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Geography Notes of Indian Climate for UPSC Examinations

SSBInsights Team
10 Nov 2017


Distribution of Rainfall The distribution of rainfall in India is influenced by the physiography of the country and the distance from the seacoast. The monsoon winds obstructed by the Western Ghats bring Orographic or Relief rains. The amount of rainfall increases with the increase in height. Mahabaleshwar receives an annual rainfall of 675 cm. On the eastern part of Western Ghats rain shadow area gets very little rains towards the foothills. In this region, Wai gets 75cm of rainfall during this period.

The monsoon winds blowing over the Bay of Bengal enter the hilly region of Garo, Khasi and Jaintia. While passing through these narrow gaps in the hills, these winds rise upward and give torrential rains in this area. In the surroundings of Cherapunji located on the southern slopes of Khasi hills in Meghalaya, the annual average rainfall is 1200 cm. On the other hand, Shillong located in the rain shadow region receives 140 cm of rainfall, while Gauwahati receives only 100 cm.

The amount of rainfall in the country decreases from the coastal areas to the interior region. While passing away from the coastal areas, as they keep giving rains, they keep becoming dry. The amount of rainfall decreases from western coast towards northeast direction and from Bengal towards Punjab through Ganga plains. In winter, eastern coast of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu receive more rains and decrease towards the interior.

Cyclone prone areas Vulnerability to cyclones is not uniform along Indian coasts. The following segments of the east coast of India are most vulnerable to cyclones

i) North Orissa, and West Bengal coasts.

ii) Andhra Pradesh coast between Ongole and Machilipatnam.

iii) Tamil Nadu coast, south of Nagapatnam.

The West coast of India is less vulnerable to cyclones than the east coast of India. (Show Map)

Flood prone areas India is one of the worst flood-affected countries, being second in the world after Bangladesh and accounts for one fifth of global death count due to floods. About 40 million hectares or nearly 1/8th of India’s geographical area is flood-prone. The plains of north Bihar are some of the most susceptible areas in India, prone to flooding. (Show map)

Drought prone areas In some parts of India, the failure of the monsoons result in water shortages, resulting in below-average crop yields. This is particularly true of major drought-prone regions such as southern and eastern Maharashtra, northern Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Gujarat, and Rajasthan.

El Niño: A phenomenon in the equatorial Pacific Ocean characterized by increased sea surface temperature

La Niña: A phenomenon in the equatorial Pacific Ocean characterized by a decreased sea surface temperature

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