Seasons and Climate

Climate is the atmospheric condition over a large area for a long period of time. India is a land of great climatic variations. India’s climate is controlled by factors related to location, relief, air pressure and wind. Despite the climatic contrasts, the whole of India is unified by the monsoons. The whole of India has monsoon type of climate but the combination of several other weather elements lead to regional variations. The main factors affecting Indian climate are:

    Relief

    Altitude

    Latitude

    Jet Stream

    Western Disturbance, and

    Distance from the sea

Seasons occur due to atmospheric changes in a small area over the small period of time. According to the Indian tradition, a year is divided into six two monthly seasons. These are Vasanta, Grishma, Varsha, Sharada, Hemanta and Shishira. According to the meteorologists, climatic conditions of India can be best described in the terms of an annual cycle of four seasons namely:

    The summer season or hot weather season

    The rainy season or south-western monsoon season

    The retreating monsoon season, and

    The winter season or cold weather season

Summer season begins in March and ends in May. There are high temperatures over most of India and it is mostly dry.

Rainy season begins in June and lasts until September. The arrival of monsoon is very sudden with thunder, lightning and torrential rain. Rainfall is received all over India except Tamil Nadu.

The retreating monsoon season lasts from October to November. Temperature in the northern plains begins to fall and low pressure over this plain becomes weak. The retreating winds also give some rain to Chennai coast, eastern parts of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu coast.

Cold season starts in December and lasts until February. Sun shifts and moves towards the Tropic of Capricorn. During this season North India is characterised by low temperature and dryness due to its distance from the sea.

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