Climate of India
Being spread from Great Himalayan mountain in the north till Kanyakumari in the south, India is a big Tropical country which is famous for its various climatic and weather conditions. Climate of India is basically described as Tropical Monsoon which is mainly affected by two seasonal winds (i) the north-east monsoon (winter monsoon blows from land to sea) and (ii) the south-west monsoon (summer monsoon blows from sea to land). India’s climatic region varies from tropical in the southern part of the country to Mountain type in the Himalayan north. There are various questions asked in the Government Exams related to different types of climate, here in this blog you can get all the information related to various climatic and weather condition across the country.
Types of Climatic Regions
The climates of India are mainly divided into four different groups. The classification of these groups is based on the Koppen climate classification system.
Tropical Wet (Humid)
- This group is further divided into two parts (i) tropical wet climate (tropical monsoon climate), and (ii) tropical wet and dry climate (savannah climate)
- Tropical wet climate:- The tropical wet climate is mainly prevalent in the Western Ghats, the Malabar Coast and some parts of Assam along with two Union territories of India i.e. Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, are also subject to this climate. This type of climate experiences moderate to high temperature with seasonal (mainly from May to November) but heavy rainfall approx 80 inches. This region has got huge biodiversity of tropical wet forests due to heavy rainfall.
- Tropical wet and dry climate:- It is comparatively drier to Tropical wet climate. This group of climate in mainly found in inland peninsular region of the country excluding some portion of the Western Ghats. In this group, summers are very hot and the rainy season extends from the month of June to September. This region received approx 50 inches of rainfall annually.
- The tropical dry climate group is divided into three subdivisions-(i) tropical semi-arid (steppe) climate, (ii) sub-tropical arid (desert) climate and (iii) sub-tropical semi-arid (steppe) climate.
- Tropical semi-arid:- Karnataka, central Maharashtra, some parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh experience the tropical semi-arid (steppe) climate. Rainfall is very unreliable in this type of climate and the hot and dry summers are experienced from March to May. Most of the rainfall occurs in the monsoon season; therefore, farmers in this region need irrigation facilities apart from rainfall. This region received approx 16-30 inches of rainfall annually.
- Sub-tropical arid:- This region receives very less rainfall mainly due to cloudbursts during monsoon season. Most of the western Rajasthan witnesses the sub-tropical arid climate. The summers are extremely hot in this region having day time temperatures of 40 °C and night temperature around 29 °C. This region received approx 12 inches of rainfall annually.
- Sub-tropical semi-arid:- Regions of Punjab and Haryana-Kathiawar and some parts of Thar desert witness the sub-tropical semi-arid climate. Here in this region May and June are the hottest month and December and January are coldest month. The maximum temperature in summers goes up to 40°C in this region. Rainfall mainly occurs in summer monsoon season, however rainfall is very unreliable. This region received approx 12-26 inches of rainfall annually.
Sub-tropical Humid Climate:
- Regions:- This type of climate is mainly witnessed in North and Northeast India.
- Summers and winters:- Summers are extremely hot in this region. In winters, temperature goes down to as low as 0°C. The hottest months are May and June and frost also occurs for few months in winters.
- Rainfall:- Most of the Rainfall takes place in summers, however, snowfall or occasional rainfall in winters is also witnessed in some areas of this region due to western disturbances.
- Regions:- The Great Himalayan belt, northernmost part of India witnesses this type of climate.
- Temperature:- In this region temperature falls by 0.6°C for every 100 m rise in altitude in the Great Himalayas and results in a number of climates from tropical to tundra.
- Rainfall:- There is less rainfall in the leeward side or the Northern face of the mountains, whereas heavy rainfall is received in the southern slopes of the western Himalayas which is well-exposed to the monsoon. Heaviest snowfall occurs between the months of December to February.
Factors Affecting India's Climate
There are various factors such as latitude, altitude, mountains, winds, distance from seas, ocean currents which affect the climate of India. Here we have put together few of them:-
- Latitude: The geographical location of a country plays a very important role in deciding the amount of sunlight it receives. The Tropic of Cancer passes through the middle of India, as the temperature decreases as we move from the equator to the poles. The southern part of the country is to the south of the tropic of Cancer and it comes under tropical area as described in the article above and northern part of India lies to the north of Cancer which comes under the sub-tropical area. Therefore, India experiences both sub-tropical and tropical climates.
- Altitude: As we go higher above the sea level temperature drops. In the north, we have Great Himalayan which acts as a barrier against the cold winds from Central Asia, therefore, protects this part from the cold winds.
- Monsoon Winds: It is the most important factor which influences the climate of any country. Climate of India is basically described as Tropical Monsoon which is mainly affected by two seasonal winds (i) the north-east monsoon (winter monsoon blows from land to sea) and (ii) the south-west monsoon (summer monsoon blows from sea to land). The whole country receives rainfall due to the south-west monsoons from the Arabian Sea & Bay of Bengal.
- Western Disturbances:- These are the disturbances which originate over the Mediterranean Sea. The northern part of India gets affected by these western disturbances.
- Tropical Cyclones: The tropical cyclones originate in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Mainly peninsular India is affected by these cyclones. These tropical cyclones mainly occur at the time of the south-west monsoon.
- Distance from the sea: The distance from sea also plays very important role in the areas which are nearer. The coastal regions such as Mumbai, Kerala, Tamil Nadu are cooler as compared to interior regions of a landscape MP, Haryana, etc. As the distance from the sea increases, its influence of the sea breeze decreases and we experience extreme weather conditions i.e. hot summers and chilly winters.
Climatic regions in India
The various climatic regions of India are given below:
Name of climatic region
States or territories
Assam and parts of the Sahyadri Mountain Range
Sahyadri Mountain Range and parts of Maharashtra
Tropical and subtropical steppe
Parts of Punjab and Gujarat
Most parts of Rajasthan
Moist subtropical with winter
Parts of Punjab, Assam, and Rajasthan
Parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttaranchal
Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Haryana
Tropical semi-arid steppe
Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and other parts of South India
Climate vrs Weather
Climate is basically a cumulative of weather conditions of a large landscape over a long period of time i.e. around 30 years. Weather basically means the state of the atmosphere of an area at any given period of time. It is the combination of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, visibility, and wind, etc. Suppose we say its raining right now, it is humid. It can change throughout the day whereas, the climate of a country is the same for many years.
Few of the important topics related to Geography which would be very helpful for various Government exams are as below:-