The hot, dry season sets in March and lasts till around late-June, when the area receives first showers of monsoon. The last fortnight of May is the hottest spell, and the mercury may shoot up to around 46oC. The summer is usually dry, but instances of rains, hailstorm and thunder do occur in March and April.
The miscellaneous forests, which have been shedding leaves, now wear a bleak look, and the once lush green meadows now turn yellowish-brown. Except a few perennial watercourses, streams and waterholes, specially in the lower valleys, there is a general drop in the water level throughout the tiger reserve. Ground fires originating from the periphery are common, and high temperature poses many problems in fire-fighting operations.
Such fires are lit to clear the ground and collect mahua fruits, or to induce new flush of tendu leaves from root suckers. At time, wanton fires occur to divert the attention of staff, when the miscreants sneak in to collect fallen antlers or honey.
Winter is the best time to visit Kanha. The days are pleasant and the nights are crisp. The forest is lush green, the grasses have flowered, seeded and turned golden yellow. With the onset of spring the trees are flushed with new leaves and flowers. The forest is splattered with colours as semal trees open their large scarlet flowers. This abundance of flowers and fruits sets off the breeding season of many birds and animals.
The forest gets a new lease of life in the monsoon. In just a couple of weeks, the grey and yellow meadows and forests change dramatically to a rich green. The forests are heavy with foliage and the grass carpet thick. Large herds of wild ungulates gather to graze in the meadows. Orchids, monocots and creepers of all kinds appear. The streams are gushing, and crystal-clear water cascades downhill, the grasses flower even as new ones continue to break ground. Monsoon is also the time for the young ones to arrive: the mothers are well-fed, and food is aplenty. Butterflies and other insects, and frog begin to swarm all over.