Climate Variations in India


India’s physiographic divisions are diverse (they are sharply contrasting relief features) and far more contrasting in nature. This has created regional diversities in climatic conditions. Each one of these factors has an impact on climatic conditions of India, be it temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind system or precipitation.

The climatic conditions of southern India are a bit different from those of the northern parts with respect to temperature, rainfall and commencement as well as duration of different seasons.

Let us have a closer look at these climatic variations –

  • During June, the north western plains experience high temperature around 45°C when areas of Rajasthan desert record day temperatures around 55°C, while the temperatures around Gulmarg or Pahalgam in Kashmir are hardly around 20°C.
  • Similarly, in the month of December, the people of Kargil or Dras (in Jammu & Kashmir) experience biting cold because the night temperatures drop to -40°C, while the inhabitants of Thiruvananthapuram experience temperatures around 27° C.

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The range of temperature increases as one moves away from coastal areas to interior parts of the country. As a result, the people living along Konkan and Malabar coasts do not experience extremes of temperatures or marked change in seasons. On the other hand, people living in north western parts of India, experience sharp seasonal contrasts.

The diversity in rainfall distribution is equally striking –

  • Mausimram, near Cherrapunji in Meghalaya, receives about 1080 cm of rainfall annually, while Jaisalmer in the desert of Rajasthan receives only 20 cm of annual rainfall.
  • The north-eastern parts and the coastal plains of Orissa and West Bengal experience spells of heavy rain during July and August while the Coromandel coast of Tamil Nadu receive very meagre rain during these months (table above).

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Take a close look at below two figures, which show the dates of onset and withdrawal of south-west monsoons respectively. This will explain the difference in the duration of rainy season in different parts of India. That is, the duration of rainy season is the shortest in Northwest India and longest in the South and North eastern parts of the country.

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Bibliography : NIOS Geography Book

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