India has a particularly diverse topography and covers a large range of vegetations. This means that different parts of India may display very different types of climatic conditions in the course of a year. There are four main seasons in India. Like other places in the world, it has a summer (from March to May) and a winter (from January to February). The rainy monsoon season takes place from June to September and the post-monsoon extends between October and December.

India is known for its heat. This is partly due to the Himalayan Mountain Range in the north, which blocks the cold katabatic winds, which would otherwise lash the country with its icy whip. This means that the northern areas are particularly warm all year round. The Thar Desert pulls humid winds from the south-west. These winds are responsible for most of the rainfall that occurs between June and October. Winters are at least cool, but usually quite temperate. Although there are specific monsoon seasons, rain and humidity are generally unpredictable and erratic. There are, as a result, many areas that are subject to droughts and arid conditions.
Image of Indian sunset
Sunset over national park in India

There are six climatic zones in India. These are very different from one another because of the variations in the country’s topography. These are 1) Alpine, 2) Humid subtropical, 3) Tropical wet and dry, 4) Tropical wet, 5) Semi-arid and 6) Arid. This accounts for the extensive snow-capped Himalayan Mountain Range lying within relatively close proximity to the vast Thar Desert.

The main groupings are:

Tropical wet – these rainy conditions occur in areas that have continually high temperatures. This is actually the wettest of all the groups in many areas, particularly when considering the area of the south-western lowlands. This brings light, seasonal rainfall, which sustains lush conditions typical of tropical and subtropical areas.
Tropical dry – these are arid and semi-arid areas that suffer from frequent droughts. These areas only receive about 300 to 700 millimetres of water each year. Summer months in these regions experience daily highs of over 30 degrees Celsius and, in some areas, approximately 50 degrees. In areas like the Thar Desert, most of the rainfall comes in the form of cloudbursts.
Subtropical humid – these areas are characterised by hot summers and cold winters, with a lot of rain during the monsoon seasons. Winters are dry, while summers experience thunderstorms.
Montane – this climate is also known as Alpine and is fascinating in its varied nature. Tropical areas can exist at the foot of a mountain, while its summit is laden with ice and snow. Rainfall is generally scarce in these areas as the snow provides ample precipitation.

India is a land of farmers, with the majority of the working class living and working in rural areas and surviving off the produce of the land. As such, the climate plays an enormous role in the overall success and development of the entire country. As pollution and the damage of the ozone layer continue to affect the climatic conditions of the entire world, it is places that experience such extreme weather conditions and that rely on their land to survive that feel these effects the most.

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