Factors Affecting Weather and Climate

  • India is a unique country in terms of its diversities. It has variations in vegetation, soil, physical and cultural features. These diversities are directly influenced by its climate. The average weather conditions usually taken over a 30 year time period for a particular region is known as the climate of that region. Factors affecting the climate of a region are temperature, precipitation, pressure, wind direction and velocity, humidity and percentage of cloudiness and sunshine. Climate of India is described as the monsoon type.
  • The main factors determining the climate of India are:
  1. Latitude
  2. Himalayan Mountains
  3. Distance from the Sea
  4. Altitude
  5. Relief Features
  6. Western Disturbance
  7. Tropical Cyclones, etc.
  • India lies between 8°4' N and 37°17' N latitudes. India’s climate has characteristics of tropical as well as subtropical climates.
  • The Himalayas form a climatic divide between India and Central Asia. It majorly influences the monsoons and rainfall pattern in India.
  • Areas located in the coastal regions experience moderate climate, while those which are far away from the sea experience extreme climates.
  • Temperature decreases with the increase in altitude. 1°C is decreased for every 165 m ascent. This is known as ‘normal lapse rate’.
  • Physiography or relief of India plays an important role in determining its climate. It affects the air temperature, air pressure, direction and speed of wind, and the amount of rainfall received in different regions.
  • Western cyclonic disturbance originate over the Mediterranean Sea and are brought into India by the westerly jet stream. These cyclonic disturbances cause snowfall and rainfall in winter months in the northern parts of India.
  • Tropical cyclones originating over the Indian Ocean cause heavy rainfall in India.
  • Weather conditions in India are also influenced by El-Nino which causes widespread floods and droughts in tropical regions of the world.
  • During Southern Oscillation, high pressure area develops near western Pacific Ocean. It weakens the southwest monsoon winds of the Indian Ocean and disrupts the Walker Circulation, with knock-on effects to atmospheric circulation patterns worldwide.

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  • Q1

    How do the physical features influence climate?


    The physical features influence the climate by affecting the following components of the climate:
    i. Air temperature
    ii. Atmospheric pressure
    iii. Direction of winds
    iv. Amount of rain

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  • Q2

    Define El-Nino.


    It is an occasional and warm oceanic current that appears near the Peru coast during the month of December.

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  • Q3

    Define monsoon winds.


    The seasonal winds that change their direction completely in response to the passing seasons are called monsoon winds.

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  • Q4

    What is the latitudinal extent of India?


    India extends between 6 and 37 latitudes.

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  • Q5

    Which type of climate is found in India?


    Monsoon type of climate is found in India.

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