Climate of India
India has a “monsoon” climate, which is primarily found in South and Southeast Asia. The Arabic term “mausim,” which means seasons, is where the word “monsoon” originates. Several centuries ago, Arab navigators first used the term “monsoon” to refer to a system of seasonal wind reversals along the Indian Ocean coastlines, particularly over the Arabian Sea, in which the winds blow from south-west to north-east in the summer and from north-east to south-west in the winter. In other terms, monsoons are seasonal winds that occur periodically and completely reverse direction every six months.
Even though India has a monsoon-style climate, there are geographical differences in the country’s weather. These regional variations could be categorized as monsoon climate subtypes.
Regional variations in Temperature: On a June day, Churu (Rajasthan) may see temperatures of 50°C or more, whereas Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh) experiences temperatures that barely reach 19°C. Drass (Ladakh) may see temperatures as low as -45°C while Thiruvananthapuram or Chennai may experience 20°C or 22°C on the same day.
Regional variations in Precipitation and its Amount: While it rains in the rest of the country, it snows in the Himalayan regions. In contrast to Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, which seldom receives more than 9 cm of precipitation during the same period, Cherrapunji and Mawsynram in the Khasi Hills receive over 1080 cm in a year.
Factors Affecting Climate of India
Here’s the List of Factors Affecting Climate of India:
India’s centre region is east-west oriented along the Tropic of Cancer. Thus, the northern portion of India is in the subtropical and temperate zone, whilst the southern portion is in the tropical zone. The tropical zone has high temperatures all year round with a limited daily and annual variation due to its proximity to the equator. The region north of the Tropic of Cancer has a severe climate with a broad range of daily and annual temperatures due to its distance from the equator.
The Himalayan Mountains
The Himalayas and their northern extensions serve as a functional climate barrier. The imposing mountain range functions as an unbreakable barrier, shielding the subcontinent from the icy northern winds. These frigid winds, which originate close to the Arctic Circle, spread across central and eastern Asia. The monsoon winds are also trapped by the Himalayas, which forces them to spread their moisture throughout the Indian subcontinent.
Distribution of Land and Water
India is encircled by the Indian Ocean on three sides, a tall, continuous mountain wall in the north, and the Indian Ocean on one side. Compared to the landmass, the ocean warms and cools more gradually. This seasonal variation in air pressure is caused by the differential heating of the land and the water in and around the Indian subcontinent. Because of the difference in air pressure, the monsoon winds’ direction is reversed.
Distance from the Sea
Because of their extensive coastlines, large coastal areas enjoy a temperate climate. Interior regions of India are far from the sea’s balancing power. Climate extremes therefore exist in certain regions. As a result, people in Mumbai and around the Konkan coast don’t have a strong sense of seasonal weather patterns or extremes in temperature. Seasonal variations in the country’s heartland, including Delhi, Kanpur, and Amritsar, have an effect on many facets of life.
As you ascend, the temperature decreases. Due to the thin air, areas in the highlands are generally cooler than areas in the plains. For instance, although Agra and Darjeeling share the same latitude, Agra’s January temperature is 16°C and Darjeeling’s is only 4°C.
The physiographic or relief features of India have an impact on temperature, air pressure, wind speed and direction, as well as the amount and distribution of rainfall. The southern plateau stays dry because of its leeward location along the Western Ghats during the months of June through September, in contrast to the windward portions of the Western Ghats and Assam.
Climate of India Types
- The cold weather season, Winter season
- The hot weather season, Summer season
- The south-west monsoon season/Rainy season
- The retreating monsoon season
The Cold Weather Season (winter)
Northern India has frigid temperatures from mid-November to February. The coldest months in the northern section of India are December and January. The temperature generally drops from south to north throughout the winter months. There are pleasant days and chilly nights. In the north, frost is typical, and snowfall occurs on the Himalayas’ higher slopes.
The peninsular region of India lacks a clearly defined cold weather season due to the moderating effects of the sea and closeness to the equator. In coastal areas, there is practically any seasonal variation in the distribution of temperature.
The Hot Weather Season
In March, the sun appears to be moving northward toward the Tropic of Cancer, which causes the temperature in north India to climb. In north India, the summer months are April, May, and June. The Deccan plateau had a maximum temperature of roughly 38°C in March. Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh see April temperatures of about 42°C. In the northwest of the country, May temperatures frequently reach 45°C.
Peninsular India has temperatures that are between 20°C to 32°C thanks to the oceans’ moderating effect, which keeps them lower than in north India. The Western Ghats hills’ temperature is below 25°C due to height.
South-West Monsoon Season/Rainy Season
As the temperature rises, the low-pressure conditions over the northwest plains become more intense. Early in June, the low pressure draws the Southern Hemisphere’s trade winds from the Indian Ocean. The south-east trade winds travel in a south-westerly direction as they reach the equator (that is why they are known as south-west monsoons). These winds move towards the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, where they travel over the warm equatorial currents and pick up a tonne of precipitation.
Retreating Monsoon Season
The monsoon trough or low-pressure trough over the northern plains weakens over the months of October and November as a result of the sun’s apparent shift towards the south. The high-pressure system gradually replaces this. The south-west monsoon winds begin to wane and progressively wither away. By the first of October, the monsoon had left the northern plains. The months of October and November serve as a transition from the hot, wet season to the dry winter season.
Climate Zones in India
From tropical in the south to temperate and alpine in the Himalayan north, India has a variety of climates. Elevated locations receive snowfall during the winter. India experiences tropical monsoon weather. Due to large geographic areas and latitudinal variations, these various climates exist. India’s climate can be classified into five distinct regions, or “climate zones.” The names of India’s climatic zones are listed below:
- Tropical rainy climatic zone
- Humid subtropical climatic zone
- Tropical Savanna climatic zone
- Mountain climatic zone
- Desert climatic zone
Factors Related to Air Pressure and Wind
Numerous interrelated factors have an impact on a location’s climate. Understanding the mechanisms of the following components is necessary to comprehend the variations in local climates in India:
- The distribution of winds and air pressure over the earth’s surface.
- Upper air circulation brought on by elements affecting the global climate as well as the entry of various air masses and jet streams.
- An influx of tropical depressions and western cyclones, sometimes known as disturbances, into India during the south-west monsoon season, which favorably influences rainfall.
With reference to the winter and summer seasons of the year individually, it is possible to comprehend the mechanism of these three components.
Air pressure is defined as the mass of air. Since air is made up of many gases, it has a certain weight. Air pressure, which is measured in millibars, is the amount of air in a given region on Earth. The movement of air over the surface of the earth is called wind. Wind is brought on by variations in air density, which also creates horizontal variations in air pressure. Atmospheric circulation is both the cause and the effect of these pressure systems..
Impact of Global Warming on Indian Climate
Temperature increase in the atmosphere
- As a result of human activity, greenhouse gases are being released into the atmosphere, raising Earth’s temperature.
- The last six years have been the hottest on record.
- The current rise in heat-related illnesses and mortality, the rise in sea levels, and the intensity of natural disasters are all mostly due to climate change.
- The average temperature of the Earth rose by 1°F throughout the 20th century. This is thought to be the fastest increase in a millennium.
- According to research projections, the average surface temperature could rise by 3-5°F by the end of this century if GHGs are not lowered.
Change in landscapes:
- As temperatures rose and weather patterns changed around the world, trees and plants migrated to the highlands and Polar Regions.
- The animals that depend on the vegetation will be compelled to follow it as it attempts to adapt to climate change by shifting to colder locations in order to survive. While some people succeed, many others fail.
- Because of the melting of the ice, other animals that depend on frigid climates, like polar bears, would lose their habitat, endangering their ability to survive.
- Thus, many species, including the human population, are at serious risk of extinction due to the current fast change in the landscape..
A risk to the ecosystem:
- As temperatures rise around the world, weather and vegetation patterns change, forcing certain species to move to colder regions in order to survive.
- Many species are at risk of extinction as a result of this. If the current trend continues, it is predicted that by 2050 one-fourth of Earth’s species may go extinct..
Rising sea levels:
- Thermal expansion causes the sea level to rise when the Earth’s temperature rises (a condition wherein the warm water takes up more area than cooler water). This issue is exacerbated by glacial melt.
- The population residing in low-lying areas, on islands, and along the coasts is in danger from rising sea levels.
- It destroys habitats like mangroves and wetlands that shield coasts from storms, erodes shorelines, and causes property damage.
- The sea level has risen 4 to 8 inches during the past 100 years, and it will continue to climb between 4 and 36 inches over the following 100 years.
- The ocean is absorbing more CO2 as a result of the atmosphere’s rising CO2 concentration. As a result, the ocean is acidic.
- Plankton, molluscs, and other marine creatures, among others, may suffer harm as a result of the ocean’s increased acidity. Corals are particularly vulnerable to this because they struggle to build and maintain the skeletal structures necessary for their survival..
Increase in the risk of natural and manmade disasters:
- Because of the high ambient temperature, moisture from the land and water is evaporating quickly.
- This results in drought. Drought-affected areas are more vulnerable to the harmful consequences of flooding.
- Due to the existing situation, droughts may occur more frequently and with greater severity. The effects on agriculture, water security, and public health could be disturbing.
- This phenomenon is already affecting nations in Asia and Africa, where droughts are extending and intensifying.
- The world is experiencing more forest fires and droughts as a result of the rising temperatures.
- Hurricanes and tropical storms are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change, which has a terrible effect on both human societies and the environment.
- As warm seas influence the energies of hurricanes and tropical storms, the increase in ocean temperature is the reason of this.
- Rising sea levels, the disappearance of wetlands, and increased coastal development are other variables that contribute to the intensification of hurricanes and tropical storms.
- Health concerns and fatalities may result from the high temperatures over the world.
- Around the world, many people have died as a result of the rising heat waves brought on by climate change.
- For instance, in 2003, India saw more than 1,500 fatalities as a result of the catastrophic heat waves, which also claimed the lives of more than 20,000 people in Europe.
- As a result of the prolonged warm weather allowing disease-carrying insects, animals, and bacteria to survive longer, climate change enhances the spread of infectious diseases.
- Previously inhospitable cooler locations may now be home to diseases and pests that were once restricted to the tropics.
- As a result of climate change, there are currently more people dying from diseases, natural catastrophes, and high temperatures..
- According to the World Health Organization, between 2030 and 2050, climate change may result in an additional 250,000 fatalities year from starvation, malaria, diarrhoea, and excessive heat.
- It is predicted that the cost of climate change, if action is not taken to reduce carbon emissions, may range from 5 to 20% of the yearly global GDP.
- In contrast, it would only cost 1% of the GDP to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.
- Shoreline habitats may change due to climate change. Ports, near-shore infrastructure, and habitats may need to be relocated as a result, which would cost millions of dollars.
- The increased frequency of hurricanes and other natural disasters can result in significant financial losses due to infrastructure and property damage.
- There is a possibility that thousands of people could go hungry as a result of declining crop yields brought on by protracted droughts and high heat.
- The annual revenue from coral reefs is over $375 billion in products and services. Their very existence is currently in danger.
Agriculture productivity and food security:
- Precipitation, a good temperature, and sun radiation are all necessary for crop cultivation.
- Consequently, climate patterns have always influenced agriculture. The current climate change has impacted agricultural production, food supply, and food security.
- These outcomes have a biophysical, ecological, and financial impact.
- They resulted in:
- A change in the agricultural production pattern is caused by the increased atmospheric temperature. Climate and agricultural zones are moving towards the poles.
- The rise in atmospheric CO2 has led to a boost in agricultural productivity.
- Precipitation patterns that are unpredictable
- The vulnerability of the impoverished and landless has grown.
Climate of India FAQs
Q What type of climate is India in?
India often experiences tropical monsoons. The areas between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn are referred to as tropical.
Q What is the climate of India answer?
Ans. India’s weather is referred to as monsoon-type. Southeast and South Asia have this kind of weather. However, there are variances in the country’s climatic conditions. The least amount of fluctuation between daytime and nighttime temperatures is found in India’s coastal regions.
Q What are 6 climates of India?
Ans. Vasanta (Spring), Grishma(Summer), Varsha (Monsoon), Sharad(Autumn), Hemanta (pre-winter) and Shishira (winter) and this are called Ritu’s.
Q What type of climate India has and why it is so?
Ans. India has a tropical monsoon type of climate. It is because India lies in the tropical belt, and its climate is deeply influenced by the monsoon winds.
Q What are the 4 types of climate in India?
Ans. Thar Desert attracts the southwest summer monsoon winds that are moist and provide the required rainfall in the months from June to October. There are four principal weather and climate of India, winter, summer, monsoon, and post-monsoon.
Other Indian Geography Topics
Other Fundamental Geography Topics