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Indian climate

Based on the Köppen system, Indian climate is divided in six major subtypes ranging from arid desert in the west, alpine tundra and glaciers in the north. The humid tropical regions support the rain-forests in the southwest and the island territories. Many regions have starkly different microclimates. The nation has four seasons: winter (January–February), summer (March–May), a monsoon (rainy) season (June–September) and a post-monsoon period (October–December).

The Himalayas act as a barrier to the frigid katabatic winds flowing down from Central Asia. Thus, North India is kept cooled during winter; in summer, the same phenomenon makes India relatively hot. Although the Tropic of Cancer—the boundary between the tropics and subtropics—passes through the middle of India, the whole country is considered to be tropical.

Summer lasts between April and June in most parts of India. Temperatures exceed 40 °C (104 °F) during the day at some places. The coastal regions exceed 30 °C (86 °F) coupled with high levels of humidity. In the Thar Desert area temperatures can exceed 45 °C (113 °F). The rain-bearing monsoon clouds are attracted to the low-pressure system created by the Thar Desert. The southwest monsoon splits into two arms, the Bay of Bengal arm and the Arabian Sea arm. The clouds from Bay of Bengal move northwards crossing Orissa, West Bengal and Northeastern States of India in mid-June and that of the Arabian Sea move northwards causing precipitations on the windward side of Western Ghats. Winters in peninsula India see mild to warm days and cool nights. The temperature is cooler further north. Most of northern India is plagued by fog during this season. The highest temperature recorded in India was 50.6 °C (123.1 °F) in Alwar in 1955. The lowest was −45 °C (−49.0 °F) in Kashmir.


Last Updated on Sunday, 09 May 2010 19:06