Climate of India – Climatic Conditions and Seasons of India
Are you ready for UPSC Exam? Check your preparation with Free UPSC Mock Test
India features as a land of multiple climatic conditions. The different territories of the country experience varying climates as per their locations, varied topography, and other physiographic factors. In this article, we will firstly learn about Climate of India and then various factors that affect Indian Climatic conditions. So let’s start.
Do you want to crack UPSC in first attempt? Join UPSC Telegram Channel
Climate of India
According to the meteorological department, six decisive factors influence the climate of India. These factors are:
- Himalayan mountains
- Surface distance from the sea
- Land and water distribution
In addition to the above, climatic conditions of India are highly dependent upon the wind flow, rainfall and temperature, eventually influencing seasons and discerning the dynamics of wetness and dryness.
As per the historical geography of India, tectonic vibrations of its territorial plate led to this varying climate in different parts of the country. In fact, there are four major and broad climatic conditions in India:
- Tropical wet
- Tropical dry
- Subtropical humid
1. Tropical wet
- Mainly found in regions with warm or high temperatures.
- The tropical wet monsoon climate in Indian coastal states of Kerala, southern Assam and the Western Ghats,
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep islands.
- The above-listed places experience moderate to high-temperature conditions throughout the year.
- These areas receive an annual rainfall of 2,000 mm ranging within the months of May to November.
- The driest of the months in these regions range from December to March.
2. Tropical dry
- Due to over evaporation and moisture loss, different states of India experience a tropical dry climate.
- Places like Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh (mainly the states lying south of the tropic of Cancer) are tropical dry in nature.
- All the aforementioned states receive an annual rainfall of 400-750 mm.
- From March to May, these areas are massively hot and dry while from October to December, they are comparatively cool with a substantial amount of rainfall.
- Moreover, parts of western Rajasthan also experience a tropical dry and arid climatic condition.
- East of the Great Indian desert that are the states of Punjab and Haryana.
- The aforementioned states experience less extreme temperatures as compared to the desert region.
- The annual rainfall in Punjab and Haryana amounts to around 35-65 cm, comparatively less than the southern parts of India.
3. Subtropical humid
- Most of the parts of north and northeast India experience a subtropical climate.
- These regions experience extreme temperature conditions that are extremely hot in summers and extremely cold in winter.
- The winter season advances some amount of precipitation in these areas.
- Due to their immediate proximity to Himalayan mountains, high wind speeds prevail throughout these regions.
- Winters are mostly dry with occasional rainfall or snowfall or even thunderstorms in some parts.
- Receive an annual rainfall of 1000-2500 mm.
- Average temperatures may range between 24-27 degrees celsius.
- Also known as the alpine climate, this type of climate is usually found in the northernmost tip of India.
- The climatic conditions in this region decrease with elevation (around 5 degrees celsius lowering down of the temperature after every single km).
- Most of these areas are landscaped with thick layers of snow.
- Rainfall under this climatic diversity is variable. It means that no particular record or measurement can be accorded to annual rainfall in this belt.
- Most of the precipitation occurs during the winter and the spring seasons.
- Areas south of the Himalayas experience this type of montane climate.
- The months of December and January receive the maximum snowfall.
- Elevations beyond 5000 m do not receive rainfall and only snowfall occurs beyond these heights.
- El Nino denotes a little child or Christ child in the Spanish language.
- It was first recognized by a fisherman in South America.
- It refers to a climatic condition in the oceanic atmosphere resulting in period warming of the water body.
- El Nino usually occurs around the Pacific equatorial region, especially towards the eastern side.
- Technically, it begins with the shifting of the Pacific Ocean to the South American coast along the equatorial line.
- In other words, the El Nino effect can increase the temperature of a particular sea or ocean.
- It basically occurs in and around the coastal areas or places near the sea-side.
- It bears a significant impact on weather patterns, marine fisheries, and oceanic conditions throughout the world.
- El Nino’s occur around 4-5 times a year. And each of its occurrences is multipally varied.
- It also engenders moderate precipitation in the south tier cities of America.
- The Coriolis force, in this case, is fairly low.
- In the case of El Nono, the temperature in the southern parts of America becomes hot due to the weakening of the central and southern Pacific trade winds.
- As a result of this, the weakened winds gather together over the west Pacific, eventually rising the sea level by 1-2 feet.
- This warming up of the southern Pacific massively impacts the global climate.
- In fact, as per reports, El Nino has caused around 10 million weather-related damages across the world.
- La Nina refers to a little girl in the Spanish language.
- As opposed to El Nino, La Ninia refers to a decrease in the oceanic temperatures across the equatorial Pacific.
- Due to the above decrease in temperature, the water of the Pacific ocean turns colder than usual.
- This also leads to strong and sturdy wind flow due to a fall in the oceanic temperature.
- La Nina creates a low-pressure condition under its presence around the southern Pacific.
- It occurs due to the tremendous flow of trade winds that further leads to the lowering of the oceanic temperature.
- It causes below-average precipitation in the southern Pacific and
- The Coriolis force, in this case, is fairly high.
- La Nina has a massive tendency to trigger tropical cyclones.
- Both El Nino and La fina impact global temperatures periodically.
- Both of these comprise the El Nino- southern oscillation (ENSO) cycle with a neutral phase.
- El Nino’s are more frequent as compared to La Nina’s.
Seasons of India
The Meteorological department classifies the world under four designated seasons. A detailed description of these seasons is mentioned below:
1. Winter Season of India
- Duration: January to March
- Average Temperature: 10-15 degree census in the northwest; 20-25 degree celsius in the southeast; lowest temperature in India goes to 0.6 degrees celsius in Jammu and Kashmir.
- The temperature rises when moving in close proximity towards the equator.
- The cold regions remain under the influence of westerly winds blowing from west to east along with an altitude of 9-3 km.
- The western cyclonic disturbances caused by the westerly winds on the surface of the Mediterranian sea catalyzes the presence of winters in India.
2. Summer Season of India
- Duration: April to July in northwest India, and March to June in other parts of the country
- Average temperature: April features as the hottest in the west while May is the hottest month in the rest of India.
- The maximum temperature goes up to 50 degrees celsius while the coastal areas experience a warm temperature of 36 degrees celsius.
- During summers, the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) experiences a low pressure during this month of July.
- As a result, the wind inflow scatters in different directions leading to warm winds over the Indian subcontinent.
- These hot winds are popularly referred to as loo which blows over the north Indian surface during mid-afternoons.
- During this time, southern states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu experience pre-monsoon or mango showers (helps in the ripening of mangoes in these regions).
3. Monsoon Season of India
- It is a four-month period with massive thunderstorms.
- The thunderstorms are a result of the southeast trade blowing winds.
- It usually occurs primarily in the low-pressure areas of the south.
- The high difference of temperature between central Asia and south India impacts monsoons in India.
- Southwest monsoon arrives in India through the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea around the month of May
- North India receives monsoons by the end of August.
- Monsoon engenders a strong impact on agricultural activities in India.
- This also impacts the Indian economy as around 600 million people in India are engaged in the agricultural sector.
- The monsoon rains replenish the groundwater tables and reduce the average temperature in the country.
- The summer monsoon causes rainfall in the easter and western coastal regions.
- As compared to the summer moon, winter monsoons are dry and cold while prevailing an anticyclonic circulation on lands.
4. Post-Monsoon Season of India
- It occurs during the months of October and November (just before the winter season).
- This season brings dry, dense, and cool air to the central parts of Asia.
- This further results in clear skies.
- The average temperature during this period ranges between 28 degrees Celsius to 34 degrees celsius.
- States such as Tamil Nadu and Kerala experience substantial precipitation during the post-monsoon season.
Climatic Disasters in India
Natural disasters pertaining to harsh and climatic conditions cause a tremendous loss to human life and property. Agricultural activities such as the cultivation of crops, irrigation through hydropower installations, etc. are disrupted due to these inevitable disasters.
Over the years, India has witnessed several disasters on its land and sea surfaces. Some of the major Indian climatic disasters are as follows:
1. Landslides in India
- Landslides are frequent in the lower ranges of the Himalayas.
- Rocks structures and formations present within these ranges drift downwards during the condition of a landslide.
- High population density, deforestation, waterlogging, and tourism are some of the prominent factors in the occurrence of a landslide.
- Parts of Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Western ghats suffer from high intensity and low-intensity landslides respectively.
- This downflow of water during a landslide denudes lower hills and is strong enough to defix a heavy tree.
2. Floods in India
- Floods mainly occur due to the prevalence of southwest rains over river basins such as the Brahmaputra.
- Due to inevitable floods near riverby sides and coastal areas, thousands of lives are destroyed and millions of people displaced.
- Floods are known to swallow widely spread paddy and rice fields in northeast India.
- Floods also occur due to untimely rainfalls or excessively heavy monsoons.
- India has been bracketed under a high flood risk zone.
- Torrential floods and massive precipitation are pretty common in the country
3. Cyclones in India
- Tropical cyclones impact lives and property on the coastal plains.
- Tropical cyclogenesis usually occur in the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal.
- Cyclones are accompanied by heavy rainfall and thunderstorms
- Cyclones generally occur between the months of April and December.
- The speed of a single cyclone is 63 km/hour.
- During the summer months, warm air collects upon the Bay of Bengal eventually leading to a cyclone over and around the river belt.
- Till now, the states of Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal have been worse hit by cyclones.
4. Droughts in India
- Droughts feature as opposed to floods when cultivated lands get deteriorated due to a paucity of rainfall.
- It impacts agricultural activities, irrigation, sowing, and harvesting of crops to a great extent.
- Droughts usually occur in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat.
- Similar to other natural disasters, droughts affect thousands of lives every now and then.
- Droughts occur due to the El Nino Southern Oscillation of the Pacific equatorial.
- A drought may last for a week, month, or even continue for a year.
5. Global Warming in India
- Global warming has severely impacted the global temperatures over the past few decades.
- An increase in temperature, the elevation of the sea-level, rapid cyclonic activities, change in precipitation patterns, are some of the factors of global warming.
- These factors have drastically influenced the climatic conditions in India.
- According to scientists and environmentalists, irresponsible human activities are the principle cause of global warming.
- Burning of fossil fuels, the use of aerosols, using products and services which lead to high chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) emissions are some of the leading influences on global warming.
- Carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, and methane are the fundamental global warming causing gases.
6. Atmospheric Pollution in India
- It refers to smog and thick haze cover in the northwestern parts of India.
- Atmospheric pollution occurs due to the burning of biomass.
- Ganga river basin has been vulnerable to this natural disaster.
- Black carbon released from the biomass remains negatively impact the southern ranges of Himalayas.
- This further leads to the heating up of aerosols while increasing the atmospheric moisture in the mid-troposphere.
Finally, The article discussed the primary climatic conditions in India. Further, it detailed the major designated seasons in the country and how some natural disasters influence its climate over the years.
Altogether, the climate in India is multifarious and vivid. It entirely depends upon the location of a particular region and its placement near the mountains, sea-coasts of the desert.
Different ministries, non-governmental organizations, and internationally acclaimed bodies monitor the country’s climatic status. These bodies try their best to forecast anything tremendous which may impact the climate in the long run.