Asia has a wide variety of climate because of its gigantic size. These climatic regions include Verkhoyansk in Siberia which is the coldest place in the world and Jacobabad in the Sind Province of Pakistan, the hottest place in the world. Cherrapunji in India is the wettest place in the world and the driest deserts - Gobi (Tibet, Arabia and Mongolia) - get approximately 25 cms of annual rainfall.
Summer and Winter conditions of Asia
Winter: Winter season for most of Asia starts in October and lasts till March. The Himalayas form a climatic barrier against the bitterly cold northerly winds thus protecting Southern Asia from freezing temperatures. There is hardly any rainfall in Asia during winter as most of the winds are offshore. Summer: Summer in Asia begins in April and lasts till June. The heat creates an area of low pressure in the Central Asia attracting moisture laden winds from surrounding areas and oceans.
Distribution of annual rainfall of Asia
As it is evident from the map, Asia has distinct heavy, moderate and low rainfall regions. Areas of low rainfall: South-west Asia, Central Asia, Siberia, plateaus of the Central Highlands have low rainfall which is less than 50 cm per year. Areas of moderate rainfall: South-east Asia, Central and Southern China, the Philippines, Japan, northern parts of India fall in this category. These regions get 100 cm to 200 cm of rainfall every year. Areas of heavy rainfall: The Equatorial region, the southern face of the Himalayas and parts of South-east Asia get the direct onslaught of rain bearing winds. It is more than 200 cm per year.
Equatorial Climate of Asia
The countries located closer to the Equator have equatorial type of climate. They are Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Southern Philippines. The temperature varies between 250 C to 300 C. As the range of temperature is low, no specific season occurs in this region. However, two maximas of rainfall coincide with the equinoxes. This region has the high humidity, so the heat becomes quite oppressive. The rainfall is convectional and it is accompanied by thunder and lightning.
Tropical Monsoon Climate
This type of climate is found all over India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, Southern China, parts of southern Japan and Pakistan. These areas generally remain hot with alternate wet and dry seasons. During monsoon season, some of the regions receive heavy precipitation. Winters across these regions remain dry except in a few areas. The rainy season is quite distinct. The changing patterns of the monsoonal winds make quite an interesting study for the meteorological department.
Tropical desert climate of Asia
This type of climate is experienced in the Thar Desert of India and Pakistan, and in parts of Iran and Arabia. It has extremes of hot and cold climate with a large diurnal and annual range of temperature. The summers are quite hot and winters are cool. The hot deserts are in the South-east Asia and the cold deserts are in the central parts of Asia. Very little precipitation occurs in these deserts.
China type of Climate of Asia
Northern and Central China, Japan and Korea experience this climate. This climate is quite like that of tropical monsoon except that it is colder during the winter with sporadic snowfall. The summers are warm and the winters are very cold. During the peak winter months, temperatures fall below freezing point. Most of the rainfall occurs during summer, but the winters sometimes have stormy squalls.
Mid-Latitude Temperate Desert Climate of Asia
It is found in the regions of the Gobi desert and the Tibetan Plateau. It has hot and dry summers and freezing cold winters. Moderate precipitation occurs in winter.
Mediterranean climate of Asia
Western parts of Asia, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Israel have this type of climate. It is characterized by warm dry summers and cool wet winters. The name 'Mediterranean' has come from the fact that this is a typical climate found around the Mediterranean Sea and occurs due to 'shifting of pressure belts'. There is moderate rainfall during the winter months, which comes in short but heavy spells.
Stepps or temperate grassland climate of Asia
This type of climate is found around the Caspian Sea in Western Asia. Russia and Ukraine are the main countries located here. It starts from the south of the taiga belt. Summers are warm and winters are cold. Annual rainfall is low, (varying from 25 to 75 cm) and occurs in summers. Winters are cold and dry. Summer temperature goes up to 200 C.
Taiga or cold temperate climate of Asia
Central Siberian region experiences this kind of climate. It is located in the south of extremely cold tundra belt. It has short, cool summers and long cold winters. Precipitation, which occurs during summer, is moderate but it helps in the growth of trees as there is not much evaporation.
Tundra type of Climate of Asia
This type of climate prevails in Northern Siberi along the northern coast of Asia. It has long and very cold winters with temperatures reaching below freezing point. A short and cool summer occurs during the months of May and June. This area remains under snow almost all through the year.