India has ‘Tropical Monsoon’ type of climate. The word monsoon has been derived from the Arabic word ‘Mausim’ which means the seasonal reversal of the winds during the course of the year.
The whole of India has a tropical monsoonal climate since the greater part of the country lies within the trophies, and the climate is influenced by the monsoons. The position of the mountain ranges and direction of the rain-bearing winds are the two main factors that determine the climate of India. Alternating seasons is the chief characteristic of India’s Climate.
Factors Affecting the Climate of India:
Latitude: India lies between 8 0 N and 37 0 N latitudes. The Tropic of Cancer passes through the middle of India, thus making the southern half of India in the Torrid Zone and the northern half in the Temperature Zone.
Himalaya Mountains: The Himalayas play an important role in lending a sub-tropical touch to the climate of India. The lofty Himalaya Mountains form a barrier which effects the climate of India. It prevents the cold winds of north Asia from blowing into India, thus protecting it from severely cold winters. It also traps the Monsoon winds, forcing them to shed their moisture within the sub-continent.
Altitude: Temperature decreases with height. Places in the mountains are cooler than places on the plains.
Distance from the sea: With a long coastline, large coastal areas have an equable climate. Areas in the interior of India are far away from the moderating influence of the sea. Such areas have extremes of climate.
Western Disturbances: The low-pressure systems that originate from the eastern Mediterranean region in winter and move eastwards towards India passing over Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan are responsible for the winter rain in northern India.
Conditions in the Regions Surrounding India: Temperature and pressure conditions in East Africa, Iran, Central Asia and Tibet determine the strength of the monsoons and the occasional dry spells. For example, high temperatures in East Africa may draw the monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean into that region thus, causing a dry spell.
Conditions over the Ocean: The weather conditions over the Indian ocean and the China Sea may be responsible for typhoons which often affect the east coast of India.
Jet Streams: Air currents in the upper layers of the atmosphere known as jet steam could determine the arrival of the monsoons and departure of the monsoons. The Scientists are studying the jet streams and how it may affect the climate of India but much remains to be learned about this phenomena.