India has a tropical monsoon type of climate. This is because India lies in the tropical belt and its climate is influenced by the monsoon winds. Hot summers and dry winters are characteristic of the monsoon type of climate. There are many factors affecting the Climate of India.
Factors Affecting the Climate of India
- The Himalayas protect the North Indian Plains from severe cold winds which blow from Central Asia during winter.
- The rain-bearing winds blowing from the Arabian Sea bring in rainfall over the northern plains after striking the Himalayas. Central Asia lies in the rain shadow area of the Himalayas and hence hardly receives any precipitation from these winds.
The Monsoon Winds
- The monsoon winds affect the climate of India. The southwest monsoon winds blowing from the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal bring rainfall over the entire country during June, July and August.
- By the beginning of October, the winds start to retreat from central India. The northeast monsoon winds bring rain to Tamil Nadu in winters.
- The tropic of Cancer divides the country into two parts. The northern part lies in the temperate zone, while the southern part lies in the tropical zone.
- While the northern part of the country lying in the temperate zone experiences hot summer and cool winters, the southern parts of the country located in the tropical zone experience a hot climate.
- Relief features play an important role in shaping the climate of India. The areas located on the windward side of the Western Ghats receive heavy rainfall, while the Deccan region lying on the leeward or rain shadow area of the Western Ghats receives very little rainfall.
- The southwest monsoon winds blow parallel to the Aravalli Range. The latter is not able to stop the moisture-laden winds, making Rajasthan a dry state.
- Areas located in southern Assam receive heavy rainfall compared to the regions located to their north. This is because the hills in Southern Assam block the winds and force them to shed their moisture. By the time these winds arrive in northern Assam, they are comparatively dry.
- Temperature decreases with higher altitude. There is a decrease of 1°C for every 166 m rise in height.
- Thus, the mountains are cooler than the plains. Thus, the temperature at Ooty is lower than that at Kochi as the former is located at a higher altitude.
Influence of the Surrounding Seas
- India—a peninsular country—is surrounded by seas and oceans on three sides.
- These water bodies affect the climate of the regions which lie close to the sea. These regions experience moderate, equable and maritime climate.
- Because of the shifting of pressure belts in central and west Asia, northern India comes under the influence of western disturbances.
- These western disturbances cause rainfall over the northern parts of the country and snowfall over Jammu and Kashmir.
Distance from the Sea
- The regions located far away from the Sea and in the interior of the continent experience a continental type of climate.
- The summers are extremely hot, and the winters are extremely cold.
Also, Read Climate of India