Characteristics of Monsoonal Rainfall in India

Characteristics of Monsoonal Rainfall in India
Posted on 19-08-2023

Characteristics of Monsoonal Rainfall

Monsoonal rainfall, originating from the southwest monsoons, is characterized by its seasonal nature, occurring predominantly between the months of June and September.

The distribution of monsoonal rainfall is significantly influenced by the geographical features of the land. Notably, regions located on the windward side of the Western Ghats experience substantial precipitation, often exceeding 250 cm. Similarly, the abundant rainfall in the northeastern states can be attributed to their elevated terrains, including the Eastern Himalayas.

A noticeable pattern is the diminishing trend in monsoon rainfall as one moves farther from the coastline. To illustrate, Kolkata receives approximately 119 cm of rain during the southwest monsoon season, while the figures decrease to 105 cm in Patna, 76 cm in Allahabad, and 56 cm in Delhi.

Monsoonal rainfalls are typically characterized by alternating wet spells, each lasting a few days, interspersed with rainless periods known as 'breaks'. These breaks are closely linked to cyclonic depressions that predominantly form near the head of the Bay of Bengal and subsequently move onto the mainland. The frequency, intensity, and trajectory of these depressions influence the spatial distribution of rainfall.

The summer monsoons bring about heavy downpours, often causing significant runoff and soil erosion due to the intensity of the rainfall.

In India, monsoons hold immense agricultural significance, as more than three-fourths of the annual rainfall is received during the southwest monsoon period, thereby playing a crucial role in the country's agrarian economy.

The distribution of monsoon rainfall across India is characterized by variability, spanning from as low as 12 cm to exceeding 250 cm in different regions.

The commencement of monsoon rains occasionally experiences considerable delays across the country or in specific areas. Conversely, there are instances where the monsoon season concludes earlier than usual, leading to adverse effects on standing crops and complicating the cultivation of winter crops.

Monsoon Characteristics: India features a monsoon climate, characterized by shifting weather patterns across seasons. This climate pattern is more prominent in inland regions compared to coastal areas. The monsoon season spans approximately 100 to 120 days and is highlighted by the dramatic onset of monsoon winds, known as the 'burst of monsoon'.

Impacts: The absence of monsoons would render India arid and desert-like. Typically occurring from July to September, the Indian monsoon contributes to around ninety percent of the country's annual rainfall. This essential rainfall supports both agricultural activities and domestic water needs.

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