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Meaning of Climate

IVSAT 2024

To simply put climate definition is the normal weather in a particular region over a couple of years. Whereas if we define weather, it would be modifications or alterations within a matter of mere hours. It takes thousands and thousands of years just to change any environment. Be that as it may, it is dynamic and increasing at a disturbing rate in the course of recent years. Climate refers to the sum total of weather conditions and variations that take place over long periods of time minimally 3 decades.

Weather Definition

Weather refers to the state of the atmosphere over a neighbourhood at any point in time. The elements of weather and climate are equivalent, i.e. temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, humidity and precipitation. On the idea of the monthly atmospheric conditions, the year is split into seasons such as:  

  • Winter

  • Summer

  • Rainy Seasons

Climatic Controls

Below mentioned are the factors on which the climate of any place depends - 

1. Latitude

The amount of solar power received varies consistent with latitude because of the curvature of the shape of the earth. 

2. Altitude

As we slowly go up to a higher altitude, we experience a decrease in temperature and even the atmosphere gets less dense as we go up. This is why hills are cooler during summers.

3. Distance From the Sea

The sea has a moderating control on the climate. As the separation from the sea expands, its directing impact diminishes and others experience extraordinary climate. This condition is known as continentality i.e. very hot during summers and really cold during winters. 

4. Ocean Currents

The ocean currents along with winds near the shore affect the climate of coastal areas. For example, any coastal area with warm or cold currents flowing past it is going to be warm or cool if the winds are onshore.

5. Relief Features

Relief plays a serious role in determining the climate of an area. High mountains work as boundaries for cold or hot breezes. They may also cause precipitation if they're high enough and dwell the trail of rain-bearing winds. Precipitation is any sort of moisture that falls to the world. It incorporates snow, sleet, rain along with hail.

Factors Affecting India’s Climate


The Tropic of Cancer goes through the focal point of the country from Mizoram in the east to Rann of Kachchh in the west. India's climate has qualities of both subtropical and tropical climate


India has mountains to the north and also features a vast coastal area where the utmost elevation is about 30 metres. Due to the mountains shielding, the subcontinent encounters similarly milder winters when contrasted with central Asia.

Pressure and Winds

The environment and climatic conditions in India are administered by the accompanying air conditions:

  • Pressure and surface winds

  • Upper air circulation

  • Western cyclonic disturbances and tropical cyclones

Air travels from the high-pressure territory over the southern Indian Ocean, during a south-easterly course, crosses the equator and turns directly towards the low-pressure territories over the Indian subcontinent. These are referred to as the Southwest Monsoon winds. These winds pass the nice and cosy oceans, gather moisture and convey widespread rainfall over the territories of India

Jet streams are quick streaming, restricted, wandering air ebbs and flows in the air.

The Indian Monsoon

The climate of India strongly depends on the monsoon winds. Monsoon is the seasonal change in the wind system. Monsoon is experienced by people living within the tropical and subtropical area roughly between 20° South and 20° North. Below is a detailed explanation of the mechanism of the monsoon:

The shift of the position of Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) in summer, over the Ganga plain, is additionally referred to as the monsoon-trough during the monsoon season.

The Tibetan plateau gets intensely heated during summer, which ends up in strong vertical air currents and therefore the formation of low over the plateau at about 9 km above water level .

The movement of the westerly airstream to the north of the Himalayas and therefore the presence of the tropical easterly airstream over the Indian peninsula during summer also impacts the Indian Monsoon.

The changes among the pressure conditions over the southern oceans additionally have an effect on the monsoons. 

The Onset of the Monsoon and Withdrawal

Monsoon lasts for about 100-120 days usually from early June to mid-September. Once monsoon arrives rainfall also increases and continues on till the end of the monsoon. This sudden increase in rainfall is noted as a "burst" of monsoon.

How Different Parts of India Experiences the Arrival of Monsoon?

By the first week of June, the Southern tip of the Indian peninsula starts to experience monsoon. Subsequently, it proceeds into two – the Arabian Sea branch and also the  Bay of Bengal branch.

  • Usually, by the 10th of June, the monsoon from the Arabian Sea branch reaches Mumbai.

  • The Bay of Bengal branch arrives in Assam within the 1st week of June.

  • The Arabian Sea branch then reaches Saurashtra-Kachchh by mid-June, which means that it reaches the central part of the country by mid-June.

  • Both the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea branch merge over the northwestern part of the Ganga plains.

  • The Bay of Bengal branch reaches Delhi by the peak of June.

  • Punjab, Haryana, Eastern Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh also experience monsoon by the first few weeks of June.

  • By mid-July, the monsoon reaches Himachal Pradesh and therefore the remainder of the country.

Withdrawal of the Monsoon

The departure of the monsoon begins in the northwestern states of India by early September. By mid-October, it withdraws utterly from the northern 1/2 the peninsula. From north to the south, withdrawal of monsoon takes place from the first week of December to the early week of January. By early December, the monsoon has withdrawn from the remainder of the country.

The Seasons

4 main seasons are often identified in India:

  • The cold weather season (Winter)

  • The hot weather season (Summer)

  • The advancing monsoon (Rainy Season)

  • The departure of monsoon with regional variation known as transition season.

Let’s discuss each of them in detail:

  • The cold weather Season (Winter)

  • In Northern India, Winter begins by mid-November and stays until February. December and January are the coldest months within the northern part of India.

  • The temperature gradually drops as you go from South to North. Days are warm and nights are cold.

  • The weather is pleasant low temperatures and humidity coupled with feeble variable winds and clear skies.

  • The cultivation of "rabi" crops is heavily dependent on this season.

The Hot Weather Season (Summer)

From March to May, the weather season is observed in India. The summer months experience rising temperatures and falling atmospheric pressure within the northern part of the country. A striking feature of the recent weather season is the ‘loo’. Strong, hot, gusty and dry winds which blow during the day over North and Northwestern India are known as Loo.

By the end of Summer, pre-monsoon showers noted as "mango showers" help in early ripening of mangoes.

Advancing Monsoon (The Rainy Season)

South-east trade winds originate over the nice and cozy subtropical areas of the southern oceans. They enter the Indian peninsula after crossing the equator and blow in a southwesterly direction due to the south-west monsoon. The monsoon winds cover the country in a few months. Mawsynram within the southern ranges of the Khasi Hills receives the very best average rainfall within the world.

A phenomenon related to the monsoon is its tendency to possess ‘breaks’ in rainfall. These breaks in monsoon are associated with the movement of the monsoon trough. The trough and its axis make it either move southward or northward and regulate the spatial distribution of rainfall. The frequency and intensity of tropical depressions also determine the quantity and duration of monsoon rains. The monsoon is understood for its uncertainties. The intensity, frequency and duration between dry and wet spells vary.

Retreating/Post Monsoons (The Transition Season)

There is a transition period between hot to dry winter conditions from October to November. Retreating of the monsoon is usually marked by rise in temperature and clear skies. During these changes the nights are cool and pleasant while during the day the temperature is high. Due to the conditions of heat and humidity, the weather becomes rather oppressive during the day. This is often commonly referred to as ‘October heat '. Within the last half of October, the mercury begins to fall rapidly in northern India.

Distribution of Rainfall

  1. Certain parts of Northeast India and western coast receive about 400 cm of rainfall annually.

  2. On the other hand, western Rajasthan, and certain parts of Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana only experience 60 cm of rainfall.

  3. Low rainfall is seen on the East of Sahyadris and the interior of the Deccan Plateau.

  4. Snowfall is restricted to the Himalayan region.

  5. The annual rainfall is very variable from year to year.

Monsoon as a Unifying Bond

It can be clearly seen that the Monsoon influences and unifies the Indian subcontinent. The seasonal change of wind brings about the rhythmic cycle of seasons. The uncertainties of rain and uneven distribution are considerably typical of the monsoons. Through the decades, people from all walks of life, from North to South and from East to west anxiously anticipate the arrival of the monsoon. The entire country is dependent on the monsoon winds as it provides the necessary water needed in the agricultural sector.

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FAQs on Climate

1. What are the Factors on Which the Climate of a Place Depends?

Ans - The factors affecting the climate of a place are - 

Latitude, Altitude, Distance from the sea, Ocean currents and Relief Features.

2. How Do You Get to Know that the Monsoon is to Arrive?

Ans - By the change in the weather and colour of the sky, it can be determined that monsoon may come over.