become unbearably hot in summer or excessively cold in winter like the Northern Plains do.
Health resorts like Amarkantak and Panchmarhi are situated in this area.
The Narmada Valley is very hot in summer, and cool in winter. In the Malwa Plateau it is neither very hot in summer nor very cold in winter.
The plains of Chhattisgarh have a hot and moderate climate. They are noticeably hot in summer though not so cold in winter. and in the mountainous region of Bastar, the climate is cold and humid because of the rains.
Madhya Pradesh gets maximum rainfall from June to September, and in some places, it rains in December and January due to a low-pressure build up. Both, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, feed the clouds reaching this state.
The western parts of the state get their monsoon from the Arabian Sea and the eastern parts get theirs from the Bay of Bengal. However, by the time these clouds reach Madhya Pradesh, a major part of their moisture is spent as they travel over many places before reaching this state.
Eastern Madhya Pradesh gets an average rainfall of over 112cm, whereas the northern and western areas get much less, ranging from 50-62.5cm. In the eastern parts of Madhya Pradesh, the monsoon is comparatively more predictable than in the western parts, making cultivation in dry periods almost impossible in the western areas.