Cuttack is located at 20°30'N 85°50'E / 20.5°N 85.83°E. and has an average elevation of 36 metres (118 ft). Located at the apex of the Mahanadi delta, the city is surrounded by the river and its tributaries on almost all sides. These include the Kathjori, the Kuakhai and the Birupa. The summer season is from March to June when the climate is hot and humid. Thunderstorms are common at the height of the summer. The monsoon months are from July to October when the city receives most of its rainfall from the South West Monsoon. The annual rainfall is around 144 cm. The winter season from November to February is characterised by mild temperatures and occasional showers. Temperatures may exceed 40°C at the height of summer and may fall to below 10°C in winter.
The city is prone to cyclones from the Bay of Bengal. Summer thunderstorms also cause a lot of damage. Cuttack is however safe from earthquakes, being situated in the relatively safe seismic zone II.
The Mahanadi provides much of the drinking water to the city. There are also numerous ponds (pokharis) in the city that store rain water. The river is also used as a dumping ground for sewage produced in the city.