CLIMATE OF INDIA – NOTES AND ESSAY
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DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WEATHER AND CLIMATE
The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere “behaves” over relatively long periods of time.
The climate of India may be broadly described as tropical monsoon type.
FACTORS AFFECTING CLIMATE IN INDIA
The Tropic of Cancer passes through the middle of the country from the Rann of Kuchchh in the west to Mizoram in the east. Almost half of the country, lying south of the Tropic of Cancer, belongs to the tropical area. All the remaining.The Tropic of Cancer passes through the middle of the country from the Rann of Kuchchh in the west to Mizoram in the east. Almost half of the country, lying south of the Tropic of Cancer, belongs to the tropical area. All the remaining area, north of the Tropic, lies in the sub-tropics. Therefore, India’s climate has characteristics of tropical as well as subtropical climates.The area, north of the Tropic, lies in the sub-tropics. Therefore, India’s climate has characteristics of tropical as well as subtropical climates.
India has mountains to the north, which have an average height of about 6,000 metres. India lso has a vast coastal area where the maximum elevation is about 30 metres. The
Himalayas prevent the cold winds from Central Asia from entering the subcontinent. It is
because of these mountains that this subcontinent experiences comparatively milder winters as compared to central Asia.
PRESSURE AND WIND SYSTEMS
The pressure and wind system of any area depend on the latitude and altitude of the place. Thus it influences the temperature and rainfall pattern.
DISTANCE FROM THE SEA
As the distance from the sea increases, its moderating influence decreases and the people experience extreme weather conditions. This condition is known as continentality (i.e. very hot during summers and very cold during winters).
Ocean currents along with onshore winds affect the climate of the coastal areas, For example, any coastal area with warm or cold currents flowing past it, will be warmed or cooled if the winds are onshore.
IMPORTANT GLOSSARY ON CLIMATE – INDIA
The Coriolis effect caused by the rotation of the Earth is responsible for the precession of a Foucault pendulum and for the direction of rotation of cyclones.
In general, the effect deflects objects moving along the surface of the Earth to the right in the Northern hemisphere and to the left in the Southern hemisphere.
As a consequence, winds around the center of a cyclone rotate counterclockwise on the northern hemisphere and clockwise on the southern hemisphere.
Jet Streams significantly influence the South West Monsoons (SWMs) in the Indian subcontinent.
Sub-tropical Westerly Jet Stream
Tropical Easterly Jet Stream
Somalia Low-level Jet Stream
FOUR IMPORTANT SEASONS OF INDIA
There are four seasons:
1 Winter (January-February)
2 Hot weather summer (March-May)
3 Rainy southwestern monsoon (June-September) and
4 Post-monsoon, also known as northeast monsoon in the southern Peninsula (October – December)
India’s climate is affected by two seasonal winds – the northeast monsoon and the southwest monsoon. The north-east monsoon, commonly known as winter monsoon blows from land to sea, whereas south-west monsoon, known as summer monsoon blows from sea to land after crossing the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, and the Bay of Bengal. The south-west monsoon brings most of the rainfall during a year in the country.