The climate around the world is affected by many different factors that lead to different parts of the Earth experiencing differing climates. The following factors influence the India’s climate:
The Tropic of Cancer passes through the middle of the country from the Rann of Kuchchh in the west to Mizoram in the east. Almost half of the country, lying south of the Tropic of Cancer, belongs to the tropical area. All the remaining area, north of the Tropic, lies in the sub-tropics. Therefore, India’s climate has characteristics of tropical as well as subtropical climates.
India has mountains to the north, which have an average height of about 6,000 metres. India also has a vast coastal area where the maximum elevation is about 30 metres. The Himalayas prevent the cold winds from Central Asia from entering the subcontinent. It is because of these mountains that this subcontinent experiences comparatively milder winters as compared to central Asia.
Pressure and Winds
The climate and associated weather conditions in India are governed by the following atmospheric conditions:
• Pressure and surface winds;
• Upper air circulation; and
• Western cyclonic disturbances and tropical cyclones.
India lies in the region of north easterly winds. These winds originate from the subtropical high-pressure belt of the northern hemisphere. They blow south, get deflected to the right due to the Coriolis force, and move on towards the equatorial low-pressure area. Generally, these winds carry very little moisture as they originate and blow over land. Therefore, they bring little or no rain. Hence, India should have been an arid land, but, it is not so.
The pressure and wind conditions over India are unique. During winter, there is a high-pressure area north of the Himalayas. Cold dry winds blow from this region to the low-pressure areas over the oceans to the south. In summer, a low-pressure area develops over interior Asia as well as over north-western India. This causes a complete reversal of the direction of winds during summer. Air moves from the high-pressure area over the southern Indian Ocean, in a south-easterly direction, crosses the equator, and turns right towards the low-pressure areas over the Indian subcontinent. These are known as the Southwest Monsoon winds. These winds blow over the warm oceans, gather moisture and bring widespread rainfall over the mainland of India.