Climate of India




Climate of India:

  • India has a tropical monsoon type of climate.
  • This is because India lies in the tropical belt and its climate is influenced by the monsoon winds which are largely confined to the Tropics, i.e., between 20°N and 20°S.
  • The main characteristics of this type of climate are relatively high temperatures and dry winters. However, the Himalayas in the north and the Indian Ocean in the south provide distinctive climatic conditions to India.
  • The Himalayan ranges protect northern India from the cold winds of Central Asia and Siberia and give it a continental climate, the characteristics of which are the prevalence of land winds, dryness of air and large diurnal range of temperature.
  • The Indian Ocean in the south gives it a hot monsoon climate more typical of the tropical than of the temperate zone. 

Regional Variations:

  • Despite an overall unity in the general pattern, there are noticeable regional variations in climatic conditions within the country. For example, the climatic conditions of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in the north differ from those of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the south, despite the fact that all of these states have a monsoon climate. These variations can be seen in the pattern of winds, temperature and rainfall, the rhythm of seasons, and the degree of wetness or dryness. These regional diversities are known as the sub-types of monsoon climate. 
  • Consider two important factors: temperature and precipitation, and how they differ from place to place and season to season.


In the summer, temperatures in some parts of the Rajasthan desert can reach up to 50°C, whereas it may be around 20°C in Pahalgam, a town in Jammu and Kashmir. On a winter night, the temperature in Drass, Jammu and Kashmir, can drop to minus 45°C. Thiruvananthapuram, on the other hand, may experience temperatures as high as 22°C.


  • Precipitation varies not only in its form and type, but also in its amount and seasonal distribution. While the upper parts of the Himalayas receive mostly snowfall, the rest of the country receives rain.  
  • Annual precipitation ranges from Meghalaya over 400 cm to less than 10 cm in Ladakh and western Rajasthan. Most of the country receives rain from June to September. However, some areas, such as the Tamil Nadu coast, receive a significant amount of rain between October and November.

In general, coastal areas experience less temperature differences. Seasonal variations are more prominent in the country's interior. In the Northern Plains, rainfall is decreasing from east to west. These variations have resulted in variety in lives of people, including the food they eat, the clothes they wear, and the types of houses they live in.



Do you know? 

In certain places there is a wide difference between day and night temperatures. In the Thar Desert the day temperature may rise to 50°C, and drop down to near 15°C the same night. On the other hand, there is hardly any difference in day and night temperatures in the Andaman and Nicobar islands or in Kerala.


Observe the given figure and write the answers. 

  1. Which region gets more than 4000 mm of rainfall ?
  2. Identify the regions with maximum and minimum temperatures?
  3. In which direction is the temperature increasing?
  4. Identify the direction of the winds shown. What are they known as?
  5. Which winds are responsible for the rainfall in India ?
  6. Some part of Rajasthan is under desert? What could be the reason for it?
  7. Draw the main parallel of latitude passing through India which affects its climate.
  8. In which part of Peninsular India are semi- -arid climatic conditions found and why?
  1. Western Ghats, Western Coasts of India and the northeastern region comprising of Mawsynram, Cherrapunji and parts of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh gets more than 4000 mm of rainfall.
  2. Central and North Western parts of Peninsular Plateau and islands have high temperature. Hilly regions of north, northeast and south India have low temperature.
  3. The temperature is increasing towards the south.
  4. The winds shown are blowing from the south west to north east direction. These winds are called Southwest Monsoon Winds.
  5. South-West Monsoon Winds are responsible for rainfall in India.
  6. The South West Monsoon Winds blow parallel to the Aravallis. As these moisture laden winds are not obstructed by the Aravallis it rains less here. Hence, Rajasthan is under desert.

  7. (i) The part of peninsular India which has semi-arid climatic conditions are central part of Peninsula Plateau comprising parts of Central Maharashtra, Western Andhra Pradesh, Eastern Karnataka and Western Tamil Nadu. These regions lie on the leeward side of the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats. It rains less here and a rain shadow region is formed. (ii) Some parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan are also semi-arid as the Aravallis lie parallel and do not obstruct the South-west Monsoon winds.


Study the graphs given in figure and answer the following questions:

  1. What difference do you find in the rainy seasons of Chennai and other cities of India? Why?
  2. What similarity do you see in the temperature curves of Delhi and Kolkata?
  3. Calculate the average range of minimum and maximum temperatures of all the four cities.
  4. In which city is the range minimum? What can you infer from this?
  5. In which city is the range maximum? What can you infer from this about its climate?
  6. Based on the temperature and rainfall of Mumbai, comment upon its climate.
  7. In which month does India experience the highest rainfall?
  8. Classify the cities as cities with equable and extreme climates.

(i) Chennai ranks second in terms of the amount of rainfall. It receives winter rainfall which is not seen in other cities.

(ii) From the temperature curves, Delhi and Kolkata seem to have extreme temperatures.

(iii) Delhi min: 31.3 Max: 16.08

Kolkata min: 32.1 Max: 21.08

Mumbai min: 31.83 Max: 22.16

Chennai min: 33.1 Max: 24.41

(iv) The range is minimum in Delhi. The climate of Delhi is an overlap between monsoon-influenced Humid subtropical and semi-arid with high variation between summer and winter temperatures and precipitation.

(v) The range is maximum in Chennai. Chennai has a Tropical wet and dry climate. The city lies on the thermal equator and is also on the coast, which prevents extreme variation in seasonal temperature.

(vi) The Climate of Mumbai is a Tropical wet and dry climate. Mumbai's climate can be best described as moderately hot with a high level of humidity.

(vii) India experiences the highest rainfall in the month of July.

(viii) Extreme: Delhi, Kolkata

Equable: Mumbai, Chennai


Why the houses in Rajasthan have thick walls and flat roofs?

In Rajasthan, the weather is very hot and there is less rainfall. Some part of the state is covered with desert. The thick walls of the houses insulate the people against the heat in summer and extreme cold in winter due to the desert. Flat roofs are easier to construct and as there is not much rainfall, water will not collect on the rooftops.


Why is it that the houses in the Tarai region and in Goa and Mangalore have sloping roofs?

The houses in the Tarai region and in Goa and Mangalore have sloping roofs because they get heavy rain during the monsoon season. When there are sloping roofs, the rain water can easily flow off towards the ground or to a receptive unit where water is collected instead of collecting on the rooftop.


Why houses in Assam are built on stilts?

Houses in Assam are built on stilts because the state receives abundant rainfall due to which there are chances of floods. In case of flood the water might get inside the houses, if the houses are built on ground level, so in order to avoid flooding of houses, houses are built on stilts and above the ground level.

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