Climate in India
The climate of a country depends upon several factors such as location, size, altitude, wind, distance from the sea, the alignment of hills and mountains etc. The influence of these factors on the climate of India is briefly described below:
1. Location: The Tropic of Cancer passed through the middle of India and the country north of the line lies in the temperate belt and south of it in the tropical belt. However, the northern wall of the Himalayas prevents the influx of cold north wind. As a result, temperature does not fall appreciably over North Indian Plains even in winter. India is generally treated as a hot country.
2. Size: India is a vast country and it is natural that South India lying closer to the equator is warmer than the northern counterpart especially in winter.
3. Altitude: Although average temperature remains generally high throughout India, owing to altitudinal effect the Himalayas and other high mountains have lower temperatures even in summer.
4. Distance from the sea: The oceanic winds have a moderating effect on temperature and the coastal places experience lower range of temperature, both diurnal and seasonal in comparison to places of interior or continental location away from the oceanic influence.
5. Winds: The influence of the monsoon winds in India is overwhelming. In Arabic language the word `Mausim’ means season and if wind changes its direction seasonally, then it is called a monsoon wind. India remains under the domain of a humid oceanic South-west monsoon in summer and a dry North-east Monsoon of land origin in winter. Besides, in winter some cyclones of the Mediterranean, called Western Disturbances, enter India from the north-west via Iran and Afghanistan and travel eastward causing a small amount of rainfall in North India.
6. Alignments of hills and mountains: The moisture laden South-west Monsoon wherever faces a mountain is forced to rise and brings about heavy relief rain on the windward slope of the mountains. As for example, the South-west Monsoon is forced to ascend the south facing steep slope of the Meghalaya plateau. This factor combined with the funneling action of the wind caught between the Meghalaya Plateau and the Indo-Burmese Bordering Hills make theCherrapunji-Mawsynram area the, rainiest corner of the world with an average annual rainfall of about 1100 cm. But Shillong, being situated in the rain shadow area of the southern face of the Meghalaya Plateau, experiences a much lower rainfall of 225 cm.