Factors affecting India’s climate

Factors like latitude, altitude, and winds affect the climate of a place greatly. Let’s see how India’s climate is dependent on these factors!

Latitude

India’s climate is in close relation to the latitudinal position of the country.

India is almost divided into half by the Tropic of Cancer.

It encompasses the region from the Rann of Kuchchh in the west to Mizoram in the east.

The northern half lies in the subtropical region.

The portion south of the Tropic of Cancer lies in the tropical region, closer to the equator.

This means that India experiences both tropical and subtropical climates.

Altitude

Physical features of India dictate that the altitude also plays a major role in the climate.

In the north of India lie the Himalayas, with an average height of about 6000m.

On the other end of the spectrum, India’s coastal areas have a maximum elevation of only 30m.

These variations in altitude affect the climate of the different regions of India.

It is because of the Himalayas that India experiences milder winters as compared to central Asia.

The Himalayas act as barriers for the cold winds from central Asia to enter the subcontinent.

The places near the coastline, which are much lower in altitude, experience a moderate climate.

Pressure and winds

Atmospheric conditions like pressure and winds also play a major role in dictating India’s climate.

India lies in the region of the north easterly winds.

Originating from the subtropical high pressure belt of the northern hemisphere, these winds move towards the equatorial low pressure area.

They are deflected due right, because of the Coriolis force.

These winds are dry, and hence India should have been a dry, arid region.

However, India’s pressure and wind system is unique. Low pressure areas in summer over Asia and India cause a complete reversal of the wind direction.

Thus, air moves from the southern Indian ocean towards the Indian subcontinent.

These winds gather moisture due to blowing over the warm oceans.

These are known as the southwest monsoon winds, and bring widespread rainfall every year to India.

All through the year except summer, jet streams blow just south of the Himalayas.

The western cyclonic disturbances experienced by the north and northwest of the country are because of these jet streams.

Thus, India’s pressure and wind conditions prevent it from being an arid region all year and bring in much needed rain.

RECAP

India’s climate is controlled by factors that include latitude, altitude, and pressure and winds.

India’s latitudinal position dictates that the country experiences both tropical and subtropical climates.

The mountains in the north of India ensure that winters are milder as compared to central Asia.

Pressure and wind systems of India are very unique.

The northeasterly winds should dictate that India be an arid region, but low-pressure areas cause reversal in the wind direction.

This brings in winds from over the warm oceans, carrying rainfall. These are called the southwest monsoon winds.

THE END