Climate refers to the sum total of weather conditions and variations over a large area for a long period of time. Weather refers to the state of the atmosphere over an area at any point of time. The elements of weather and climate are the same, i.e., temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, humidity and precipitation.
The climate of India is described as the ‘monsoon’ type. There are six major controls of the climate of any place. They are: latitude, altitude, distance from the sea, pressure and wind system, ocean currents and relief features. Due to the curvature of the earth, different latitudes receive different amount of sunlight. As a result, air temperature decreases from the Equator towards the poles.
As we move above the sea level, the atmosphere becomes less dense and the temperature decreases. Therefore, mountains are cooler during summers as compared to other areas.
Pressure and wind system of any area depends on the latitude and altitude of the place. Thus, it influences the temperature and rainfall pattern.
As the distance from the sea increases, its moderating influence decreases and the people experience extreme weather conditions. High mountains act as barriers for cold or hot winds.
Four main seasons can be identified in India – the cold weather season, the hot weather season, the advancing monsoon and the retreating monsoon with some regional variations. ‘Mango showers’ is a Pre-monsoon shower at the end of the summer season, especially in Kerala, and Karnataka. Mawsynram in the southern ranges of the Khasi Hills receives the highest average rainfall in the world. Tropical cyclones are often very destructive in the Krishna-Godavari Delta.
The Indian landscape, its animal and plant life, its entire agricultural calendar and the life of the people, including their festivities, revolve around monsoon. Therefore, monsoon act as unifying bond.