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Chapter –1

Classification of Meteorology

Meteorology is defined as a branch of physics dealing with lower atmosphere

(Atmosphere is deep blanket of gases surrounding the earth) with particular emphasis to
the individual phenomenon. In other words it is concerned with the study of the
characteristic and behavior of the atmosphere. It explains and analyses the changes of
individual weather elements such as air pressure, temperature and humidity that are
brought about due to the effect of insolation on the earth’s surface. (Insolation refers to
radiation from the sun received by earth’s surface).
Agro metrology is a science investigating the meteorologic, climatologic
and hydrologic conditions, which are significant for agriculture owing to their interaction
with the objects and processes of agricultural production. In nutshell, it is a science
dealing with climatological conditions, which is directly related to agriculture.
Climatology refers to the study of weather patterns over time and space. It
concerns with the integration of day-to-day weather over a period of time. It refers to the
average conditions of the weather.
Development of Agricultural Meteorology
Climatology is made up of two Greek words, klima + logos; Klima means slope of
the earth, and logos means a discourse or study. In brief, climatology may be defined as
the scientific study of climate. Climatology is simultaneously an old and a new science.
Superstition served to interpret atmospheric mysteries such as rain, wind and lightening.
In the early civilization, Gods were often assigned to the climatic elements, Indians still
hold ceremonial worships/dances to Gods to produce rains at times of drought.
The Greek philosophers showed a great interest in meteorological science. In fact
the word “Meteorology” is of Greek origin, means the study on things about meteors and
optical phenomena. In fact, the word “Meteorology has been borrowed from Aristotle’s

“Meteorologica” dated about 350 BC. The period of weather tradition and superstitions
in the development of meteorology lasted until the beginning of the 17th Century when
the invention of instruments for scientific analysis of weather phenomenon was made. In
1593, Galileo constructed a thermometer and in 1643, his student Toricelli discovered the
principles of mercurial Barometer. The climatological map was published by British
astronomer “Edmund Hally’ in 1686. By 1800, dependable weather observations were
made in Europe and USA. An International Meteorological Organization had been
established in 1878. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) took its present
form in 1951. It serves as a specialized agency to carryout the worldwide exchange of
meteorological information with the head quarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) was established in the year 1875.
The division of Agricultural Meteorology was started by the IMD in 1932 to meet the
needs of agriculture and researchers. The IMD has brought out many useful publications
on rainfall. The Rainfall Atlas of India was published based on the rainfall data from
1901 to 1950. In addition to rendering advice from time to time, the IMD began to offer
regular weather service and farmers weather bulletins from 1945. The bulletins are
broadcast daily in 20 regional languages in all the All India Radio stations on expected
weather conditions during the next 36 hrs. Weather report is also broadcasted through
television. At present 8000 rain gauge stations and 52 principal types of Agro met
observatories are available in our country.
Development of Agricultural Meteorology:
Distance form East to West: 2933km
Distance form North to South: 32144km
1. Distance from the sea

Divisions of Meteorology:
1.Dynamic meteorology:
It deals with the forces that create and maintain motion and the latest
transformations associated therewith.
2.Physical meterorolgy:

It deals with pure physical nature such as radiation, heat, evaporation,

condensation, precipitation, ice accretion (continuous coherence) and optical acoustical
and electrical phenomena.
Statistical meteorology which determines the statistical relations, mean value
normals, frequencies, variation distribution etc.
4.Synoptic meteorology:

Its purpose is the analysis and forecasting of the weather phenomena. Thus
synoptic meteorology comprises dynamic as well as physical meteorology and to a lesser
extent climatology in order to obtain a synopsis of the state of atmosphere.
5.Aeronatical meteorology:
It deals with application of meteorology to the problems of aviation.
6.Maritime meteorology:
It is related to marine navigation.
7.Agricultural meteorology:
It deals with application of meteorology to agriculture, soil conservation etc.
It is concerned with meteorological problems relating to water supply, flood
control, irrigation etc.
9.Medical meteorology:
It deals with the influence of weather and climate on the human body.
It is a branch of meteorology that is concerned with the conditions of the free
atmosphere on the basis of direct observations.

Meteors and its classification:

Meteors are defined as any atmospheric phenomenon, having a luminous
appearance that travels through space as aerolites, fireballs, stars etc.
1.Aerial meteors: Wind, Tornado

2.Hydro or Aqueous meteors: Rain, hail, snow and dew

3.Litho meteors: Dust and smoke
4.Luminous meteors: Rainbow and halos (circle of light and sound luminous body
around sun or moon)
5.Igneuous meteors: Lightening and shooting stars.

2.Division of Climate
Eg. 1. Canadian wheat is of better quality than Egyptial w
Eg. 1. Canadian wheat is of better quality than Eqyptial wheat.
Eg. Multon - January Temp. 540F
1. Equator: An imaginary circle around the earth, equally distant at all points from
both the North Pole and the South Pole. It divides the earth’s surface into the
northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere.
Equinoxes refer to the time of the year at which the sun crosses the equator and
day and night are equal.
Events such as leafing, flowering, fruiting, leaf shedding, migration of birds,
occurrence of insects etc provide indications of the coming season.


Climatic factors alone affect the yield of crops to an extent of about 40%. In India
the success of agriculture depends mainly on monsoon rains. Agricultural Meteorology is
mainly concerned with microclimatology in which the influence of the shallow layer of
atmosphere immediately above the surface is studied. Successful crop production
depends not only upon the total seasonal rainfall but also on the proper distribution. The
study of agricultural meteorology helps the farmers to know when the monsoon rain
begins, its distribution etc. Apart from this the farmer will be able to know about the
weather abnormalities and their destructive effect on crops.

The major weather abnormalities and destructive meteorological phenomena

which affects crops adversely and the scope of controlling and minimizing their bad
effects are as follows:
1. Flood
2. Drought
3. Cyclonic stroms and depressions
4. Cold waves and frost
5. Thunder strom, Hail storm and Dust strom
6. Heat waves
7. Excessive (or) defective insolation
8. High winds
This is the most serious weather abnormality caused by sudden heavy rains. The
flood will damage big dams, buildings, and standing crops and cause so many other
havocs. The following precautionary measures can be taken up.
a. Afforstation: Growing trees like casuarinas, Eucalyptus, Cashew etc; in
catchments areas (where rain occurs)
b. Construction of dams and anicuts where the flood havoc is often met with.

c. Growing flood resistant varieties like PTB 15 rice varieties in flood areas.


This is caused by continuous failure of monsoon rains and growing of crops in the
field is a failure.
The overcome this different. a. Moisture conservation methods like mulching
(covering the soil with stray or stubbles) to prevent evaporation loss can be adopted. b.
Growing drought resistant crops like (mulch cholam, Varagu, Thennai. c. Economic use
of water.


Caused by the depressions and as result heavy wind with a high speed cause
severe damage to the crops, trees, buildings etc.
The direction, speed and the on set of cyclone can be forecasted and the standing
crops, stored food grains can be saved. Sowing and harvesting can be adjusted.


This occurs only in hilly regions. Due to sudden fall in temperature the
atmospheric moisture is crystallized and the crystals fall over the trees, houses, fruits and
other crops.

Preventive measurements:
a. The fruits and vegetable as can be covered by polethyne bags.
b. Sowing time can be adjusted.
c. If possible irrigational smoking can be attempted.

5.Thunder strom, hail strom and dust strom:

Usually occurs before the on set and after the withdrawal of monsoon. Largest
known hail is 5” in diameter and weighs about1/2 kg. Only precautionary are possible
and usually seen in north India.
6.Heat waves:
In hot summer heat waves cause injuries to the crop. Difficult to control the
adverse effects.
Shade giving trees can be grown in the fields frequent irrigations can keep down
the bad effects of heat waves.

7. Excessive and Deffective insulation:

Insolation in a function of solar inclination of solar rays, length of the day and
transparency of atmosphere. In black soil the temperature goes even up to 167 0 F. It thin
layer of chalk is spread on the surface of the soil helps to keep the soil layer cool and
conserve moisture.
8.High winds:
Very high winds some times break Orchard tree. Branches and damages standing
crops. This can be controlled by growing trees like casuarinas as wind breaks in the
direction of wind.
Beside the above control measures for whether abnormalities, the study of
agricultural meteorology helps the farmer in so many ways.
1. To obtain better yield by adjusting time of sowing and selecting proper
2. To forecast pest and disease occurrence due to climatic factors and to suggest
control measures early blight disease of potato Japan blast disease in paddy,
Britain- late blight in potato, USA- Rust drain of wheat and barley.
3. To help the farmers in forecasting the weather for day-to-day operations. E.g.
Weeding and spraying can be avoided during rainy days.
4. To help and choose the proper time of warming as well aw west coast for
paddy crop. Ammonia sulphate has to be applied only at proper time.
5. To help the farmers in selecting suitable season when new crops are
introduced E.g. Potato. When newly introduced in plains.
6. For better utilization of farm by adjusting farm, the oventel operations such as
painting repairs of implements etc.
7. For the construction of farm building setting of windmills etc. And to carry
out them in sunny weather.
8. For the study of phenology.

It indicates the coming season. It is a science, which deals with the reoccurrence
of important phases of animals and vegetable life in relation to climate during the year.

Events such as leafing, flowering, fruiting, leaf shedding, migration of brids,

occurrence of insects etc provide indications of the coming season.
The observations made in mango on flowering by the Indian Meteorological
Department, shows the following. The flowering takes place by 15th December in
Madras, Andhra while in northern state it is as late as 15th of March.

1. Spring – January to March - Fresh leaves formed in trees.
2. Summer - April to June – Flowering and fruiting takes place.
3. Autumn - July – September.
4. Winter – October – December.

The sequence of flowering obeys Hopkins Bioclimatic law, to which the time of
flowering develops upon the latitude, longitude and altitude. According to the law,

1. For every degree of latitude north or south of equator, flowering is retarded by 4

calendar days.
2. For every 50 of longitude for East or West on land areas flowering is advanced by
4 calendar days.
3. For each 400’ increase in altitude flowering is retarded by 4 calendar days.
Boyle’s Law:
The Volume of a given quantity of air varies inversely as the pressure upon it,
provided the temperature remains constant.
Charle’s Law:
The volume of a given quantity of air varies directly as the absolute temperature,
provided the pressure remains constant.

(Chapter –2)


The state of the atmosphere with respect to wind, temperature, cloudiness
relative humidity, pressure etc., at a given time for a given place. This deals the physical
conditions of the atmosphere for a smaller area for a shorter time. E.g. Max. Temperature
of Navalur Kuttappattu on 02.04.2001 is 37.50 C

Weather and Climate

Weather and climate are the important factors determining the success or failure
of agriculture. Weather influences agricultural operations from sowing of a crop to the
harvest and depends on the mercy of the weather particularly rain fed agriculture. In
India every year there is a considerable damage by floods in one part of the country and a
severe drought causing famines in another part. The total annual pre harvest losses for
the various crops are estimated from 10 to 100 per cent; while, the post harvest losses are
estimated to range between 5 and 15 per cent. Hence, study of weather element is
Weather is the condition of atmosphere at a given time. It is the day to day
interplay of temperature, humidity, pressure, rainfall etc.
The weather conditions of Coimbatore on a particular day at a particular time may
not be the same as that of Annamalainagar weather.
The state of atm. Over the period of time is known as climate. It is the synthesis
of these various elements of the weather. The word climate refers to the mean or normal
conditions over a long period such as 20-30 years or more, where as the cold weather
refers to the mean or normal conditions over a long period such as 20-30 years or more.
Where as the word weather refers to more or less instantaneous conditions in the atm. Or
the trend of there conditions over a relatively short period of time.

Weather Climate
1. Occurrence of the Expressions of many such
weather elements at a occurrences as the flow together in
time time. Average values of huge
elements for a seasonal time is long
period (for 30 years)
2. Differentiation of Integration of weather
3.Concerned with how all Concerned with how they affect the
the weather elements environment which is turn affects
act as a given time all the organisms.


The most important climate elements are temp erature precipitation, humidity,
wind velocity, duration of monsoons and cloudiness, etc. Their normal periodic and a
periodic variation and their extreme values etc.
Because of the intimate relation between climate and vegetation, climates and
vegetation, climates, are classified according to the type of plants grown or cultivated soil
such as tropical, forest climate, desert climate, pine forest climate, tundra climate etc.
The climatic elements are the results of interaction of number of factors such as
1. Latitude- distance from the north or south of equator.
2. Altitude
3. Distance from the sea
4. Topography
5. Soil type
6. Vegetation.
1. Latitude:
Latitude is the main factor in determining the climatic zones such as torrid,
temperate and polar zones. It is found that the quality of grains is better in higher
latitudes than lower latitudes.
E.g.1. Canadian wheat is of better quality than Egyptial wheat.
2. Italian rice is superior than Indian rice.

The latitude of a place in question for in it depends on the angle of incidence of the
incoming radiations from the sun. The length of the day and night, the length of the
seasons, the amount of incoming radiations etc.
2. Altitude:
The elevation of a place, the metrological elements vary rapidly with height above
the sea level.
Height above the sea level has a profound influence on a climate. Vitiating the
effects of increased the effects of increased latitudes. The important effects of altitudes
1. As the height increases the pressure is decreased the barometer reading in
difference heights are as follows:
30” at sea level
29” at 830 feet.
15” at 18,500 feet.
a. Rainfall is more in mountainous region.
b. Besides the mountains cause rainy areas and rain shadow areas.
E.g. Rainy western cost.
150” –250” Rain shadow area Eastern sides
25” and low
c. The situations of hills in the rainy areas also causes changes in rainfall as shown

Place Situation Annual rainfall

Decca 100” miles from kharif hills 78”
Bogra 60” 92”
Mymensight 30” 110”
Sylhet 20” 150”

d. Zone of maximum precipitation:

This vary from place. In Java the maximum rainfall occurs at 3300 ft.
altitude. In Western Ghats maximum rainfall is at 5000’ altitude. In Alphs 7000’
altitude. Above this the rainfall is lower.
e. Division of Climate:
The Himalayan Mountains provides variation in climate.
Eg. Multon - January Temp. 540 F
Shangai - January Temp. 380 F
Though both the places are situated on the same paraller of 320N latitude.

3.Distance from the Sea:

The difference between marine and continental climate can be classified as
Marine Continental
1.Rainfall More and well distributed Less and ill distributed
2.Temperature Variation is less (200F Variation is more (Northern
Variation at Cochin) India-600F
3.Land Sea Breeze Sea breeze regular and No sea breeze
on both direction and at
particular time

4.Topography (Relief):
The frost occurrence will be mostly in the valleys rather than the hills.
Besides these, soils and vegetation as physical factors also affect climate to a
smaller extent.
Thick forest areas with more vegetation will be cooler than the desert because the
forest trees and by the surrounding environment becomes cooler. Where ever black soil
type is predominant there will be more absorption of heat and hot climate will exist
E.g. Tirunelveli and Ramnad District.

The latitude is the line draw in East West direction to divide the globe into various
climatic zones. Solstice is deferred as either time at which the sun is farthest North or
West or South of equator.

Showing Annual variation in the altitude

The time when the sun reaches its maximum distance from the equator (summer
solstice when it touches tropic of cancer on 21st June and winter solstice when it touches
tropic of caprion on 21st December.




‘0’ to 23 ½ 0 L = Tropical region

23 to 66 ½ 0 L = Temperate region
Above 66 ½ 0 = Polar region.

1.Tropical Region:
It is the region of suns movement and hence it will be hot in nature.

The Equatorial Belt:

The sun is north of the equator during the northern summer and south of the
equator during the southern summer. At the equator the sun is in Zenith at both
equinoxes. About 230 N and S the sun reaches Zenith only at the time of the solstices.
Thus near the equator the sun is in zenith twice a year and there will be maximum of
incoming radiation in spring and autumn. The length of the day varies but little
throughout the year and the sun is high in the sky every day. The annual variation in the
temperature is therefore very small. But the diurnal variation in temperature will be
relatively large because the length of the day varies but little.
Zenith is defined as the time at which part of the sun is directly overhead.

Equinoxes refer to the time of the year at which the sun crosses the equator and
day and night are equal.
2.Subtropical climate:
This is also characterized by high temperature alternating with low temperature in
The temperate climate is disfigured by low temperature all though the year. It has
got moderate temperature with well-distributed rainfall, humidity etc. This is the ideal
climate region for successful crop production.

Here the sun does not reach the Zenith in mid summer. The days are long and the
sun is high in the sky in summer and in winter the days are short and the sun is low in the
sky with the result that the incoming radiation varies considerably through out the year.
As a result the annual variation in temperature tends to increase from the equator towards
the poles.
Since it is far away from the suns influence this region will be extremely chill or
cold through out the year.
Here the sun is below the horizon day and night in mid winter, and above the
horizon day and night in mid summer. At the poles there is no diurnal variation in the
incoming radiation and the daily variation in temperature vanishes. On the other hand the
difference between the incoming radiation in winter and summer has increased to a
maximum, with the result that the annual variation in temperature increases.
Horizon refers to as line at which earth of sea or sky seems to meet.
Mr. Koppen has classified the climate into eleven principal types and are as
1.Tropical rainforest climate:
It occupies the major portions of the equatorial belt. Along the west coast the belt
is relatively narrow and along the east coast it spreads put 260 N and S because of the
monsoons and the on land trade winds which give warm weather and rainfall most of the
This climate is characterized by
a. High temperature coldest weather above180 C (64.40 F) annual variation in
temperature less than 60C (110F).
b. Sufficient rainfall to maintain tropical forest, either rain at all seasons, two
rain maxima or one long rain period and one short and dry season with at least
6 cm rainfall.
c. Vegetation of the megatherm type, which require high constant temperature,
abundant precipitation and high relative humidity.

2. Tropical –Savanna Climate:

This zone surrounds the tropical rain forest. They have a dry period caused by
the migration of the doldrums and the climate is characterized by
a. High temperature, coldest much above 180 C annual variation in temperature
less than 120 C.
b. Relatively abundant rainfall in summer and dry winter, with at least one
month with less than 6cm rainfall.
c. Vegetation related to the tropical rain forest, but because of the winter dryness
the forests are replaced by open land with trees.
The steppes continue for into the interior continent where the dryness is in part due to
the large distance from the coast and lack of moisture bearing winds. The equatorial
part and eastern part of the steppe region has light summer rainfall chiefly because of
summer showers, and the portion indicated by WR (winter rainfall) has dry summer
and slight winter rainfall. The steppe climate is characterized by
a. Temperature varying within wide limits.
b. Lack of rainfall, evaporation-exceeding precipitation most of the rain at rare
intervals and the amount varying considerably.
c. Vegetation adapted to high temperature large temperature variation and long
day periods.

Here the descending air in the subtropical anticyclones causes extreme. The
deserts are characterized by:
a. High summer temperature, large diurnal variation and moderate annual
variation temperature.
b. Cloudiness sky, extreme dryness, dust and sand stroms, rain s squalls at
rare intervals.
c. Very sparse vegetation of steppe type.
5. Warm climate with dry winter:

Adjacent to saranas. Winds are mainly monsoon type, dry winter and wet
a. Mean temperature of the coldest month below 180C but above –30C mean
temperature of warmest month over 100C.
b. Dry winter and wet summer at least 10 times as much as rainfall in the west
month of summer as in the driest month of winter.
6. Warm Climate with dry summer:
Under the pole ward part of the subtropical anticyclones where because of the
annual migration of these anticyclones, the prevailing westerlies give rain in winter.
a. This zone is characterized by temperature as in climatic zone – 5.
b. Dry summer and moist winter with at least month of winter as in the driest
month of summer having less than 3 cm of rainfall.
c. Vegetation of the mesothermal type adapted to dry and warm summers and
moderately cold and wet winters. The summer is frequently too dry and
whether is too cold for the vegetation. As a result most plants blossom in
spring and autumn where there are sufficient heat or moisture.
7. Humid temperate climate:
They are under the influence of moisture throughout the year with a high
temperature in winter and sufficient rainfall in all seasons.
a. Temperature as in climate zone (5 and 6).
b. No appreciable annual variation in rainfall.
c. Vegetation of mesothermal type adopted for high moisture throughout the year
(ever greens).
8. Cold climate with moist winter:
Coincides with sub polar belts of pine forests.
a. Mean temperature of coldest month less than warmest month above 100C.
b. Rains all through the year on the coast mostly in winter inland mostly in
c. Vegetation – is thermal type, which required short summer and long winter
and needs snow cover for protection during the long and cold winter (E.g.
Pine and fir).

9.Cold Climate with Dry Winter

In high latitudes because of the low winter temperature and the great distance
from moisture bearing winds, the rain during winter is very small other characteristics are
similar to zone. (8).

10.Tundra Climate:

In the northern most part of the continent. The mean temperature of the
warmest winter is below 100C. Subsoil is frozen throughout the year and there are
no forests.

1. Ice climate:

The polar cap of /snow and ice with mean temperature of the warmest month is
below 00C (32.50)

1. Tropical rain forest

2. Savanna

3. Steppe

4. Desert

5. Warm summer rain

6. Warm winter rain

7. Temperate rain all seasons

8. Cold moist climate

9. Cold winter dry climate


10. Tundra

11. Ice.

If we travel along the west coast from the equator towards North Pole we
pass the climatic zone in the following order. 1. Tropical forest (1) 2. Savana 3.
Steppe 4. With summer rain desert 5. Steppe 6. With winter rain warm climate
with wet winter 7. Warm climate with rain in all season 8. Cold climate with
moist winter 9. Tundra 10. Ice.

Along the east cost towards North Pole 1. With zone of tropical forest 7. Merging
gradually into were climate with rain in all season 8. Cold climate with moist winter
tundra (10) and ice (11).

Thomthwaite establishes five climatic provinces that correspond closely to natural

plant covers.

Climatic province Type of Vegetation T.E. Index

Wet Rainforest =128

Humid Forest 64 – 127

Sub humid Grass land 32 – 63

Semi arid Steppe 16 – 31

Arid Desert <16

The following are some of the most important elements of weather, which
in different combinations make up the climate of particular place or areas.

Weather parameters/Weather elements


1. Solar radiation

2. Temperature

3. Air pressure

4. Wind velocity and wind direction

5. Moisture (humidity)

6. Cloudiness (Sunshine hours)

7. Precipitation (Rainfall)

All these are highly variable and constitute the weather / climate. A change in one of
the elements generally brings about changes in the others.

Factors affecting weather and climate: (Climatic controls)

1. Latitude:
The distance from the equator either south or north, largely create variations in the
climate. Based on latitude the climate has been classified as (i) Tropical, (ii)
Subtropical, (iii) Temperate and (iv) Polar.
The tropical climate s characterized by high temperature throughout the
year. Subtropical is also characterized by high temperature alternating with low
temperature in winter. The temperate climate has low temperature throughout the
year. The polar climate is noted for its very low temperature throughout the year.
2. Altitude: (Elevation):
The height from the mean sea level creates variation in climate. Even in the
tropical regions, the high mountains have temperate climate. The temperature
decreases by 0.60 C for every 100 m from the sea level . Generally there is a decrease
in pressure and increase in precipitation and wind velocity. The above factors alter
the kind of vegetation, soil types and the crop production.
3. Precipitation:

The quantity and distribution of rainfall decides the nature of vegetation and the
nature of the cultivated crops. The crop region are classified on the basis of
average rainfall which are as follows:

Rainfall (mm) Name of the climatic region

Less than 500 Arid
500.750 Semi Arid
750.1000 Sub humid
More than 1000 Humid
4.Soil Type:
Soil is a product of climate action on rocks as modified by landscape and
vegetation over a long period of time. The colour of the soil surface affects the
absorption, storage and re-radiation of heat. White colour reflects while the black
absorbs more radiation. Due to differential absorption of heat energy, variations in
temperature are created at different places. In black soil areas the climate is hot while in
red soil areas it is comparatively cooler due to lesser heat absorption.
5.Nearness to large water bodies: (Nearness to sea)
The presence of large water bodies like lakes and sea affect the climate of the
surrounding areas. E.g., Islands and coastal areas. The movement of air from earth
surface and from water bodies to earth modifies the climate. The extreme variation in
temperature during summer and winter is minimized in coastal areas and Islands.
6.Topograpy: (Relief)
The surface of landscape (leveled or uneven surface areas) produces marked
changes in the climate. This involves the altitude of the place. Steepness of the slope and
exposure of the slope to light and wind.
Kind of vegetation characterizes the nature of climate. Thick vegetation is found
in tropical regions where temperature and precipitation are high. General types of
vegetations present in a region indicate the nature of climate of that region.
8.Others factors are
i) Semi permanent high and low pressure systems.

ii) Winds and air masses.

iii) Atmospheric disturbances or storms.
iv) Oceans currents.
v) Mountain barriers.

(Chapter –3)


The word atmosphere derives from the Greek word “Atmos” which means vapour
and “Sphaira” which means sphere. It is used now to denote the gaseous sphere
surrounding the earth.
Stratification and Composition of Atmosphere
The atmosphere is a mechanical mixture of many gases, not a chemical
compound. In addition, it contains water vapor volume and huge number of solid
particles, called aerosols. Some of the gases (N, O, Ar, CO2) may be regarded as
permanent atmospheric components that remain in fixed proportions to the total gas
volume. Other constituents vary in quantity from place to place and from time to time. If
the suspended particles, water vapour and other variable gases were excluded from the
atmospheres, we would find that the dry air is very stable all over the earth up to an
altitude of about 80 kilometers.
1.Composition of Atmosphere
Principal gases comprising dry air in the lower atmosphere.

Constituent Percent by volume

Nitrogen (N2) 78.08
Oxygen (O2) 20.94
*Argon (Ar) 0.93
Carbon dioxide (Co2) 0.03
*Neon (Ne) 0.0018
*Helium (He) 0.0005
Ozone (O3 ) 0.00006

Hydrogen (H2) 0.00005

*Krypton (Kr) Trace
*Xenon (Xe) Trace
Methane (Me) Trace

Inert chemically never found in any chemical compounds.

As shown in the table, two gases, nitrogen and oxygen, make up about 99 per cent
of the clean, dry air. The remaining gases are mostly inert and constitute about 1 per cent
of the atmosphere generally homogenous and it is called as homosphere. At higher
altitudes, the chemical constituents of air changes considerably. The layer is known as
the heterosphere.
It is chemically inactive and an important plant nutrient, but it has to be fixed in
the soil to make it available to the plant. The fixation of nitrogen in the soil is carried out
by the following agencies.
i. a. Symbiotic root nodule leguminous bacteria – Rhizobium group.
b. Symbiotic root nodule leguminous bacteria – on Casuarinas.
c. Symbiotic leaf nodule bacteria on Pavetta and Dioscorea.
d. Symbiotic root nodule - actinomycetes in Mystic and Almus.
ii. Nitrogen fixation by free living:
a. Azotobactor and clostridium group of bacteria.
b. Photosynthetic and chemo synthetic – Sulphur bacteria.
c. Free living east cells of fungi.
d. Blue green algac.
The above agencies are known as biological agencies, which fixes the
atmospheric nitrogen in the soil.
iii. Lightning and powerful electrical charges are released and ‘N’ and ‘H’
in elements present in the atmosphere forms NH2 dissolved and
brought down by rain and water as NH3 . About 2 to 20 ibs of nitrogen
is added to the soil/ac.

iv. By means of artificial methods of manufacture of Amo.sulphate

(NH2SO4) – ‘N’ and ‘H’ in the atmosphere – An hydrogen’s Amo + S –
Amm. Sulphate. By electrical are method.
It has got considerable importance in plant and animal life. It plays an important
role in respiration, bacterial activity in soil oxidation and absorption of plant retrients and
several soil forming or weathering activities in the soil, which improve plant food
It plays an active part in photosynthetic activities.
It is used extensively in electric lamp bulbs because of its inertness. It is also
used in florescent tubes. It flows with blue light.
5. NEON:
Neon is used to fill florescent tubes. It flows with distinctive orange red colour.
It is the second highest element with a density of 0.177 gms per liter (Hydrogen
0,08988 gms /liter). It is used to inflate balloons because it will not burn.
This glows with brilliant green and yellow colour.
It is chemically inert and glows with a blue green colour.
Besides these the atmosphere also contains small quantities of ozone (O3 ),
Methane (CH4), Nitrous oxide (N2O), Sulphur dioxide (SO2) and traces of Iodine,
NaCl,NH3 Carbon monoxide etc.,
The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is not quite constant. The vegetable World
continuously consumes CO2 , which again is produced by the animal World, through
burning of fuels, volcanic action and various process of decay in the soil. But the oceans
by dissolving the excess of CO2, so effectively regulate it that the amount of CO2 in t he
atmosphere remains almost constant.

Ozone, which is present in the lower atmosphere, has a maximum in the upper
atmosphere between 10 and 25 km (30000 and 80,000) where it amount varies
Apart from this the composition of the atmosphere is remarkably constant all over
the earths surface.
The air also contains variable of water vapour. The water vapour present in the
atmosphere varies up to 4% by volume as in tropical humid climate. Most of the vapour
is found in the lower part pf the atmosphere. The maximum amount of water vapour that
the air can absorb depends entirely on the temperature of the air, the higher the
temperature of the air the more water vapour it can hold. The air is saturated with
moisture when this maximum amount is reached, when air is cooled below its saturation
temperature condensation takes place, water droplets formed or at low temperature ice
crystals formed. Small water drop lets and ice crystals are kept afloat in the air by the
ascending air currents and under special circumstances the water droplets and ice crystals
coalesce and form large drops or snow flakes which are precipitated from the clouds
when they become too large to be kept afloat.
The air also contains a variable amount of impurities such as dust, soot, salts,
fungal spores, bacteria and pollen (both organic and in organic)
Over a city it is estimated to contain, 1,00,000 0articles per cc. A cigarette puff
sends about 400 crores of dust particles.
The main source of dust is the arid regions such as deserts and steppes. The
minute dust particles are readily distributed throughout the lower atmosphere and carried
for from the source. The industrial regions forest fires and volcanoes constitute the main
source of soot. Through the action of winds, spray is whirled up from the oceans, and
when it evaporation the salt remains in the air in the form of minute particles.
The presence of dust particles in the atmosphere is important since when the air is
cooled to its saturative temperature, condensation takes place on certain active nuclei.
The salt particles from the oceans are most active as condensation nuclei on which the
water vapour condenses to form fog or rain. They are the cause for twilight.

Layered structure of the Atmosphere:

During the international Geophysical year (1957-62), important discoveries were
made about the atmosphere and many new facts came to light. The earth’s atmosphere
consists of zones or layers arranged like spherical shells according to altitude and
temperature variations above the earth’s surface.
According to Peterson, the atmosphere is divided into the following more
significant spheres.
2. Stratosphere
3. Mesosphere (also called Ozonosphere)
4. Ionosphere
5. Exosphere
1.Troposphere: It contains about 75 per cent of the total gaseous mass of the atmosphere.
It has been derived from the Greek word ‘trops’ meaning “mixing” or turbulence. The
average height of this lowermost layer of the atmosphere is placed at about 14 km above
sea level. Under normal conditions, the height of the troposphere at the poles is about 8
kilometers, while at the equator it is about 16 kilometers.
Troposphere is marked by turbulence and eddies. It is also called co9nnective
region. Various types of clouds, thunderstorms as well as cyclones and anticyclones
occur in this sphere because of the concentration of almost all the water vapour and
aerosols in it. Wind velocities increase with height and attain maximum at the top. The
most important feature is decrease in temperature with increasing elevation up to 14km.
Tropopause is a shallow layer separating troposphere from the next thermal layer of the
atmosphere i.e., stratosphere. Tropopause (Greek word) means where the mixing stops.
The temperature remains constant throughout the tropopause. The height of the
tropopause is about 1to 2 km.
2.Stratosphere: The stratosphere begins at the tropospause, which forms its lower
boundary. The lower stratosphere is isothermal in character (16-30 kilometers). There is
a gradual temperature increase with height beyond 20 km i.e., upper stratosphere
(temperature inversion). No visible weather phenomena occur above tropopause.

3.Mesosphere or Ozonosphere: There is maximum concentration of Ozone between 30

to 60 kilometers above the surface of the earth. Because of the concentration of ozone in
this layer it is called the ozonosphere. It is a warm layer because of selective absorption
of ultra violet radiation by ozone. In fact, it acts as a filter for ultra violet radiation from
the sun.
In this layer the temperature increases with height @ 50 C/km. The maximum
temperature recorded in the ozonosphere is higher than that at the earth’s surface.
Because of the preponderance if chemical processes, this sphere is sometimes called as
chemo sphere.
4. Ionosphere: Ionosphere, according to Peterson, lies beyond the ozonosphere at a
height of about 60 km above the earth’s surface. At this level the ionization atmosphere
begins to occur. Above ozonosphere, the temperature falls again reaching a minimum of
about 1000C at a height 80 km. Above earth’s surface. Beyond this level the temperature
increases again due to the absorption of short wave solar radiator by the atmos of O & N
in this ionosphere.
Layers of Ionosphere
D Layer : 60-89km.
E Layer : 90-130 km.
E1 Sporadic Layer: 110 km.
E2 Layer : 150 km.
F1 Layer
F2 Layer : 150- 380 kms.
G Layer : 400km and above.
5.Exosphere: The outer most layer of earth’s atmosphere is known as the exosphere,
which lies between 400 and 1000 kilometers. At such great height density of atmos in the
atmosphere is extremely low. Hydrogen and helium gases predominate in the outer most
regions. Kinetic temperature may reach 55680 Celsius.
Modern Views Regarding the Structure of Atmosphere
On the basis of composition, the atmosphere is divided into two broad spheres.
i) Homospheres: Means zone of homogenous composition height – up to 88

The proportions of the component gases of the sphere are uniform at different levels.

Sub-divided into
a. Troposphere - very shallow transition layer tropopause
b. Stratosphere - Stratopause
c. Mesosphere - Mesopause
Heterosphere: The atmosphere above the homosphere is not uniform in composition.
Different layers of the atmosphere in this part differ from one another in their chemical
and physical properties. In this sphere gases are said to be arranged into the following
four roughly spherical shells, each of which has its own distinctive composition.
1. Nitrogen layer – 200 km above earths surface molecular N.
2. Oxygen layer – Average ht. 1120km – atomic oxygen.
3. Helium layer - Average ht. 3520km.
4. Hydrogen layer – these layer are arranged according to the
weight of the gases.
Lapse rate: The rate of decrease of temperature with increase in height at a given place
and time is called Lapse rate. The normal lapse rate is 6.50 C per km increase in height.

(Chapter –4)


The sun is primary source of heat to the earth and its atmosphere. The heat
received from other celestial bodies as well as the interior of the earth from the sun is
about 1, 49,000,000 (1.49 * 108) kilo0meters. The diameter of the sun measures roughly
about 13,82,400(1.38*106) kilometers. The surface temperature of the sun is estimated
between 55000C and 61000C. (Or 57620K). The interior temperature ranges from 8*106 to
40*1006 0K.
Solar radiation provides more than 99.9 percent of the energy that heats the earth
and does not change appreciably from year to year and varies only with latitude and
season. Undoubtedly, the radiant energy from the sun is the most important control of
our weather and climate. The most astonishing fact about the incoming solar radiation
(insolation) that strikes the earth’s surface is that it is equal to about 23-billon
horsepower. Actually it is this amount of energy received from the sun that acts as the
driving force for all the atmospheric as well as biological processes on the earth.
Besides, all other sources of energy found on earth such as coal, oil and wood etc., are
nothing but converted from of solar energy.
All matter (not at the absolute zero temperature) what ever their temperature
sends out energy into the surrounding space in the form of electromagnetic waves and the
propagation of this energy as well as the energy it self is called “Radiation”.
(If we assume that the sun is perfectly black, the temperature it should have in
order for the flux at the outer limits of the earths atmosphere to equal the solar constant
and this is know as the “Effective temperature of the sun” and is equal to 5760 0K.)
A black body at the temperature of the sun will radiate upward 99% of its energy
between the wavelengths 0.15 and 4µ. About ½ of the radiation will be in the and the
region of the spectrum between 0.38 to 0.77µ and the reminder in the invisible ultraviolet
and infrared regions.
The word ‘ insolation’ is contraction of “incoming solar radiation”. Radiant
energy from the sun that strikes the earth is called insolation.

Solar radiation consists of a bundle of rays of radiant energy of different
wavelengths. The sun emits radiant energy in the from of electromagnetic waves. The
visible portion of the solar spectrum appears as light. Light travels with a speed of
2,97,600 km/sec. It takes 8 minutes and 20 second to reach the earth. Light is the total
effect of the combination of the seven different colours, namely violet, indigo, blue,
green, yellow, orange and red (VIBGYOR). The waves that produce the effect of red
colour are the longest and those producing the violet are the shortest Waves
shorter than the violet are called ultraviolet rays, while those longer than the red are
known as infra red rays. The ultra violet waves form only 6 per cent of the insolation, but
have strong photochemical effects on some substances. The infrared rays, even though
invisible, form 43 per cent of the insolation. They are largely absorbed by water vapour
that is concentrated in the lower atmosphere.


The incoming solar radiation suffers deflection as follows:
1. Absorption by ozone layer in the upper atmosphere (about 5%).
2. Scattering by dry air.
3. Absorption, scattering and diffuse reflection by suspended solid particles and
4. Absorption and scattering by water vapour.


The surface of the earth is a poor reflector of solar radiation.
1. Fresh snow reflects 80 –85% of incoming radiation.
2. Old snow – 40%
3. Grsdd reflected – 20 to 44%
4. Rock – 12 to 15%
5. Dry earth – 14%

6. Wet earth – 8 to 9%.

No radiation is reflected be a smooth water surface when the sun is with 400 of the
7.Cloud reflects 78%.
The “Alpedo of the earth” is a quantity used to measure the total reflecting power
of the earth and atmosphere. It is defined as the fraction of the incoming solar radiation
returned to space by scattering and reflection in the atmosphere and by reflection at
clouds and at the earth surface. It represents the unused fraction of the incoming solar
energy; the part that is absorbed neither in the atmosphere marine in the earth.
The atmosphere is a poor absorber and the earths surface is good absorber of
incoming radiation, and the atmosphere receives most of the heat energy via the earths
surface. The heat received in one place may be transported to other places by
The wind is never a steady current. It consists of a succession of gusts and lulls of
short period (Gust=sudden blast of wind) (Lull= to become calm). This irregular motion
is called Turbulence is made up of number of small eddies that travel with general air
current, super imposed on it. These eddies carry heat, moisture, dust etc, with them as
they travel from one place to other. The turbulence transfer of heat is most effective in
the vicinity of earths surface is distributed through air column, through mixing of
neighboring air masses.
Advection or large-scale air currents:
These are mainly horizontal currents and so heat is transported from one place to
another mainly through horizontal currents and hence only in horizontal direction where
as turbulence and convective currents transport heat along the vertical.

In vertical mixing of heat the air is subject to pressure changes as it moves up or
down through the atmosphere (in turbulence).
In the atmosphere the ascending air will be cooled adiabatic ally and the
descending air will be heated adiabatic ally. The result of turbulence mixing along the
vertical is to create dry adiabatic lapse rate if the air is unsaturated and a moist adiabatic
lapse rate if the air saturated.
Vertical mixing will tent to decrease the temperature and increase moisture
content in the upper portion of the mixed layer and increase the temperature and decrease
the moisture content in the lower portion. This will decrease the relative humidity near
the earth’s surface and increase in the upper surface.
The horizontal mixing takes place at constant pressure and no adiabatic change
involved. Two different air masses of different temperature either of which is saturated
might become saturated after complete horizontal mixing.
The instability is created in the lower layer of the atmosphere either through the
diurnal heating of the earths surface by the sun or through heating of the air when it travel
towards warmer regions. Gustiness, curmulus clouds, showers and thunderstorms squalls
are directly caused by instability.
As soon as the temperature lapse rate near the earth exceeds the dry slightest
disturbance will upset the stratification. Air from earth’s surface rises and air from higher
levels sinks to replace the ascending masses. This process of overturning of unstable air
is called “Convection”. If the rising currents reach the condensation level, clouds will
form. The descending air surrounding the rising masses will be heated adiabatic ally the
R.H. will be lowered and the sky will be broken clouds of the cumulus type. The weather
phenomena that convection will produce depend on the depth of the unstable layer, the
height of the condensation level and the distribution of temperature aloft.
Radiation: Radiation is the process of transmission of energy by Electro magnetic waves
and is the means by which energy emitted by the sun reaches the earth.

Conduction: Conduction is the process of heat transfer through matter by molecular

activity. In this process heat is transferred from one part of a body to another or between
two objects touching each other. Conduction occurs through molecular movement.
Convection: Convection is the process of transfer of heat, through movement of a mass
or substance from one place to another. Convection is possible only in gases or fluids, for
they alone have internal mass motions. In solid substance this type of heat transfer is
Heat Budget or Radiation balance: Of the total solar radiation reaching the outer limit
of the atmosphere, about 25 percent is reflected by clouds and 7 percent of scattered
reflects 2 percent pf radiation to the space. About 19% of solar radiation is absorbed by
gases and water vapour in the atmosphere. About 47 % is absorbed by the earth. Out of
which 23 percent is absorbed by the earth from scattering of clouds and atmosphere. And
24 percent is received directly from the sun. Thus approximately two-thirds of the total
radiation is effective in heating the earth.

The total energy coming to the earth over a considerable period of time is equal to
the total outward losses. In order to maintain the terrestrial heat balance, the 66 percent
of solar radiation gained must be balanced by the same amount of energy radiated back to
space in the form of long-wave terrestrial radiation (transferred by conduction and
convection). In this way the overall heat budget of the earth is balanced. If this were not
so, the earth would soon become either very hot or very cold. Actually there is a
deficit of heat at higher latitudes and surplus in low latitudes.

Albedo: It is the capacity of any surface to reflect the incoming radiation (light) or it is
Is the radio of incoming radiation to the outgoing radiation. The total reflectivity is
known as earth’s albedo. Averge albedo value for earth is 34%.

Latent heat: Normally, when heat is given to a substance, its temperature rises.
However, the heat which changes the physical state of a substance but not raise its
temperature is called latent heat of that substance to change its state without change of
temperature. The latent heat is used up in over coming the force of attraction between the
molecules of the substances.

Sensible heat flux: same as enthalpy and this is the product of heat capacity times the
Kelvin temperature, at constant pressure for a perfect gas. This is used in meteorology in
contrast of air is referred to as sensible heat.

Sensible heat advection: The process in which warm dry air passing over a field
supplies energy for transpiration.

Solar Constant: It is the amount of solar energy incident on a unit area at right angle to
the suns rays at the earth’s mean distance per unit in the absence of atmosphere. Solar
constant is 2 cal /cm2/ minute. The sun is the source of more than 99 per cent of the
thermal energy required for the physical processes taking place in the earth atmosphere
system. Every minute, the sun radiates approximately 56*1026calories of energy.
In terms of the energy per unit area incident on a spherical shell with a radius of
1.5*1013 cm (the mean distance of the earth from the sun) and concentric with the sun,
this energy is equal to

56x1026 cal. Min-1

S = ------------------------- = 2.0langely min-1.
4 π(1.5x1013 cm) 2

(Langley =gram calories cm-2).

Solar constant = 2.0 gram calories cm-1min-1

The solar constant (S) is a true constant, but fluctuates by as much as 3.5 percent
abut its mean value, depending upon the distance of earth from the sun
Solar constant is defined as the rate at which solar radiation is received outside the
earth’s atmosphere on a surface perpendicular to the sun’s rays when the earth is at an
average distance from the sun.
The Smithsonian Institute, USA has come to the conclusion that the standard
value of solar constant is 1.94g cal. Cm-2 min-1.
Since there is fluctuation in the amount of radiant energy emitted by the sun due
to periodic disturbances on the solar surface, the amount of solar constant , therefore,
registers a slight increase or decrease. However, this hardly exceeds 2-3%.

The amount of insolation received on any date place on the earth is governed by
i) The solar constant which depends on (a) energy out put of the sun and (b)
distance from the earth to sun.
ii) Transparency of the atmosphere.
iii) Duration of the daily sunlight period.
iv) Angle at which the sun’s rays strike the earth.
The distance between the earth and the sun varies between 94.5 million miles
(157.5m km) at aphelion (July 1st) and 91.5 million miles at perihelion (January1st). The
amount of radiation received is seven percent greater at perihelion than at aphelion. This
is a consequence of the inverse square law, which states, in effect, that the radiation
received on any unit area decreases in proportion to the square to the distance to the
Intensity } ------
(Aphelion – The point farthest from the sun in the orbit of a planet.
Perihelion - The point nearest from the sun in the orbit of a planet)
Transparency of the atmosphere has a more important bearing upon the amount of
insolation, which reaches the earth’s surface. The areas having dust, clouds, water vapour
and cloudiness or polluted air will receive less direct insolation. The transparency of

atmosphere depends on the latitude of a place. At middle and high latitudes the sun’s
rays must pass through thicker layers of reflecting/scattering material and it is not so at
tropical latitudes.


Solar radiation is the primary source of electromagnetic spectrum having different
wavelength. Different type lf radiation is shown below. (Wavelength in micron)
1. Cosmic rays 10-7 to 10-4 micron
2. Gamma rays 10-4 to 10-3 micron
3. X rays 10-3 to 10-1 micron
4. U.V.1 to 390 micron
5. Visible 390-760 micron
6. Infrared 760-106 micron
7. Radio wave 106-1013micron

Visible solar radiation id called as light. The shorter wavelength in the solar
spectrum is harmful to the plants when exposed to excessive amounts. The atmosphere,
however, absorbs almost all the shorter wavelengths. The infra radiation has thermal
effect on plants by supplying necessary energy for evaporation of water from the plants.
The visible portion of the solar spectrum is the light with wavelength ranging
from 0.4 to 0.7µ. Light is one of the important climatic factors for many vital functions of
the plant. It is essential for the synthesis of the most important pigment i.e., chlorophyll.
The chlorophyll absorbs the radiant energy and converts into potential energy of
carbohydrates (photosynthesis). The carbohydrate thus format is the connecting link
between solar energy and living World. In addition, it regulates the important
physiological functions like transpiration.
Effect of light on plant can be studied under four headings (i) Light intensity (ii)
Quality of light (iii) Duration of light and (iv) direction of light.

1.Light Intensity: The intensity of light is measured by a standard unit called candle.
The amount of light received at a distance of one meter from a standard candle is known

as “Metre Candle or Lux”. The light intensity at one foot from a standard candle is called
“foor candle” or 10.764 luxes and the instrument used is called as “Lux meter”. About
one per cent of the light energy is converted into biochemical energy. Very low light
intensity reduces the rate of photosynthesis and may even results in result in the closing
of the stomata detrimental to plants in many ways. This results in reduced plant growth.
Very high light intermities are it increases the rate of respiration. It causes rapid loss of
water, i.e., it increases the transpiration rate of water from the plants resulting in closure
of stomata. The most harmful effect of high intensity light is that it oxidizes the cell
contents, which is termed as “Solarisation”. This oxidation is different from respiration
and is called as “Photo oxidation”.
Under natural conditions light intensity varies greatly and plants shoe marked
response to changes of light intensities. Based on the response to light intensities the
plants are classified as follows:
i) Sciophytes: (Shade loving plants) The plants that grow better under partially
shaded (low light) conditions e.g., betel vines, buckwheat, turmeric etc.,
ii) Heliophytes: (sun loving Plants) Many species of plants produce maximum
dry matter under high light intensities when the moisture is available at the
optimum level, e.g. maize, sorghum, rice etc. Except under glass house or
shaded conditions, intensity of light cannot be controlled.
2.Quality of Light: When a bean of white light is passed through a prism, it is dispersed
into different colours with their wavelengths partied. This is called the visible part of the
solar spectrum. The different colours and their wavelength are as follows:
Violet & Indigo 400-435nm
Blue 435-490nm
Green 490-574nm
Yellow 574-594nm
Orange 594-626nm
Red 626-750nm
Visible rays 390-760 mill micron /µ/nm
Micron = ------------- meter or 10-6m

= ---------- Mm 10-3mm
Milli micron: 10-9 m-nanometer
The Principal wavelengths absorbed and used in photosynthesis are in the violet-
blue and the orange-red regions. Among this, red light is the most favorable light for
growth followed b violet-blue. Ultra violet and shorter wavelengths kill bacteria and
many fungi.
3.Duration of light: The duration of light has greater influence than the intensity. It has
a considerable importance in the selection of crop varieties. The response of plants to the
relative length of the day and night is known as photoperiodism. The plants are classified
based on the extent of response of day length as follows.
i) Long day plants: The plants which develop and produce normally when the
photoperiod is greater than the critical minimum (greater than 12 hours) e.g. cereals,
potato, sugar beet, wheat, barley etc.
ii) Short day plants: The plants which develop normally when the photoperiod is less
than the critical maximum (less than 12 hours) e.g. tobacco, soybean, millets, maize,
sugarcane, etc.
iii) Indeterminate or day neutral plants: Those plants which are not affected by
photo period, e.g., Tomato, Cotton, Sweet potato, pineapple etc.,
The photo periodism influences the plant characters such as floral initiation and
development, bulb and rhizome production etc. If a long day plant is grown
during periods of short days the growth of internodes are shortened and flowering
is delayed till the long days come in the season. Similarly when short day plants
are subjected to long day periods, there will be abnormal vegetative growth and
there may not be any floral initiation. (CO 38 rice). But now a days many crops
do have photo-insensitive varieties.
4.Direction of light: The direction of sunlight has a greater effect on the orientation of
roots shoots and leaves. In temperate regions, the southern slopes show better growth of
plants than the northern slopes due to higher contribution of sunlight in the southern side.

Orientation of leaves: The changes of position or orientation of organs of plants caused

by light is usually called as “Phototropism”. For example, the leaves are oriented at right
angles to incidence of light to receive maximum radiation.
Photomorphogenesis: Changes in the morphology of plants due to light is known as
photomorphogenesis. This is due to ultra violet and violet rays of the sun.
Duration of daily sunlight period (Length of day)

(Chapter –5)



1.Superficial area: 19,69,50,000 sq. miles
2. Land surface: 5,75,10,000 sq. miles
3. Water surface: 13,94,40,4000 sq. miles.
a. Earth make one complete revolution on its axis in 23 hours and 56
b. Earth rotates round the sun in 365 1/4 days.
c. Earth revolves in its orbit round the sun at a speed of 6,66,000 m.p.h.
d. Earth rotates on its axis at an equatorial speed of 1000 m.p.h.
e. The earth is closest to the sun on January 1 at about 91,342,000 miles and
farthest away on July 2nd 94,454,000 miles.
The sun is a star with a surface temperature of about 60000C radiates into space.
On a surface exposed normal to the Sun’s rays at the mean distance from the sun, energy
of 1.94 gm cal/cm2 per minute is received on an average. This energy amount of 1.94 gm
cal/ minute is called the Solar Constant.
The mean intensity of the solar radiation received on January 1st 2nd at the
boundary of the atmosphere is 2.007 and 1.877gm cal/cm2/minute respectively.
The inclination of the earth 66033’ against the plane of the orbit. The inclination
is the main reason for the season. Only at the time of equinox (March 21, September 23)
does the dividing line of the lighted and dark half of the earth parallel and pass through
the poles. Between March 21 and September 23 to the north pole is tilted towards the sun
and June, September 23 to March 21 the South Pole is tilted towards the sun.
The sun is fixed in its place but rotates on its axis once in 25 1/3 days. The path
taken by the earth round the sun is called the “Ecliptic”. The orbit of earth round the sun
is roughly circular, with only a slight eccentricity (in a conic section).
The sun’s ray strikes the surface of the earth perpendicularly near the equator and
with greater obliquity as the place moves from the equator to the poles. As the

Obliquity increases, the surface over.

Which the rays spread out is increased and the isolation received by unit surface
The vertical rays of the sun at noonday fall directly overhead at the equator on
March 21st and this is called ‘Vernal equinox’. The vertical rays continue to move
northern to the tropic of cancer and are overhead there on June 21st and this date is known
as “summer solstice”(in Northern hemisphere). Afterwards the rays return to the equator
on September 21st and this date is known as ”Autumnal equinox”. Then it reaches the
tropic of Capricorn on December 21st and this date is known as “Winter solstice” (In
Northern hemisphere). The summer and winter solstices will be reverse in the southern
hemisphere. At equinox days and will night are of equal length throughout the World. In
summer solstice the day will be longer whereas in winter solstice the day will be shorter
than night. The Northern pole will be in daylight for the full 24 hours on summer solstice
and will be dark for full 24 hours on winter solstice of Northern Hemisphere.
Angle of the sunrays: The effect of varying angle at which the sunrays strike the earth
can be seen daily the march of the sun across the sky. At solar noon the intensity of
insolation is the greatest but in the morning and evening hours when the sun is at low
angle, the amount of insolation is also small.

At equator the angle of incidence varies from 23 1/20 North of the zenith to 23
½ 0 South of the zenith. The intensity of solar radiation ranges from 92% on June 21st and
December 21st to 100% on March 21st and September 23rd. The range is only 8%.
At 450N latitude the angle of incidence varies from 211/20 South of zenith to
681/20 South of only 211/20 above the horizon. The variation in intensity due only to the
change in the angle of incidence is from 93% of maximum on June 21st to 98% on
December 21st.

(Chapter –6)


Temperature refers to the degree of hotness or coldness of a substance or a thing.

Temperature provides a measure of the intensity of heat energy. (Scale of temperature
and relationship between scales – study practical record).
Importance of temperature:
Temperature is necessary for the weathering of soils, promoting bacterial activity,
sterilization of soils, killing of weeds, pests and disease, for drying grains and maturity of
crops. Every living organism, plant, or animals or insects requires optimum temperature
for carrying out the basic biochemical activities for survival. Excessive temperature is
harmful for germination growth, flowering and maturity of fruits. It increases the
transpiration from plants and evaporation from the soil and necessitates frequent
It is the most important phenomenon of solar energy. In climatology the word
temperature denotes “Shade” temperature to avoid the influence of direct rays and sun.
It is measured by means of thermometers. Day temperature at any given time is meant
the temperature of the air measured under standardized condition and with certain
recognized precautions against errors introduced by radiation from the sun or other
heated body.
1.Diurnal variation:
The difference between the maximum and minimum temperature on a day is
called diurnal range. It is smaller in the wet season than in the dry season and smaller in
coastal areas in the interior place.
The amount of the daily range of variation varies widely many factors like
cloudiness and humidity of the air, nature of earth’s surface, the vertical lapse rate of
temperature, wind, elevation and latitude.

Cloudiness influences the penetration of insolation to earth’s surface by day and
retardation of net loss of heat by terrestrial radiation at night.
There is only very small diurnal variation of temperature over the ocean; on land,
after heavy rains where soil is moist and water stands on the surface, temperature ranges
are less than during dry weather, because of the humidity of the air. The average range of
temperature increases with distance from water sources.
Heating during the day is accompanied by deep convection where by energy
absorbed by air near the earths surface is distributed through a thick layer of air.
Similarly at night steep lapse rates are often accompanied winds and turbulent mixing
that keep the lower layers warmer than in conditions of still stable air with steep lapse-
rate shows small diurnal variation. Diurnal ranges of temperature are usually smaller at
in the station than nearly valleys.
Daily range of temperature increase with latitude up to subtropical latitude.
Maximum daily ranges have been recorded in subtropical deserts where clear air &dry
land surface prevails. But in the same latitude along foggy coasts parallel by cool ocean
current, sea, breaze chop off maximum temperature, fog interferes with terrestrial
radiation at night and hence daily range are the lowest in the World. In middle latitudes,
daily ranges very less with latitude than with distance from the sea. In high altitudes
diurnal range decrease again, owing to the lessened effectiveness of the daily successive
of the sunlight and darkness.
2.Annual Variation:
The difference between the temperatures in a year is annual variation. The
temperature is more in May and June and lesser in November, December in Tamilnadu.
It is the mean of 24 readings taken at hourly intervals as in the self-recording
instruments, like thermograph. But in other thermometers these are usually taken in the
morning (8 a.m.), afternoon (2 p.m.) and evening (6 p.m.).


It is the average of the total daily mean temperature for the month divided by the
number of days in a month.
It is the average of the 12 months temperature total of monthly means divided
by 12.
The difference between the warmest and coldest months is he means annual
range. Only mean temperatures are usually quoted in describing climate.
The centigrade scale labels the temperature of boiling point of water under 1 atm.
of pressure 1000C and the freezing point of water as 00C. The forenheit scale labels the
same temperature as 2120F and 320F respectively. The numerical relation between the
two scales is then
C = 100
F-32 180

The temperature recorded by the thermometer does not always agree with the
sensations of heat felt by the human body. The sensation of the heat depends upon air
movement and humidity. 800F in the equatorial zone is more uncomfortable than 100 in
the desert because of humidity.
Vertical distribution of temperature (Altitude)
As a general rule throughout the troposphere, the temperature decreases with
elevation. The rate of decrease with altitude is not uniform; it varies with time of the day,
season and location. The average decrease is approximately 0.650C/100m. (6.50C/km).
This is known as normal lapse rate or vertical temperature gradient.
Temperature Inversion
Although normally, the lower several miles of atmosphere show a decrease in
temperature with increasing altitude when the solder air lies below warmer air and closer
to earth’s surface the normal lapse rate is reversed and this is called temperature

Horizontal distribution of temperature (Latitude)

The lines connecting places, which have same air temperature, are called
isotherms. Thus, all the points on a map through which any one isotherm passes have
identical average temperature for the period indicated. There is general decrease from
equator to poles (increase in latitude).
Factors affecting temperature
 Elevation of a place
 Soil type
 Nearness to water body
 Presence of hill or mountain
 Location of the earth (co-ordinate)
 Anthrophic
Seasonal variations
Temperature (Diurnal, mean and range) vary according to the season. The main
factors contributing to seasonal variations are: -
1. The angle of inclination of solar rays, which decides the intensity of radiation.
2. Distance between earth and sun
3. The movement of seasonal winds which contributes to rain and precipitation.
Effect of temperature on Plant growth / Crop Productivity
Air temperature is the most important weather parameter, which affects the plant
life. The growth of higher plants is restricted to a temperature between 0 to 600C and the
optimum i.e., 100C to 400C. Beyond these limits, plants are damaged severely and even
get killed. The maximum production of dry matter occurs when the temperature ranges
from 20 and 300C.

As already seen the temperature of a place is largely determined by latitude and altitude.
Based on the above the vegetations are classified as tropical (rain forest, desert,
grassland), temperature (Grassland, deciduous forest), taiga ( coniferous forest), tundra
(lowshrubly growth, lichen) and polar. Some investigators have classified the vegetation
of the world into four classes based on the prevailing temperature conditions. The four
classes are

1. Mega herms- Equatorial and tropical rain forests

2. Mesotherms- tropical and sub tropical, tropical deciduous forests
3. Microtherms – temperate and high altitude, alpine vegetation and mixed
coniferous forests and
4. Hekistotherms - artic and alpine regions

High night temperature favors growth of shoots and leaves and it also affects plant
metabolism. On the other hand low night temperature injure the plants. Tender
leaves and flowers are very sensitive to low temperature and frost.

Temperature is of paramount importance life because of the following factors: -

1. Temperature governs the physical and chemical processes within the plants, which
in turn control biological reactions, that take place within the plants.
2. The diffusion rate of gases and liquids change with temperature.
3. Solubility of different substances is depending upon temperature.
4. The rate of reactions varies with variations in temperature.
5. Equilibrium of various systems and compounds is a function of temperature and
6. Temperature affects the stability of the enzyme system.

Every plant has its own minimum, optimum and maximum temperature limits for
its normal growth and reproduction. The vital physiological activities of a plant stop
both at below the minimum level ad at above the maximum level, whereas
physiological activities will be at its maximum at optimum temperature levels. These
levels of temperature are known as cardinal temperature points.

Cardinal temperature for the germination of some important crops (Bierhyzen, 1973)

S.No Plant Cardinal Temperature 0C

Minimum Optimum Maximum
1 Rice 10-12 30-32 36-38
2 Sorghum 8-10 32-35 40
3 Maize 8-10 32-35 40-44
4 Wheat 3-4.5 25 30-32
5 Barley 3-4.5 20 38-40
6 Sugar beat 4-5 25 28-30
7 Tobacco 13-14 28 35
8 Carrot 4-5 8 25
9 Peas 12 32-34 40
10 Oats 4-5 25 28-30
11 Lentil 4-5 30 36
In General
Cool season crops 0-15 25-31 31-37
Hot season crops 15-18 31-37 44-50

Apart from yield reductions, many visible injuries on the plants are seen due to
very high temperature.
Cold injury: (Low Air Temperature and Plant Injury)
1.Chilling injury: Plants, which are adapted to hot climate, exposed to low temperature
for sometime, are found to be severely injured. Some effects of chilling are development
of chlorotic condition (Yellowing)
Example: Chlorotic bands in the leaves of sugarcane, sorghum and maize in winter
months when the night temperature is below 200C.
Based on the reaction to chillness, plants can be divided into five categories.
i) Plants killed by exposure to temperature in the range of 0.5 to 5.0 Cfor 60
hours. Rice, cotton, cowpea.
ii) Plants injured by the above condition but recovered after being placed in
favorable conditions-Sudan grass, Spanish and Valencia peanut
iii) Plant not likely to suffer serious injury-Corn, sorghum and pumpkin.
iv) Plants injured by prolonged chillness-Buck wheat and soybean.
v) Plants not injured by prolonged chillness-Sunflower, tomato and Potato.
In temperate climate two types of injures occur because of low temperature. They
are delayed growth and sterility.

Example: In Japan, rice yields decreases due to insufficient grain maturation

caused by low temperatures during the ripening period. Flowering is delayed by low
temperatures at a certain stage before heading.
Rice yield decreases due to sterility of spike lets of caused by low temperature at
the booting stage or at an thesis. The observed injuries may be stoppage of anther
development, Pollen unrippeness, Partial or no dehiscence, Pollen grains remaining in
anther loculi, Little or no shedding of Pollen grains on stigma and Failure of
germination of pollen on stigma
2. Freezing injury: Plant parts or entire plant may be killed or damaged beyond
repair as a result of actual freezing of tissues. Ice crystals are formed first in the
intercellular spaces and then within the cells. Ice, within the cells, causes more
injury by mechanical damage on the structure of the protoplasm and plasma
Freezing of water in intercellular spaces results in withdrawal of water from the
cell sap due to dehydration and causes death of cells. E.g., Frost damage in
potato, tea, etc.,
3. Suffocation: In temperate regions, usually during the winter season, the ice or snow
forms a thick cover on the soil surface. As a result the entry of O2 is prevented and
plants suffer for want of O2. Ice coming in contact with the roots prevents the diffusion
ofDCO2 outside the root zone. This prevents the respiratory activities of roots leading to
accumulation of harmful substances.

4.Heaving: This is a kind of injury caused by lifting up of the plants along with soil
from its normal position. This type of injury is common in temperate regions. The
presence of ice crystals increases the volume of soil. This causes mechanical lifting of
the soil.
Effect of high Temperatures
Cells of most plant species get killed when the temperature ranges from 50 to
60 °C. This point of temperature is called Thermal death point.
But it varies with
1.the species

2.the age of tissue and

3.the time of exposure to high temperature
It is reported that most plant cells are killed at a temperature of 45 to 55 °C.
Some plants tissues withstand a temperature of up to 105°C.
The aquatic plants and shade loving plants are killed at comparatively, lower
temperature (40°C); where as, for xerophytes it is 50°C.
High temperature results in desiccation of the plants and disturbs the balance
between photosynthesis and respiration. Higher temperature increases the respiration
leading to rapid depletion of reserve food in plants resulting in growth stunted due to
incipient or starvation.
Heat injuries:
i. Sun clad: Injury caused by high temperature on the sides of bark is known as sun
clad, this is nothing but exposure of barks of the stems to high temperature during
daytime and low temperature during nighttime.
ii. Stem girdle: It is another injury associated with high temperature. High
temperature at the soil surface scorches the stems at ground level. This type of
injury is very common in young seedlings of cotton in sandy soil where the after
noon soil temperature exceeds 60°C to 65°C. The stem girdle injury is first
noticed through a discolored band a few millimeters wide. This is followed by
shrinkage of the tissues, which have been discoloured. The stem girdle causes the
death of the plant by destroying the conductive and cambial tissues or by the
establishment of pathogens in the injury. As direct effects on crop plants high
temperature causes sterility in flowers. The general effects of excessive heat are
defoliation, pre-mature dropping of fruits. In extreme cases, death of the plants
may also occur.

Temperature aberrations
Heat Wave: A region is considered to be in the grip of moderate heat wave when it
recorded maximum temperature exceeds the normal by 5° to 8°C. Heat wave is common

in UP (54%Probablity) in the month of June. Incidences are maximum in western UP.

Persistence is 5-6 days particularly more in June.
Effect of Heat wave: Already dealt in effect of temperature crop growth. Thermal death
point affects photosynthesis and respiration. Increased respiration depletion of reserve
food, sun clad, stem girdle.
Soil Temperature: In many cases soil temperature is more important to plant life than air
temperature. It influences the germination of seeds and root activities. It influences the
soil-borne diseases like seeding blight, root rot etc. The decomposition of organic matter
will be higher in higher soil temperature with necessary moisture. It controls the nutrient
availability. In tropics high temperature of soil causes regeneration of potato tubers. It
also affects nodulation in legumes.
Cold Waves: A region is said to be in the grip of a moderate cold wave when it recorded
minimum temperature falls short of the normal by 6°C to 8 °C and severe cold wave is
prevailed when the minimum temperature short falls up to 8°C. Generally experienced
from Nov. to March.
Severe clod wave generally prevail form Jan. to March common in
U.P.WesternU.P-1day, Eastern UP-2-7days.
Degree-days: At a given location, the period between planting and harvesting is not a
specific number of calendar days but rather a summation of energy units, which may be
represented as degree-days.
A degree-day for a given crop is defined as a day on which the mean daily
temp is one degree above the zero temps. (That is the minimum temp. for
growth) of the plant.
Zero temp: Spring wheat 32-400F (depending on variety)
Oat: 430F; Field Corn: 54-570F Sweet Corn: 500F,
Potatoes: 450F, peas: 400F cotton 620F-640F
The period required for achieving maturity is also a function of the length of day
is photoperiod. Crop, planted in early in the spring requires more calendar days to
mature than the same crop planted later.
Growing Degree days (GDD): GDD or accumulated day degrees is also called as
Effective Heat Unit. This is an arithmetic accumulation of daily mean temperature

above certain threshold temperature. This is computed by using the formula suggested by
IWATA (1984).
Maximum temperature + Minimum temperature
Gdd = ---------------------------------------------------------- --- base temperature

(Chapter –7)


The surface of the soil is exposed to the direct radiation and movement. It gains
heat during the daytime and losses some arts during the night to the atmosphere.
Diurnal variation of soil temperature
- As depth of soil increases – temperature increases up to 20 cm/ remains
unchanged beyond 30 cm.
- Surface temperature is doubled in the afternoon compared to morning due to
- Variation but morning and afternoon temperature beyond 30cm depth is
- Variations beyond 30 cm is only seasonal changes / variation.
Effect on crop growth
In many instances soil temperatures is of greater importance to plant life than air
temperature. For example, beach and oak trees can withstand air temperature of –250C
but roots of these trees cannot tolerate even up to –160C. It influences the soil borne
disease like seedling blight, root rot etc and decomposition of organic matter. Input =
storage + output. Storage causes changes below surface. Conduction of heat, to lower
layer depends on thermal properties of the soil like, specific heat, thermal conductivity
and thermal diffusivity of the soil. It influences the germination of seeds and root
activities. It also influences the soil borne, diseases like seedling blight, root rot etc., and
decomposition of organic matter. Greater the soil temperature higher will be the
decomposition of organic matter. It controls the nutrient availability. In the tropics high
temperature of soil causes degeneration of potato tubers. It affects nodulation in legumes.

Cardinal Temperature – Temperature of vital activities

Cool season crops Hot season crops
Minimum 0-50C 15-180C
Optimum 25-310C 31-370C
Maximum 31-370C 44-500C

(Chapter –8)


Pressure is defied as the force acting over any surface. Atmospheric pressure 8is
the weight of the air, which lies vertically above a unit area, centered at a point and
expressed by the height of mercury in ‘inches’ or ‘millimeters’. Pressure mainly affects
temperature and precipitation. The weight of the air presses down the earth with the
pressure of1.034 g/cm2 . The weight of air mass is over 56 trillion tons. (56x1014ton).
Weight of 1sq. Inch column of air from sea level to top of the atmosphere weighs
nearly 15 1b. This weight is balanced by column of mercury 29.93 inches or 760 mm tall
having the same cross sectional area. This is the pressure at sea level at latitude 450 .
Another unit of measurement millibar is widely adopted by national weather service of
the world. (Millibar = 1000 dynes / cm2). Dyne is an unit of force approximately equal
to the weight of a milligram. Sea level pressure under this system is 1013.2 m.bars (mb).
One tenth of an inch of mercury is approximately equal to 3.4 mb.

Upto the year 1914 the unit of measurement of pressure was in inches or in m.m.
At sea level the atmospheric pressure is 30” or 76” cm or 760 mm. At a temperature of
In the year 1914 a scientist by name Bjehkres derived a new unit called the
“millibar” (mb). Normal pressure at sea level is roughly 300 or 760 mm. Which
corresponds to 1013 MB.
The conversion from units of length to unit of pressure is as follows.
Suppose the Hg column at M.S.L. is 76cm it is then multiplied by the density of
mercury (13.595) and mass of Hg column is found out.
76 x 13.595 = 1033.22 gm.
The acceleration of gravity (normal) in CGS units is 980.665. Multiplying the
mass by gravitational force i.e. 1033.22 x 980.665 we obtain the pressure in CGS units

(centimeter gram second) is 10,13,250 dynes/ For convenient sake it is taken as

10,00,000 dynes called a ‘bar”.
One thousandth of a bar is called a “millibar”.
A millibar = 1000 dynes/cm2
Approximately 760 mm = 1000 m.b.
or 1 mb = 0.76 mm.
33 m.b. = 0,76 x 33
= 25.08 mm or
= 196.
The observed pressure is reduced to 320F or 00C at M.S.L. at 450 Latitude as the
standard to facilitate the comparison of pressure of different stations.

Pressure varies according to latitude measures to sea etc., the variation is used in the
determination of
1. Height of places as hills
2. Use in airplanes by mean Altimeter.
Before the start the altimeter is set to a definite reading. The factors affecting
atmospheric pressure are 1.Altitude 2. Latitude 3. Temperature 4. Nearness to the sea.
It is the relative height of place above M.S.L. The pressure decreases for every
increases of the altitude. For every 900’ 25 mm or 33 mb pressure is decreased.
When the latitude increases the pressure will increase.
When the temperature increases the pressure will decrease.
Places near to the sea are offer subjected to cyclones due to low pressure.

The isobars are the lines connecting different places of same pressure one chart or map of
country of world. The lines can be drawn after reducing the readings to M.S.L. Such
lines or curves arte called ‘Isobars’. These lines are drawn every 5th of a millibar.
The change in atmospheric pressure during 3 hours preceding the observation is
called “barometric tendency”. When the tendencies have been plotted on the map the
lines connecting the points are called “Isallobars” they represent the pressure changes as
that of isobars but are drawn for each millibar.
Usually the tropical regions ate low-pressure belt due to high temperature in and
around the equatorial line. The temperature regions ate high-pressure belt (areas).
Beyond temperate belt, the pressure diminishes regularly in south but irregularly in
North. (Alaska and Ice lands have high pressure).
The cyclones are formed by the pressure. Whenever the atmospheric pressure of
a place drops from the normal conditions, depression occurs and cyclone may be formed.
The barometer reading is the best indication of the possible occurrence of cyclone
or storm as well as rain in area.
A column of air 1 sq. inch in cross sectional area extending from sea level to the
top of atmosphere weight approximately 14.7 1bs. This weight is balanced by a column
of mercury 29.92” or 760 mm tall having the same cross sectional area at an latitude of
450 at sea level. The density of weight of given volume of air vary with temperature.
Thus when air is heated, it expands and becomes less dense, so that column of warm,
light air weighed less than a column of cold, heavy air both having the same height and
cross sectional area.
Changes in temperature produces changes in air density which set up vertical and
horizontal movement region air is heated it expands and over flows aloft to adjacent
region when temperature are lower. As a result of this horizontal transfer, the weight of
the air is reduced in the warm region and increased in the adjacent cooler regions. Hence
region with high temperature are likely to have lower air pressures than other regions

where tempt. is not so high. In other words. High temperature tends to produce low sea
level pressure while low temperature isconclusive to high sea level pressure
Fig: (damed laws)
- - - - - - - - - Surface & equal pressure
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
high - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -low
Pressure / / / / / / / / / / / / / pressure

There is a rapid decrease in air weight or pressure with increasing altitude. The
lower layers of atmosphere are densest because the weight of all layers above which rests
up on them. For the first few thousand feet above the sea level the rate of pressure
decrease, is in neighborhood of 1”or 34 mb of pressure for each 900 to 1000’.

Types of pressure systems of the world

Pressure system differs greatly in both size and duration. Pressure System are of two
i. High
ii. Low pressure system
Centers of low pressure are called as depression, cyclones or lows. Prolonged
low pressure, centers are called troughs. The equatorial belt of low pressure is called
doldrums (50 N & 50 S of Equator). It is because
i) Sun falling vertically all round the year
ii) Water vaporization being high
iii) Rising of air
The doldrums belt is spread over Amazon, Congo, Passion and Guinea belt etc.,
The centers if high pressures are called anticyclones or highs. An elongated
high pressure is called as ridge. Near 300N and 300S the pressure is always high

because i) intensive hot air from the equator descends down in this belt and ii) polar
air from the sub-polar belts also descents here.
Factors controlling pressure: pressure never remains constant – changes with temp.,
altitude water vapor content and rotations of the earth.
i) Temperature: Hot air expands and exerts low pressure. Cold air contracts
and exerts high pressure the equator has a low pressure due to prevalence of
high temperature but poles have a high pressure due to prevalence of high
temperature but poles have a high pressure.
ii) Altitude: At sea level, the air column exerts its full pressure, but when we go
up, we leave a portion of the air, which cannot exert pressure. At sea level
high pressure and at high altitude low pressure. For every 10 m of altitude,
the pressure gets reduced by 1 mb.
iii) Water vapour: Moist air of high temperature exerts less pressure. When
compared to moist air of low temperature. Because water vapour content is
lighter in cold area than air, which is dry.
iv) Rotation of the earth: Due to rotation of earth the pressure at 60 – 650N and
S becomes low. The airs to escape from these belts which move towards the
horse latitude (30 – 350 N&S) these belts absorb air from the sub-polar belts
making the pressure high.
v) Seasonal variation: Pressure system changes according to the season.
Season changes according to the position of the sun. When the sun mo9ves to
the tropic of cancer, pressure belts move to the North by 50 away from their
normal. When sun moves to tropic of Capricorn, the pressure belt also moves
south and sight by 50 away from their original position. This is known as
“Swing of pressure belts”.
Sea breeze and land breeze due to seasons
During summer horse latitudes receive the direct sunrays and an area of low
pressure increases over the continent masses and they enlarge a small high-pressure
center over the continents. But surrounding seas have a vast high-pressure area in
summer the wind blows from sea (high pressure) towards the lands. (Low pressure)

In winter season, a major area of high pressure covers the landmasses. The
sea areas are comparatively at low pressure. So winds start moving form the land
towards the sea.
Diurnal variations
To find out the mean daily change in air pressure, the average of hourly-
observed pressure for a long period of time is calculated. The mean value of the daily
pressure is free from the temporary effect of atmospheric disturbances. There is a
definite rhythm in the rise and fall of mercury. Insolational heating and radiational
cooling are the principal reasons for diurnal variations of air pressure. In other words,
pressure changes are mainly dir to the expansion and contraction of the air.

Seasonal or annual variation

This is clearly the effect of annual variation in the amount of insolation received
in a particular region. Annual pressure variation in the tropical region in larger than other
region of the world. The equatorial regions record the smallest amount of variation in
their seasonal pressures, because there is practically no variation in the amount of
insolation received at the equator throughout the year
High pressure - cold season
Low pressure - warm season
Isobars: these are lines connecting places having the same atmospheric pressure at a
given elevation. Pressure distributive charts are constructed for sea level and for no of
constant pressure surfaces in the atmosphere.
700 mb – at 10,000 ft.
500 mb – at 18,000 ft.
In sea level pressure chart all pressures at different elevation arte reduced to pressure
receiving to sea level.
Pressure gradient: rapid change in pressure in a direction at right angles to the isobars.
The rate if change in atmospheric pressure between two points at the same elevation is
called the pressure gradient of isobaric slope. It is proportional to the difference in
pressure, which causes the horizontal movement air.

Storm: A marked atmosphere disturbance characterized by a strong wind, usually

accompanied by rain, snow, sleet (rain that freezes as it falls-mixture of rain with snow or
hail) or hail and often thunder and lighting.
Thunder Strom: A storm invariably produced by a cumulonimbus cloud and always
accompanied by thunder, usually attended by strong wind, gusts, heavy rain and
sometimes hails. It is usually of short duration, seldom over 2 hour.
- Vertical motion is having many weather modifications.
- Upward motion results due to expansion that it gets cooled and eventual
- Cumulonimbus cloud types are closely related to the strength of the vertical
- A thunderstorm is as the name implies a storm accompanied by thunder and
therefore lightning. As Benjamin Franklin demonstrated in 1750 lightn9ng
discharges giant electrical sprakes.
- Cumulonimbus clouds therefore are great electrical generators. The cloud
produce ‘+’ and ‘-‘ value charges by charged poles.
- The lower part of the cloud is negatively charged and upper part is positively
Hall: Precipitation in the form of balls or irregular lumps of ice.
Hail Strom: Small round pieces of ice hail that sometimes fall during thunder storms
(frozen rain drops, hail storms).
- Hails may be sometimes greater in size than a large marble.
- It falls from cumulonimbus clouds.
- Hails are destructive to crops – mechanical damage, structures etc.
Hurricane: A violent tropical cyclone with wind speed of 73 or more miles per hour or
134 and more km/h usually accompanied by torrential (very heavy fall) rain, originating
usually in West Indian regions.
Tornado: Tornado – Spanish word – Torn as means, “to turn”
- The smallest vortex (whirlpool, whirl or powerful eddy of air, whirl wind – a
whirling mass of water forming a vacuum at its center, into which anything
caught in the motion are drawn).

- Eddy - current of air, water, etc., moving against the main current and worth
circular motion.
- But most powerful one.
- The intense rotation is confined normally to diameter of kilometer or less.
- But its wind speed can reach even 300 km/h.
Water spouts
- The tornado occasionally forms over water.
- Because of high moisture content of the sir, the funnels are heavily laddened with
water drops, so they look somewhat like a stream of waterspouts.
Dust Devil: A whirlwind that frequently forms on very hot days especially over desert is
the dust devil. Normally there ate no clouds associated with it.
Cyclone (A system of winds blowing around the center of low barometric pressure)
means closed circulation about a low-pressure center, which is anti clockwise in the
Northern Hemisphere.
- Cyclonic whirls are the “Storms” of middle latitude.
- In the temperate latitude they produce much of the winter precipitation.
- Around the low-pressure centers.
- Air circulates anti clockwise direction in Northern Hemisphere.
- The air is heterogeneous in relation to temperature and moisture.
Anticyclone: (The atmospheric pressure distribution in which there is a high central
pressure relative to the surroundings) Circulation clockwise in northern hemisphere and
anti clockwise in Southern hemisphere.
- This circulation subside whirling @ 10-15 cm/sec. And fair weather generally
- The air masses are homogenous with respect to temperature and moisture.
Typhoon: Any violent tropical cyclone originating in the western pacific especially in the
South China Sea
Plant growth: Resultant of all the environmental factors-climatic, physiographic,
edaphic and biotic.
For a particular field - it is primarily a function of climate with temperature and
height – being the most important factors.

- Close relati9onship exists between plant phenology and both latitude and altitude.

(Chapter –9)


Wind is defined as the moving air of atmosphere parallel to earth’s surface air in
horizontal motation. All other masses of air in motion (vertical) should be called as air
currents. Wind is an invisible weather element but the effect of wind can be Sean from
the movement of tree branches, dust particles and by feeling. The pattern and intensity of
wind is affected by various factors.
Advantages of wind:
1. Fresh wind is useful for renewing the environment.
2. Wind is useful for effecting pollination in the crops.
3. It is useful for cleaning for agricultural produces.
4. It is used as a force in certain machines such as windmills, winnowing
machines etc.
Effect of Wind on crops
1. Increases transpiration under normal condition with increasing wind velocity.
Layers of humid air adjacent to plant leaf surfaces are removed by wind and
become mixed with dry air above. This keeps RH low and increases transpiration
rate. There is a greater increase in cuticular transpiration than stomatal
transpiration witch cause moisture stress in plants.
2. Wind increases the rate if Photosynthesis. Wind increases turbulence in
atmosphere thus raising the supply of Co2 to the plants and thereby increasing the
rate of photosynthesis. However, the increase is only up to a certain wind speed.
3. When the wind is hot it accelerates the drying of the plants by replacing humid air
by dry air in the intercellular spaces. At the time of cell expansion, the hot dry
wind affects the maturing cell and that result in dwarfing of plants.
4. Much damage is caused by hot dry winds at or near the time of flowering. The
internal water balance is upset, resulting in poor seed setting. Another form of
injury is “blossom injury” caused by evaporation of secretions in the stigma.

5. Interfere pollination by insects. But mild wind will favor pollination by wine.
6. Deplete soil moisture.
7. Due to mechanical effect of wind the growth pattern and shape of trees ate
changed lopsidal growth.
8. Uprooting of plants: Crops and trees with shallow roots are uprooted.
9. Cause fruit drops in plants. Example-citrus fruit drop. Fruits and nuts are
stripped off from trees.
10. Soil erosion: When the plant cover is not thick, strong winds remove the dry soil
exposing their roots and killing them. The eroded material from one place is
deposited in another place causing hazard to small plants in that place. The
deposited materials reduce the aeration around the roots and plants.
11. Salt deposition by wind: Wind from sea carries salts as spray on coastal area and
makes it impossible to grow crops which are sensitive to excess salts.
Disadvantages of wind:
1. High-speed wind accelerates the drying of moisture from the soil and also it
increases the rate of transpiration in plants thereby necessitating frequent
2. High-speed wind results in lodjing of many crops such as Banana, Sugarcane
and other fruit trees.
3. Heavy wind will affect the fruit set and also the available fruits to fall or to be
4. Heavy wind also results in soil erosion.
Causes for the formation of the wind:
1. Due to variation in the atmospheric temperature, pressure etc., i.e. when the
atmospheric temperature is very high the pressure will decrease
correspondingly. Due to fall of the atmospheric pressure the air moves from
high-pressure area to low-pressure area.
2. Due to deflection of atmosphere air over the earth surface while it revolves.
Wind force
The following are the wind forces and they are the factors affecting the wind

1.Pressure force:
The forces that move the air depend primarily at the distribution of pressure. Let
us consider a vertical cross section through a cube of air with horizontal and vertical

Since the atmospheric pressure decreases with elevation the pressure “P1” on the
lower face of the cube is greater a force that of ‘P2’ on the top face. This force is
counteracted by the weight of air with in the cube or the gravity force. Usually there is
balance between the two forces so that no vertical motion results. Rarely there will be in
balance and vertical acceleration results and convective currents are created.

Large wind systems are mainly horizontal currents. The pressure also varies in
the horizontal direction and the pressure on the vertical force will exceed the other force
and the difference in pressure is equivalent to a force to drive the cube horizontally from
high to low pressure.
2. Pressure gradient force and Isobars:
Suppose when we observe the atmospheric pressure in large number of places in a
horizontal surface and plot the pressures on a map and draw curves through the points
that have identical pressure gradient may be defined as the decrease in pressure/unit
distance in the direction in which the pressure decreases most rapidly.

The rate and direction of change of pressure as indicated by isobaric lines is

refereed as pressure gradient or barometric slopes. Two important factors that exist
between pressure gradient and winds are:
1. The direction of airflows is from regions of greater to those of less density
i.e. from high to low pressure, which may be represented by a line drawn
at night at night angles to the isobars.

995 millibar
Pressure 1000 millibar
Wind 1005 millibar
1010 millibar

The pressure gradient is:

1. Is every where perpendicular to the isobars
2. Points from high to low values of pressure
3. And is inversely proportional to the distance between the isobars, the more
crowed the isobars the stronger is the pressure gradient.

3.Horizontal deflection force due to earth rotation:

Surface winds do not flow directly down the barometric slope (right angles to the
isobars) but instead are deflected into oblique courses. Thus a west wind in the
northern hemisphere becomes northwestern wind. The cause for the deviation of
wind from the gradient direction is the deflective force of the earth’s rotation plus
friction. This causes all winds to be turned to the right in the northwest to the left to
the S.H. (Ballot’s Law). This deflective force is called the “Coriolis” force. It is a
resultant effect of the two motions.
1. Rotational movement of the earth.
2. The movement of the body relative to the surface of the earth.

This deflective force of the earth is minimum near the equator and it increases with
latitude and is maximum near the equator and it increases with latitude and is maximum
at the poles. Therefore air moves rather directly across the isobars in low latitudes and is
greatly deflected in the Polar Regions. This deflective force also increases with the wind
velocity. The Coriolis force is directly proportional to the moving mass of air and its
velocity. It acts at right angles to the direction of the motion and has no influence on
influence on the velocity of the wind.
The broken arrows shows the direction of the pressure gradient and the solid
arrows shows the direction of wind due to ‘Corolis’ force. Friction it’s next factor, which
affects the wind motion. It modifies the effects of gravity and deflection.

Friction prevents the winds from attaining velocities and also from
blowing parallel with the isobars.
The amount of deflection due to this force is dependent on the velocity of the
wind. More the velocity greater will be the outward force and hence greater will be the
deflection produced. Therefore in the northern hemisphere the rotational deviation is to
the right and therefore the centrifugal force will enhance this deflection. This force is
negligible near the surface of the wind is low. If the path of the wind is curvilinear than it
will be subjected to centrifugal force.
These are the regions of the high and low pressure formed on the earth as a result of
1. The differences in the rate of insolation
2. Differences in the rate of absorption of heat by water and the different types of
earths surfaces and
3. The rotation of the earth.
There are two types of pressure belts namely High and Low pressure belts.
* Earth where the velocity of
The areas of low pressure are usually called as depressions, cyclones or simply
low. A depression or cyclone may then be defined as an area within which the pressure is
low relative to the surroundings and the wind circulation around a cyclone is counter
clockwise with a slight drift towards the left of the isobars.
The equatorial strip and the polar zones are low-pressure belts. As a result of
intense heat at the equator, the air rise to the upper layers, producing a belt of low density
and pressure of air and the lower layers near the surface of the earth called the doldrums.
The air in the Polar Regions is swung to the temperate regions by the rotation of the
earth. The atmosphere above the Polar Regions is of low density and pressure and these
are called “Polar calms”.


The areas of high pressure relative to the surroundings are called high-pressure belts or
anticyclone. The wind circulation is clockwise around an anticyclone with a drift away
from the center.
Air currents at the upper layers from both the equator and the poles meet at
latitudes 300 to 350 N and S called the horse latitudes and produce a belt of high pressure.
From these horse latitudes, winds blow towards the equator and the poles. These should
take northerly and southerly courses but are deflected by the rotation of the earth. Thus
in the northern hemisphere N.E. wind blows towards the equator and S.W. winds towards
the poles.
In the southern hemisphere S.E. blows towards the equator and N.W. winds
towards the poles.
Tropes of pressure systems

A trough of low pressure is an elongated area of relatively low pressure, which

extends from the center of a cyclone. The trough may have ‘U’ shaped ‘V’ shaped
isobars. The wind circulation around a trough is essentially of the cyclone type. A
wedge of high pressure is an elongated area of high pressure that extends from the center
of an anticyclone, and the wind circulation is anticyclonic.
A col is the saddle-backed region between two anticyclones and two cyclones.

Model of pressure distribution and prevailing winds at the

Surface uniform earth

Around the equator there is a region of almost uniform pressure in which the
winds are light and variable and this belt is called the “doldrums”. The winds converge
from the both the hemisphere into the doldrums. This convergence results in ascending
air currents, adiabatic cooling, condensation and precipitation. The doldrums are
therefore characterized by frequent showers, thunderstorms and heavy rainfall. Further
away, from the equator are belt of high pressure with easterly winds on their equatorial
sides and westerly winds on the pole ward side. These belts of high pressure are called
the subtropical anticyclones. The winds on this equatorial side are called the subtropical
anticyclones. The winds on this equatorial side are called Trade winds. They blow
mainly from the east and have a component towards the equator; on the pole ward side
the winds have a pole ward component. The subtropical anticyclones are regions of
descending air currents, low R.H. almost clear sky and deficit of rainfall most deserts are
found in the region.
In the central portion of the subtropical anticyclone the winds are light and
referred to by seamen as the “Horse Latitude”. The wind on the pole ward side of the
high pressure are called prevailing westerlies. They increase in strength as the latitude
There are three types of wind systems namely:
1. Primary wind system
2. Secondary wind system and

3. Special a type wind system. The primary and secondary wind systems consist of
Trade winds and monsoons respectively and special type consists of land and sea
1.Trade winds
Trade winds are the winds of primary wind systems that blow from subtropical
centers towards the equatorial side low between 30 and 350 and the winds on the
equatorial side are called “Trade winds”. They are the most regular winds. Their
steadiness has earned their name trade winds. They blow with greater strength and
constantly in winter than in summer. They are regular and steady over the oceans. They
blow away from the landmasses over continents.
When the equatorial region gets heated, the air sizes from the surface and passes
to the upper layers. The pressure of the atmosphere near the surface decreases in due
coarse. Air moves towards this low-pressure area from both north and south and this
phenomenon continues right through the year.

Winds Lower Layer

Winds in upper Layer
The resulting winds takes the same course or track and is hence called “Trade
winds”. As the hot air arise to the upper layers over the equator, the pressure is raised
there in due coarse and the surplus air moves northwards and southwards in the lower
layer. The movement is towards the equator form the north and south in the lower layers
and from the equator towards north and south in the upper layers. The latter are called
“antitrade” winds.

Relationship of wind and pressure

- Earth rotates from west to east along with atmosphere. Atmosphere is fixed to
earth by gravitational equilibrium.

- Wind therefore moves in addition to rotation.

- Horizontal motion is greater than vertical motion.
- Wind takes several days to cross the ocean but up and down movement is only in
few minutes.

Seasonal and Local winds

The monsoons are the most important among seasonal winds. In this system, the
direction of the winds changes seasonally. They are experienced over parts of North
America and much of South Asia, including the Indian subcontinent. These winds are
primarily a result of differential heating of land and sea. In summer, southern Asia
develops a low pressure and airflows landwards from the Indian Ocean. This is known as
the summer monsoon. In winter, the pressure over land is higher than over the sea and
consequently the air starts flowing from land to sea. This is called the winter monsoon.
The modern theories consider theories the monsoon a result of the shift in the pressure
and wind belts.

According to the dynamic theory, monsoons are a result of the pole ward shift of
the Inter Tropical Convergence (ITC) under the influence of the vertical sun during the
summer season. During summer in the northern hemisphere, in the months of May and
June the sun shines vertically over the Tropic of Cancer and the ITC shifts north of the
equator. The ITC is the convergence zone of the trade winds bowing from northeast in
the northern hemisphere and from the southeast in the southern hemisphere. As ITC

Shilts northern of the equator, the southeast tread winds start blowing north of the equator
to reach the ITC, and as they cross the equator, their direction is altered due to the
influence of the coriollis force, i.e., they are deflected towards their right and thus it gives
rise to the formation of a belt of equatorial westerilies blowing between the equator and
the ITC. These westerlies in the months of May and June blow from the equator towards
the ITC from the southwest to the northeast and they are called the southwest monsoon.

During the winter season the ITC again moves southwards and the areas north of
the equator, which experienced the equatorial westerlies during the summer season, now
come under the influence of the northeast trade winds. These northeasterly winds are
caked the northeast monsoons.

During this very season the ITC shifts south of the equator and the northeast
trades blowing towards the ITC, get deflected upon crossing he equator southward.

Here they give rise to the equatorial westerlies blowing from the northwest to the
southeast, replacing the trade winds of the southern hemisphere between the ITC and the
equator. Thus the areas situated in the tropical zone come under the influence of the trade
winds during the respective winter and the equatorial westerlies during the respective
summer season. Thus the direction of the winds is reversed seasonally and it makes up
the monsoon system of these regions.

In certain regions, local winds are generated as a result of the influence of the
local terrain. One example of this is the simple system of land and sea breeze
experienced in coastal areas. Due to differential heating, the air moves from sea to land
during the day and from land to sea at night. Mountain and valley winds also follow
daily alternation of direction. During the day air moves up along the valley slopes, as
the slopes are very hot. When the slopes cool at night air moves valley wards.
They are the local phenomena very prevalent in tropics during the post and pre
monsoon periods. Thunder stroms forms cumulonimbus type clouds in excessively
unstable air. The formation of thunder strom is as follows:
When the rain drops from larger tan 4 mm in diameter they will fall with a
velocity of exceeding 8 m/sec. And the drops break up into smaller drops, which fall less
If the ascending currents in the Cumulonimbus exceed 8 m/sec the large raindrops
will split up into smaller drops and will be carried upward. The ascending current in a
cumulonimbus is not steady, it consists of succession of gusts and lulls and the drops may
rise and fall grow and breakup repeatedly. Each time a drop breaks up into smaller
droops the – and the + electricity will be separated the air taking up –ve charge, drops
+ve charge. By repeat splitting up of drops, enormous electric charges are made
available for the thunderstorms. Since the air ascends much more rapidly than it drops

that breaks up, it follows that the positive charge is accumulated in the part of the cloud
where the ascending current is strongest and the rest of the cloud becomes negative or
A fully developed thunder stroms is an accompanied by strong gusts, heavy rain
or hail (shells o clear ice) and lightning and thunder. The precipitation, which
commences as a sudden heavy down pour, changes into continuous rain and gradually
The passage of a thunder strom is frequently accompanied by strong gusts, which
may cause complete loss of control of an air graft.
A tornado is a circular whirl of great intensity and small horizontal extent, in
which the wind velocity is usually super hemi cane force. The horizontal diameter of the
tornado varies from a few feet up to a mile. The wind velocity sometimes exceeds 200
m.p.h. The pressure in the center of tornado is much lower than in the immediate
surroundings and this together with high winds, produces destructive effects. The air in
the center is rising rapidly and the whirl is accompanied by heavy rain or hail and thunder
and lighting.

The tornadoes are short lived, usually not lasting more than an hour or two.
Tornado frequently occurs in Mississippi valley. (Water spronts are called as tornadoes
formed at the sea).
A cyclone may be defined as a region of low pressure surrounded by closed
isobars. It is also defined as an area within which the pressure is low relative to the
surroundings. The wind circulative around a cyclonic region is in anticlockwise
Prior to 1918, a cyclone was thought of merely as a region of low pressure usually
associated with bad weather. In 1918, J.Bjerkness found that a cyclone normally consists
of two air masses separated from one another by a front. A tongue of warm air, usually
form where the pressure is lowest. This tongue of warm air is called the “warm sector”.

The warm sector is surrounded by cold air of polar origin, the warm air of the tropical
Thus the cyclone is built up of two air masses of widely different temperature and
life history. The front that runs through the cyclone was called the polar front. Along the
right hand side of the front, warm air replaces colder air, which is called “Warm Front”.
The cold air replaces warm air and called as “Cold Front”.

Formation Of A Cyclone

As a result of sudden fall in pressure, the place becomes the center of depression or the
low-pressure area. Because o low pressure a sort of in balance in wind system occurs.
As a result the wind from the surrounding high-pressure area begins to blow very fast
towards the depression. The velocity of the wind blow depends upon the intensity of
depression. The forcible wind blow from all the directions of surrounding high-pressure
area towards the low-pressure area till it get saturated with pressure. At the same time
heavy rain will also occur. The direction of the wind in a cyclone is from upward to
downward and in an anticlockwise direction. The wind velocity will be around from 100
to 250 mph. After the cyclone, the sky becomes clear, the wind velocity decreased and
the pressure becomes normal.



The middle portion of the diagram represents the cyclone. The lower portion
represents a vertical cross section running from west to east to the south of center and the
upper portion represents a similar cross section to the north of center.
In the lower portion of this diagram the cold air in advance of the warm front
forms a wedge under the warm air above. The warm air being lighter than pressure and
cools adiabatic ally and results in condensation of water vapor. This the cloud system in
the middle portion of the diagram rests on wedge of the cold air. At the warm front
surface the clouds in the high and thin (chirus and ciro stratus). As we go down the
slope, the clouds become denser (altostratus) and merge gradually into the rain cloud
(mimbo stratus). In the rear end of cold front the weldge of cold air pushes under the
warm air and a clouds system results upper portion. Warm air does not come to the
earth’s surface and present aloft.

If the wave forming on a major air mass boundary is dynamically unstable, its
amplitude will increase as it travels along the front and the associated low -pressure
system will deepen.

A – Represents initial undisturbed condition of the front. Here a westerly current

of warm air next to easterly current of cold air and air streams parallel to the front and
hence stationary.

B – shows a developing frontal wave with a converging flow pattern and a small
precipitation area to the north of the warm front.
C- the wave development now has progressed (wave unstable) sufficient far and
called as “young wave cyclone”. The cyclone commences as a slight wave on a almost
stationary front, its amplitude increases and after12 to 24 hours. The wave has developed
to cyclone model. (Wave shorter than 100 km are stable and wave length between 100
km to 3000 km are unstable) only the unstable wave develops into cyclone.
D and E – indicate the occluded stage of cyclone. The amplitude continuous to
increase, the cold front dissolves and cyclone develops into a large whirl of more or less
homogeneous air. The greatest intensity, the minimum central pressure and highest
vertical extent are observed.
The cyclone attains a maximum intensity 12 to 24 hours after the occlusion
process has commenced. When the front begins to dissolve the energy supply decreases
and the strom feeds on the kinetic energy already created. This energy gradually
dissipated through friction and winds around the cyclone decrease.
Over takes the warm front and an occluded front results. As the occlusion process
continuous the occuluded front dissolves and


They are small cyclonic whirls, having circular isobars and very strong winds
circulating in a counter clockwise direction in the northern hemisphere and in a clockwise
direction in the s9oythern hemisphere. The tropical cyclones are called “Cyclones” in
India, “Huricanes” in West Indies and “Typhons” in East Asia. They originate in
doldrums over the oceans between 60 and 200 N and 200 S, and travel in the direction of
trade winds. The wind is light and variable in center (the eye) of the tropical cyclone
around which thee is a whirl of hurricane winds and torrential rainfall often accompanied
by thunder stroms. The horizontal diameter of this cyclone varies from few miles up to
several hundred miles. The wind velocity exceeds 100 miles per hour.

It is an area of high pressure surrounded by closed isobars. The winds blow
around the anticyclone in a clockwise direction in the northern hemisphere and in a
counter clockwise direction in southern hemisphere. In the center winds are light and
variable and are moderate in anticyclones except on the outers skirts. The wind has an
outward drift from the central part of the anticyclone and is compensated for by
descending air at higher levels the decending motion dissolves the high medium clouds.
The anticyclone is therefore of a region of stable and fair weather.

Cyclones and Anticyclones

Cyclones and anticyclones are two special pressure and wind systems. A cyclone
is a system of very low pressure in the center surrounded by increasing high pressure
outwards. In a cyclone, the winds blow in a circular manner in a clockwise direction in
the southern hemisphere and in an anticlockwise direction in the northern hemisphere. It
is believed that most cyclones in the temperate regions occur due to the coming close and
imperfect mixing of two masses of air of contrasting temperature and humidity
conditions. Cyclones of this type are also known as wave cyclones. On the other hand
cyclones in tropical areas result from the intense heating up of air in some regions
causing great loss to life and property in coastal areas. These tropical depressions are
known as cyclones in the Indian Ocean, Hurricanes in the West Indies, typhoons in the
China Sea and willy-willies in northwest Australia.

Anticyclones, which are the centers of high pressure, are the opposite of cyclones
in all respect.

Tornadoes are very strong tropical of a small size. They are specially feared in
some parts of southeastern United States. Sometimes, when they occur over sea, the
funnel-shaped cloud formed by the whirling motion of the wind descends to the surface
and draws up the water forming a column of water know as a ‘waterspout’.

The jet Stream

The jet stream is a system of upper-air westerlies. It givers rise to slowly moving
upper-air waves. In the upper-air waves are some narrow zones in which wind velocities
of up to 250 knots are observed in some air stream is believed to affect the onset and
retreat of monsoons in India. Jet streams develop over areas of steep pressure gradient.

Measurement of wind speed

In 1805 Admiral Francis Beaufort introduced a wind force (speed) scale, which
was based upon the response of certain objects to the wind. In applying Beaufort scale
the extent to which smoke is carried horizontally or to which trees bend before the wind
is used as an index of speed. At sea, the condition of waves, swell and spray in addition
to the response of sails and masts is the basis for wind speed estimates.

Table: The Beaufort scale of wind force with velocity equivalents

Beaufort Beaufort Descriptive Velocity,

Number Term Land Criteria miles/hour
0 Calm Calm, smoke rises vertically Less than 1
1 Light air Direction shown by smoke drift, not by wind vans 1 to 3
2 Light breeze Wind felt on face; leaves rustle; ordinary vane moved by 4 to 7
3 Gentle breeze Leaves and small twigs in motion; wind extenda light 3 to 12
4 Moderate breeze Raises dust and loose paper, small, branches moved 13 to 18
5 Fresh breeze Small trees in leaf being to away. Created wavelets form 19 to 24
on inland waters
6 Strong breeze Large branches in motion; whistling in telegraph wires; 25 to 31
timbrellas used with difficulty
7 Moderate gale Whole trees in motion; some difficulty walking against 32 to 38
8 Fresh gale Breaks twigs off trees; progress generally impeded 39 to 46
9 Strong gale Slight structural damage occurs (chimney pots and slate 47 to 54
10 Whole gale Trees uprooted; considerable structural damage occurs; 55 to63

seldom experienced inland

11 Strom Very rarely experienced; accompanied by widespread 63 to 75
12 Hurricane Above 75

From Trewartha. An introduction to Climate. McGraw-Hill, N.Y., 1954.

In modern method wind vane and anemometers are used for measuring the direction and
wind speed.


Monsoon is defined as a periodic wind system occurring in many parts of the

world. This periodic wind system recurs every year in the same period. Such periodic
wind system is caused due to fluctuation or change in temperature and pressure over a
large area.
In winter when the land is cold and the surface pressures are high, an outflow of
air towards the ocean takes place that may reinforce or weaken currents set up by the
planetary atmospheric circulation. Similarly in summer the land is warm, surface
pressure are lowered, and a tendency for an inflow of air from the ocean to land takes
place. Again this gradient is superimposed upon the general circulation. These seasonal
land and sea breeze is called the ‘monsoons’. They affect all continents. The position
and intensity of the subtropical high-pressure cells on both hemispheres, hence dynamic
effects, are distinctly linked with purely thermal effects of continents and (oceans). The
Classical Indian and East Asiatic monsoon are composite effects of both the effects. In a
typical monsoon climate during the winter (land) monsoon, the prevailing wind is
offshore; precipitation, cloudiness and humidity show minima. During the summer (sea)
monsoon, the prevailing wind is onshore; precipitation, cloudiness and humidity show
Our Indian subcontinent has got two well-defined monsoons.
They are
1.South West Monsoon –June – September
2.North East Monsoon – October – December

India is naturally well adapted with certain factors, which attribute for the
formation of monsoons.
They are: 1. The subcontinent is surrounded by the Terrestrial surface in the Northern
side and sea surface the southern side.2.The northern boundaries and western boundaries
are strongly guarded by hills and mountains which help to confine the monsoon wind
within our subcontinent.

During summer the continents of land area get hotter than the sea while the
conditions will be reverse in winter. Thus the continents behave as cold centers in winter
and hot centers in summer. The oceans behave as hot centers in summer. The wind
movements on account of these differences occur for some period in one direction and for
new period in the opposite direction, which are called monsoon winds.


From March onwards the sun moves towards the north from the equatorial line to
the tropic of cancer heating up the continent while the Indian oceans in the south gets
cooled. Thus during March to June summer temperature rises and becomes a low-
pressure area (north India) and the Indian Ocean in the south India serves as a Center of
high pressure. The South East trade wind crosses the equator, when it is deflected by the
rotation of the earth and becomes South West Monsoon wind. It gets charged with
moisture when it passes over the Indian Ocean. Clouds are consequently formed, thunder
stroms develop and monsoon bursts into rain on reaching the west cost of India by the
end of May, June (beginning).

The South West Monsoon enters India both from Arabian sea and Bay of Bengal.
The Arabian Sea branch is more important for South India. It appears in the west cost in
the month of May, June and spreads northwards and northeastwards, precipitating rains
over a large part of Tamil Nadu from June to September. The west coast districts of
Malabar and south Canara get very heavy rains, and also the Nilgris. Regions on the
leeward side of the Western Ghats like Coimbator gets very light rains and these are
called rain shadow regions. The Bay of Bengal branch benefits the east coast and the

northern circa gets fairly heavy rain. The southern coastal district also gets fair rain.
West Bengal, Orrisa, Assam and Bihar receive a considerable rainfall.

In Sahyadri mountain on the west coast and the Himalayan ranges in the N.E, also
gets rain. Hence the area, which receives heavy rains, are the windward side of the
Sahyadri ranges (Karkan ragion), the hills of Assam and the Himalayan ranges. It is from
these watersheds the major rivers like Ganga, Yamuna and Bramaputra originate intensity
of S.W. Monsoon and the distribution of rainfall are controlled by a series of depressions
develop in the Bay of Bengal and travel in a northwesterly direction across the country.
As a result heavy rainfall occurs along the tracts 3 to 4 depression /month occur during
the monsoon.


After June 21st the sun beings to move south ward and crosses the equator on
September 23.
The South West Monsoon is followed by North East Monsoon towards the end of
September. The North East Monsoon is also known as the retreating monsoon. This is
an example of transfer of directing of wind with the migration of the sun southward. In
the cold season September to December, central Asia becomes the cold center of high
pressure. The doldrums becomes the hot center of low pressure and draw the air from

central Asia. The wind coming from Central Asia passes Tibet, India and the Indian
Ocean to the Southern hemisphere. The North East monsoon is a dry wind system.
However when the currents pass over and across the Bay of Bengal and get deflected
South Westerly, they carry humid air and strike the coastal areas of TamilNadu. Cyclones
develop at the head of Bay of Bengal, which cross over Peninsular India. Madras, Bengal
and Burma are affected frequently by such cyclones. Almost the entire Andhra and
Madras State get a fair amount of rainfall. The parts of southern districts of Madras not
benefited b south West Monsoon good rain in North East monsoon.

(Chapter –10)
Moisture present in the atmosphere plays a significant role in weather and climate
of a region. There are three major components in the atmospheric moisture.
i. Humidity
ii. Precipitation
iii. Evaporation
Humidity: The terminology related to humidity and concerned with gaseous form of
water i.e., water vapour, several expression of the amount of water vapour in the air are
1. Absolute humidity: It denotes the actual mass of water vapour in given volume of air.
It may be expressed as the number of grams of water vapour in cubic meter of moist
air or mass of water vapour per unit volume of air.
2. Specific humidity: It is defined as the moisture content of moist air as determined by
the ratio of the mass of water vapour to the mass of moist air in which the mass of
water vapour id contained.
3. Relative humidity: Relative humidity is a common parameter for expressing water
vapour content of the air. It is the percentage of water vapour present in the air in
comparison with saturated condition at a given temperature and pressure. The R.H.
can be expressed as
RH = ------
Where “r” is the mixing ratio of moist air at pressure (p) and temperature and “rw” is
the saturation-mixing ratio at same temperature and pressure.
4. Mixing ratio: The mass of water vapour per unit mass of dry air is a convenient
parameter to express the relative composition of the mixture. It is defined as the
ratio of the mass of water vapour to the mass of dry air with which the water vapour
is associated.
5. Den point: The temperature at which saturation occurs in given mass of air. The

dew point temperature is often compared with the temperature of free air and also
used to predict the occurrence of fog, dew, frost or precipitation.
6. Vapour pressure: This is the amount of partial pressure created by water vapour in the
air expressed in the units of millibar (or) inches of mercury.
7. Vapour pressure deficit (VPD): It is the difference between saturated vapour pressures
and actual vapour pressure. Express as bar Pascal. When the VPD is up to 1.5 Kpa the
air is said to be humid and over and above 2.5 Kpa it is drier. It gives the rough
estimate of drying power of air similar to RH. Rate of evaporation and transpiration
are indicated by the magnitude of VPD
8. Saturation point: When air contains all the vapour it can hole at that temperature air
said to be saturated at the temperature reached saturation point.


1. Temperature:
If the temperature of the atmospheric air is more, the water vapour present will be
less. But at the same time the high temperature will increase the capacity of the
atmospheric air to absorb more water from the earth surface.
2. Nearness of the place to the seacoast:
The places near the seacoast are supposed to be cooler due to high deposition of
water in vapour form in the atmospheric air from sea.
3. Climate:
Based on the various climatologically a factor such as temperature rainfall etc., a
particular place is divided into various climatic periods like summer winter etc.
Summer period is marked by high temperature, low rainfall and low humidity.
Rainy period is marked winter season is also marked by low temperature, but not with
frequent rain and high humidity.
It decides the dampness or dryness of the atmospheric air. Humidity has got the
same effect as that of rain in deciding the water needs of the crops. The high humidity
has also got some adverse effect on the crop growth. There will be high incidence of pest
and diseased under high humidity.

The rate of evaporation and transportations entirely depends upon the saturated
condition of the atmospheric air with water vapour.
The amount of vapour (water) in the atmospheric air is measured by gravimetric
method, and also by using wet and dry bulb thermometers, An man Psyschrometer
Hygrograph etc.

Effect of Relative Humidity on crops

RH directly influences the water relation of the plant and indirectly affects 1) Leaf
growth, 2) Photosynthesis 3) Pollination 4) Uptake and translocation of nutrients 5)
Occurrence of pest and diseases 6) Economic yield of crop

Water relation: RH affects the transpiration by modifying the vapor pressure gradient.
In dry region RH will be low which causes severe water deficit in plants and reduce the
leaf water potential, plants become dry and wilt. High RH lowers the ET.

1. Leaf growth not only depends on photosynthesis and biochemical presses but
also depend on physical process of cell enlargement. Cell enlargement occurs as
a result of turgor pressure developed within the cell. Turgor pressure is high
under high RH due to less transpiration. Thus, leaf enlargement is high in humid
region. E.g., cotton 40% RH recorded increase the growth rate compared to 25 or
2. Photosynthesis: RH indirectly affects photosynthesis. When RH is reduced
transpiration increases causes water deficit in plants. Water deficit causes partial
or full closed of stomata and increases mesophyll resistant blocking the entry of
CO2 thereby Photosynthesis is affected.
3. Pollination: Moderately low air humidity is favorable for seed set in many crops
provided in soil moisture supply is adequate. E.g., Seed set was higher in wheat
at 60% RH compared to 80 % RH. When water availability in soil is not limiting,

due to increase pollen germination. When RH is increased pollen may not

disturbed from the anther. Low RH causes pollen sterility.
4. Uptake and translocation of nutrient: High RH decreases the transpiration,
which affects uptake of nutrients and causes deficiency. Uptake of P, K and Ca
was higher at high RH the 60%. Increased the RH increases P uptake. RH 60% is
effective for most of the crop growth by better nutrient uptake.
5. Pest and disease incidence: It increases with increased RH. Higher RH favors
easy germination will be ore under high RH.
6. Crop Yield: Very high or low RH is not ideal. In maize low yield due to high
RH. Pest and disease incidence at maturity stage. Low RH is useful. 60-80%
RH is ideal for most of the crop.
Diurnal variation in RH: The mean maximum RH occurs in the early morning hours and
minimum in the early afternoon. The RH has its maximum at equator and decreases
towards the poles up to 300 N and S due to subsiding and diver sing air masses. From
About 300 to poles the RH increase the result of decreasing temperature. This trend is
known as Diurnal variation in RH.
Effect of relative humidity on Plant Growth

Increase in RH-decreases the temp. This phenomenon increases heat load of the
leaves. Since transpiration is reduced-not much heat energy used. Excessive heat due to
closure of stomata entry of CO2 is reduced. Reduction in transpiration reduces the rate of
food translocation and uptake of nutrients.
Very high RH is beneficial to - Maize, Sorghum, Sugarcane, (C4Plants)
Harmful to - Sunflower, Tobacco.
Affect water requirement of crops: For almost all the crops it is always safe to have a
moderate R.H. of above 40%. 60-80 % conducive for growth and development of plants.

(Chapter –11)
Clouds are condensed moisisting of droplets of water and ice crystals. The nuclei
of those droplets are dust particles.
Near the surface these drops forms as fogs and in the free atmosphere, they form
Clouds has been defined as a visible aggregation o minute water droplets and / or
ice particles in the air, usually above the general ground level.

Clouds are formed by condensation of moisture n the air by cooling.
1. It is due to direct cooling as they come in contact with cold surface.
2. By mixing of hot and cold air.
3. By expansion.
When a current of air rises upwards due to increased temperature it goes up, expands
and gets cooled. If the cooling continues till the saturation point is reached, the water
vapour condenses and forms clouds. The condensation takes particles individually are
very small and suspended in the air.
Only when the droplets coalesce to from a drop of sufficient weight, to overcome
the resistance of air, they fall as rain.
Clouds are considered essential and accurate tools for weather forecasting. Every
feature of air masses (discontinuity, subsidence, instability and stability) is reflected by
the shape, amount and structure of clouds.
Classification of clouds
Though confusion apparently arise from the number of kinds or species, the
genera seems reasonably clear-but, if we are able to recognize their main characteristics.
Clouds are usually classified according to their height and appearance. For
convenience we list them in descending order. High clouds, middle clouds and low
clouds. Since for one do not fit in any of these categories. But fortunately their
particular characteristics make them easily, identifiable as vertical development clouds.

Genera with common distinguishing characteristics main sum division of a family. We

must exercise some caution in relying on height data. There is some seasonal as well as
latitudinal variation and there is some overlapping from time to time. However, the
appearances of clouds are quite distinctive for each height category.
The main cloud genera are defined and described in the international cloud atlas
of the WMO genera1957. That can be listed according to their heights as under.

A. High (mean heights 5 to 13 km) (Mean lower level 20000 ft)

i) Cirrus (ci) men height 9900 m.
ii) Cirrocumulus (cc) 8300 m.
iv) Cirrostratus (Cs) 6500 m.
B. Middle (Mean height 2 to 7 km) (6500 to 20000’)
i) Altostratus (As) 4300 m.
ii) Altocumulus (Ac) 4300 m.
C. Low (mean heights 0 to 2 km) (Close to earth’s surface to 6500’)
i) Nimbostratus (Ns) 2000 m.
ii) Stratocumuls (Sc) 500m.
iii) Stratus (St) 900-1200 m.

D. Vertical clouds
i) Cumulus (Cu) 1500-2000 m.
ii) Cumulonimbus (Cn) 3000-5000 m.

Clouds with vertical development

1.Cirrus: Detached clouds in the form of white, delicate filaments or white or mostly
white patches of narrow bands. Those clouds have a fibrous (hair like) appearance or a
delicate silk) appearance or both. All the cirrus or cirro-type clouds are composed of ice

crystals. Cirrus clouds have brilliant colours of sunset sunrise. These clouds do not give
2.Cirro-Status: Transparent which cloud v

3.Cirro-cumulus: Thin, white flakes, sheet or layer of cloud without shading.

Composed of very small elements in the form of grains, ripples etc. This type of cloud is
not common and is often connected with cirrus or cirrostratus. When arranged uniformly,
it forms a “Mackerel sky”. Mackerel – Fish has Greenish blue stripped back and silvery
white belly.
4.Alto-stratus: A uniform sheet cloud of “Grayish or bluish cloud frequently showing a
fibrous appearance, totally or partly covering the sky, and having parts this enough to
reveal the sun at least Waverly as through ground glass. Altostratus does not show halo
phenomena. This type of clouds a may cover all or large portions of the sky.
Precipitation may fall either as fine drizzle or snow.
5. Alto-Cumulus: “white or grey, or both white and grey, patch, sheet or layer of cloud.
They have devel shedding on their under-surfaces. Sometimes referred to as “sheep
clouds” or “ Woolpack clouds”.
6.Nimbo- Stratus: “Grey cloud layer, often dark, the appearances of which is rendered
diffuse by more or less continuously falling rain or snow. Which in most cases reaches
the ground. It is thick enough throughout to blot out the sun. It is a rain, snow or sleet
cloud. It is never accompanied by lightening, thunder or hail. Streaks of water (rain) or
snow falling from these clouds but not reaching the ground are called “Virga”. Wisps or
streaks of water or ice particles falling from base of a cloud but evaporating completely
before reaching the ground. Wisps=bundle as of straw.
7. Strato-Cumulus: “Grey or whitish or both grey and whitish patch, sheet or layer of
cloud which almost always has dark parts, composed of tessellation’s, rounded masses,
rolls, etc.
8. Stratus: Generally grey cloud layer with a fairly uniform base, which may give
drizzle, ice prisms or snow grains, sky may be completely covered by this type of cloud.
Sun is visible through this cloud.

9. Cumulus: “Detached clouds, generally dense and with sharp outlines, develop
vertically in the form of rising mounds, domes of towers, of which the bulging upper
parts often resembles a cauliflower. Cumulus is generally found in the dry time over land
areas. They dissipate at night. They produce only light precipitation
10.Cumulonimubs: “Heavy and dense cloud, with a considerable vertical extent in the
form of a mountain or huge towers. This type of cloud is associated with heavy rainfall,
thunder, lightening, hail or tornadoes. This type of clouds is easily recognized by the fall
of a real shower and sudden darkening of the sky.
Clouds formation: Air contains moisture – this is extremely important to the formation
of clouds.
- Clouds are formed around microscopic particles such as dust, smoke, salt crystals
& other materials that are present in the atmosphere.
- These materials are called “Cloud condensation Nucleus” (CCN)
- Without these no cloud formation will take place.
- Certain special types known as “ice nucleus” on which cloud droplets freeze or
ice crystals form directly for water vapour.
- Generally condensation nuclei are present in plenty in air
- But there is scarcity for special ice forming nuclei.
- Generally clouds are made up of billions of these tiny water droplets of ice
crystals or combination of both.
There are two rain forming process viz,
1. Warm
2. Cold } Rain process
Warm rains: it refers rainfall process n the tropics.
- Rains occur when the temp is above 00C never colder than 00C.
- When larger droplets collide and absorb smaller cloud droplets.
- They grow larger and larger & become raindrops.
- This process is known as “Coalescence”
Cold rain process
- Occurs when the cloud temperature is colder than 00C.
- Clouds are usually with ice crystals and liquid water droplets.

- These crystals grow rapidly drawing moisture from the surrounding cloud
droplets until their weight causes them to fall.
- Falling ice crystals may melt and join with smaller liquid cloud droplets resulting
in raindrops. If ice crystals do not melt, they may grow into large snowflakes and
reach the ground as snow.

Conditions favorable for the occurrence of precipitation

i) The cloud dimension (vertical –7 km horizontal 60-
ii) The lifetime of the cloud (at least 2-3 hrs.)
iii) The size and concentration of cloud droplets & ice
iv) RH should be 75%
v) Wind velocity 20km.
vi) Cloud seeding

Cloud Seeding: It is the process by which the conditions of the cloud (dimension, life
time and size) are modified by supplying with suitable nuclei us at proper time and place.
For accelerating the warm rain process seeding with very large nuclei such as salt crystals
can be used. In the case of cold rain process, seeding with ice nuclei such as silver iodide
are used to make good the deficiency in the clouds.

(Chapter –12)
Hydrologic cycle
Hydrologic cycle involves four major steps viz, evaporation, transpiration,
condensation and precipitation. Through the cycle has neither a beginning nor and end,
the concept of cycle begins with the water of the oceans, since it covers nearly ¾ of the
earth’s surface. Radiation from the sun evaporates the water vapor from the oceans into
the atmosphere. The water vapour rises and collects to form clouds. Under certain
conditions, the cloud moisture condenses and falls back to the earth as rain, snow, hail
etc., precipitation reaching the earth’s surface may be intercepted by vegetation, o enter
into the soil, may flow as run off or may evaporate. Evaporation may be from the surface
of the ground of from free water surface. Transpiration may be from plants.

Evaporation: The change of state of water from solid and liquid to the vapour and its
diffusion into the atmosphere is referred to as evaporation. In agricultural Meteorology
Evaporation is defined as the maximum possible loss of moisture form a wet, horizontal,
flat surface exposed to weather parameters, which exist in the vicinity of plants.
Factors affecting Evaporation
1. Those affecting water supply at the evaporating surface. i.e., soil and plants
including soil storage capacity, rainfall and irrigation and
2. Those affecting energy supply to the evaporation surface like solar radiation.
Transpiration: Most of the water absorbed by plants is lost to the atmosphere. This loss
of water from living plants is called transpiration. It can be stomatal, cuticular or
Factors affecting Transpiration: Light, Humidity, Temperature, wind, root/shoot ratio,
availability of water to plants, Leaf characteristics.
Evapotranspiration (ET): As noted earlier, it is a combined losses of water through
evaporation from the soil and transpiration from the plants.

Potential Evapotranspiration (PET): Is defined as the amount of water which will be

lost from an extensive water surface or soil completely covered with vegetation where
there is about moisture in the soil at all times
Evapotranspiration is also called water use (WU) or consumptive use (CU). The
Evapotranspiration (ET) are climate and management practices.
- One of the four components of the endless hydrogical cycle (Evaporation-
- Most of the water vapor comes from ocean.
- It is also important in agriculture as it affects.
- Soil Conditions.
- Plant growth-crops.
- Water storage-dams.
Evaporation depends upon:
- Temperature of the water surface
- Vapour pressure of the air
The pressure exerted by the water vapour in the air is known as “vapour pressure”.
Evaporation is more when there in greater pressure difference between vapour pressure
and saturation vapour pressure.
- Wind movement (Removes moisture) – Evaporation increases with wind velocity.
- Salinity – presence of dissolved minerals salts reduce Evaporation from sea is 5%
less than pure water.
Factors, which affect ET from plant & Soils, are:
i) Those affecting water supply
- Soil storage capacity.
- Rainfall.
- Irrigation

ii) Those affecting energy supply

1. Light: Stomata open I light and close in the dark.

2. Temperature: Humidity/ vapour pressure function of temperature

3. Relative Humidity: Less humidity higher temperature. Increases difference –

incurred. Decrease temperature increase vapour pressure – reducing the
saturation deficit

Wind: Saturated unit is replaced by dry air around the plant – increased temperature
cooling effect on leaves vapour pressure different decreases

Plant characters:
a) Root shoot – ratio
b) Leaf characteristics
c) More LAI – Transpiration high
d) Thick cuticle – epidermal hair – less transpiration.

When R/S ratio is more or equal then Transpiration will be more.

PR-Evaporation forms a free water surface.
AE - Actual Evaporation.
AE is always less than PE
Climatic Factors
1. Solar radiation
2. Relative Humidity
3. Temperature
4. Wind
Soil Factors:
1. Soil texture – a. Sady soil, b. Clay soil.
2. Available soil moisture
3. Soil salinity
4. Hydraulic conductivity
Plant characters:
1. Plant morphology
a. Leaf size
b. Thickness of the cuticle
c. Stomata
2.Type of plant

Other factors
1. Ploughed unploughed field
2. Plant population and row pattern
3. Plant cover

ET and Crop production:

1. Working out ET or PET will be useful in scheduling the irrigation. (IW/CPE ratio
2. ET can also help in demarcating the drought prone areas. These will form the
base for developing suitable soil and crop management practices, crop varieties,
water conservation techniques, cropping pattern and ways to improve productivity
of rain fed crops.
3. Water Use Efficiency can be worked out.

Condensation: The physical process by which a vapour becomes a liquid or solid-

opposite of evaporation.

(Chapter –13)

It is defined as water in liquid solid form falling on the earth surface.

Types of precipitation

Conventional precipitation, Orographic precipitation, Frontal precipitation.

Conventional precipitation: This type of precipitation occurs due to convection over

turning of moist air. Conventional precipitation results in heavy showery rainfall. The
major forms of precipitation associated with this type are rains or snow showers, hail or
snow pellets.
Convention: Upward movement of relatively warm air.
Hail: Ice pellets along with rain – Updrafts of cumulonimbus clouds leads to hail.
Orographic precipitation: Precipitation resulting from raising and cooling of air masses
when they are blocked by a topographical barrier (mountains). The barriers are important
factor in increasing the rainfall on windward slopes. E.g.: Cherrapunjii in Assam – 10000
mm of rainfall – Here the mountain barriers lie across the paths of moisture bearing
Frontal precipitation: Produced when airs current converge and rise. Most
precipitation results from condensation and sublimation. This type occurs mainly in
middle latitude.
Hydrological cycle: four major steps are involved.
Evaporation, transportation, condensation and precipitation.
Evaporation: The primary source of water vapour in the atmosphere is the moisture
evaporated from the Ocean (99%) and lands a small extent from transpiration.
Transportation: Humid tropical air masses, which become cool as they travel pole
ward, were carrying huge quantity of water vapour.
Condensation: Warm air raises and water vapour is condensed.
Precipitation: The condensed water vapour float through the air in the form of clouds
through the barrier of adiabatic cooling. Extensive air masses fall below the dew point.

Water particle increase in size until they are too heavy to float and then they fall as rain or
snow or other forms of precipitation.
Forms of precipitation
Rain fall, drizzle snow, sleet, hail or hail storm.
Rainfall: it forms are one kind of precipitation received through the cycle know as
hydrological cycle. It is a never-ending cycle between Ocean, atmosphere and land.
Drizzle: Minute droplets of water having a diameter less than half a millimeter or 0.02
inches. The intensity is very light and the fine droplets of water hardly reach the ground.
It falls continuously from low stratus type of clouds.
Snow: Failure of Indian monsoon during 1960’s. It is formed by crystallization of water
vapour at temperature below freezing point through the process of sublimation. A snow
cover is poor conductor and keeps the soil temperature higher. Much useful in
agriculture in region where the winter are severe. It prevents soil freezing and protects
roots of the plant.
Hail of Hailstorm: Hail are composed of hard pellets of ice or ice and snow. It ranges
from small peas to large cricket ball size. Hails rarely occur in tropic or high latitude. It
causes heavy damage to crops, buildings and to glass houses.
Sleet: It is the precipitation in the form of small particles or pellets of clear ice. Sleet are
formed either due to melting of hail or due to freezing of raindrops when it passes
through the cold air mass. Sleet occurs when there is a strong temperature inversion
above the surface.
Glaze: When the rain is composed of super cooled drops, which froze rapidly upon
striking solid surface. This forms a coasting of ice on trees, wire and other objects. Such
deposits are called glaze. Its occurrence is popularly called ass ice – straw. This
damages trees and wires by breaking due to over weight. Some times deposits of >5cm
thickness has been observed on tree twigs.
Forms of Condensation: Dew, frost and Fog.
Dew: It is condensed moisture deposited on cold objects. It has two roles.
a) Passive role – It delays raise I temperature
b) Active role – Dew is absorbed by the planes and enters in dynamic liquid
cycle. It is much useful in arid region for crops.

Frost: When the dew point is below 00C moisture passes directly from gaseous to solid
state. The frost occurs in low places like vallies. The cold air drains along the slope into
low places creating temperature inversion. It affects the plantation crops in higher
Fog: It may be defined as microscope falling of small drop of water condensed and
suspended in the air at the surface of earth reducing horizontal visibility. The blend of
smoke and fog is called smog.
Rainfall: Monsoons of India
Rainy day: A day, receiving a rainfall of 2.5 mm or more.
Effective rainfall: The amount of rain received which is sufficient to meet Et or
consumptive use, is called effective rainfall.
ER=Rainfall – (deep percolation losses + runoff losses)
Isohyte: Imaginary line connecting the places having similar rainfall is called as Isohyte.
Instruments used:
Rainfall – Ordinary rain gauge, Self-recording rain gauge.
Dew: Dew gauge.
Monsoon: The trade winds the changed direction due to local factors likes topography,
Ocean etc, during the year, are called monsoon. India has well developed regular
monsoon system. 85 to 90% of total rainfall is from both the monsoons. The seasonal
wind of the Indian Ocean and southern Asia blowing from the southwest in summer and
from Northeast in winter monsoon blows. Commonly marked by heavy rains.
SWM: June - Sep. Onset of SWM – First week of June.
Withdrawal of monsoon – End of September.
India – 73% of total rainfall is from SWM.
Tamil Nadu – 32% of total rainfall is from SWM.
Formation of SWM.
During summer, central Asia and arid zones of India get heated up resulting in low
pressure. High pressure develops in the Indian Ocean on Ocean in South. Hence wind
moves from high-pressure area of India Ocean to towards lower pressure area of India.
The South East winds start from south of equator, while crossing the equator, the are

caught up suddenly in the air circulation over India and deflected as South –West winds.
They reach south India (Kerala) around first week of June every year (30 km/hour). In
months time they over run almost entire country. These monsoon winds over India has
two branches
1. Bay of Bengal branch moves to Assam
2. The Arabian Sea branch moves northward to Kerala coast.

NEM or Returning monsoon :October –December.

Onset in Tamil Nadu: End of September or First week or October.
With drawal: End of December.
India – 13% of total rainfall is from NEM.
Tamil Nadu: - 47% of total rainfall is from NEM.
Formation of NEM.
In winter, the large masses in China and Russia cools, because of movement of
Sun towards south of equator, resulting in high-pressure area. Lower pressure areas are
developed over Indian Ocean due to high temperature. The air masses move from high
pressure to low pressure area (Indian Ocean). These winds are cool and dry. While
reaching India, they are abstracted by Himalaya and deflected to east. The northeast
winds subsequently deflected to Southwest, they become warm. As they move across
over Bay of Bengal, it absorbs large quantity of moisture and are warm. As they strike
the cool land surface of south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu coast, the air
masses are cooled and rainfall occurs.
Tamil Nadu:
SWM dominated areas: Nilgiris, Salem, Dharmapuri.
NEM dominated areas: Southern districts.
Both the monsoons: Kanyakumari
Effect of rainfall on crop production
Rainfall is the primary source of water to earth surface. India is a monsoon
country. Nearly 73% of rainfall is received during SWM and 13% during NEM season.
In Tamil Nadu 47% received in NEM and 32% from the SWM.

The economic importance of rainfall can be well appreciated, when the extend of
its contribution towards food production in India is seen. Out of 142.5 million ha. Under
arable land in India, rain fed area accounts 65.5% in India, where as in Tamil Nadu it
more than 90% of millers and pulses, 75% of total oil seeds, 70% cotton, 82% of maize,
61% of rice and 35% of wheat are grown under rain fed condition.
I. Effect of amount of rainfall on crop production
• Selection of crop varieties and cropping system depend on the quantity of
rainfall. The rainfall limits the choice of crops. E.g.: North Western India
Seasonal rainfall 300-400mm – only pearl millet based system is practiced.
North Eastern India – Seasonal rainfall 600-700 mm –rice based cropping
system is practiced. Semi arid regions of Peninsular India –seasonal rainfall
of 300 –500 mm – only maize/ground nut/ sorghum are grown.
• Generally yield levels are determined by the amount of rainfall above the
basic minimum: Under rain fed condition minimum 250mm of rainfall is
necessary for grain crops.
• Rainfall may also to too excess of the optimum and cause yield reduction.
Prolonged rainfall for 4-5 months caused poor drainage – reduce the growth
and yield of crops drastically. E.g.: Germinations of crops like wheat,
gingelly, mustard, safflower are very much affected, if stagnation of water for
even two or three days. Heavy ort excess rainfall results in run off losses –
which removes the top fertile soils, plant nutrients leached out of root zones
and crops are adversely affected under anaerobic condition created by excess
• Very low rainfall / drought causes severe moisture stress in different growth
stages resulted in poor growth, yield attributed and reduces the yield
drastically, even failure of crops under sever moisture stress conditions. The
effect is much more when there is moisture stress at critical stage of crop

II. Intensity of rainfall on crop production

High intensity results in run off and soil loss resulted poor soil fertility and
productivity. Further it causes degradation of land become unsuitable for cultivation.
High intensity at the time of flowering resulted in poor seed set.
III. Distribution of rainfall on crop production
The amount of rainfall received at periodical intervals like weeks, month, season
etc. Indicates the distribution. It is more important than total rainfall. E.g.: Coimbatore
– Annual rainfall – 640mm; London with same quantity of rainfall, two or three crops are
grown under rain fed condition because of well distribution of rainfall.

Number of dry spells and wet spells: The success of crops in rain fed condition depends
on the number of wet and dry spells.

Dry spell: It is number of continuous rainless days. A dry spell of > 10-14days for alfisol
and >15-20 days for vertisol is critical for the crops.
Wet spell: It is a number of continuous days of rainfall.
IV. Effect of rainfall abberation on crops: There are four different rainfall
1.Early or late on-set of monsoon: The early onset of about 15 days before the normal
onset has no harmful effect but late on set of monsoon will affect the crops in the
following ways.
a. Late sowing reduces the length of growing season, there by reduces the crop
b. In late wowing, there is higher incidence of pest and diseases.
2. There may be prolonged dry spells during the cropping period.
a. In the case of early drought the germination of crops will be much affected results
in poor germination, yield and failure of crops.
b. Mid late season drought causes poor crop growth resulted n poor yield and failure
of crops.
3.Uneven distribution of rainfall in space and time or spatial or temporal variation

Flood or drought drastically reduce crop growth and yield due to either excess
moisture or severe moisture stress.
4. Early withdrawal of monsoon or extended monsoon or continuous for longer period:
Early withdrawal resulted in complete failure of crops.
5. Extended rainfall beyond the season will affect the grin setting in poor quality grains
but extended monsoon helps for raising second crop under rain fed condition. Extended
rainfall also affect the harvest of crops, thrashing and drying the crops in time.

Types of rainfall
1. Unimodel rainfall
a. South West monsoon dominant – Single cropping – North India, Niligirs, Salem
and Dharmapuri.
b. NEM dominant rainfall – Single cropping – Southern districts of Tamil Nadu.
2. Bimodel rainfall: (Kanyakumari) – Rainfall will come in two season, double cropping
is possible. E.g.: Kanyakumari, Niligiris.

Types of Precipitation: There are three types of precipitation particularly for

1. Conventional precipitation – due to convection in the form of turning of moist air.
Heavy and showery precipitation is most likely, Rain, snow showers, hail and snow

2. Orographic precipitation: Precipitation resulting from raising and cooling of air masses
when they are blocked by a topographic barriers (mountains). Barrier is important factors
in increasing the rainfall on win ward slopes. Highest annual Rain falls –where the
mountain barriers lie across the paths of moisture bearing winds. (Chirrapunji) – indirect
effect – force moist air upward, they hinder the passage of low pressure areas and also
promotes convection (due to differential heating along the slopes.)

3. Frontal cyclonic precipitation: Fronts form as the result of confluent motion between
contrasting air masses. It may happen according to type low-pressure systems and its
stage of development.
Precipitation characteristics
a. Rainfall intensity
b. Aerial extent of rainstorm
c. Frequency of rainstorms
Monsoons of India
Monsoon represents one of the phenomena in the category of secondary
circulation of the atmosphere. The term monsoon is derived from an Arabic word
‘Mausim’ or from Malayan word ‘monsin’ which means ‘season’. The word monsoon is
applied to such a circulation, which reverse its direction every six months i.e. from
summer to winter and vice-versa.

Economic importance of Monsoon

The economic significance of monsoon is enormous, because a population of
more than 2000 million lives, i.e., roughly about half the world’s population (54 per
cent), depends on the monsoon rains for their crops. Moreover, a large percentage of
total population in the monsoon region derives its income from agriculture. In India
monsoon mean life-giving rains. Rice is their major crop, which provides food for
millions of people; hence monsoon rains are so essential for its growth. Failure of
monsoon rains cause loss of food crops. Erratic behavior of monsoon cause disastrous
floods in some parts of the country while I other parts there is severe drought.
During the hot, dry season (April-May) when temperatures rise rapidly and
pressures over land decrease, the warm and moist air form over the adjacent seas starts
blowing, towards the above-mentioned low-pressure center. However, in the beginning
the maritime air masses are drawn only from a short distance. But by the end of May or
the first week of June, when the low pressure has fully developed, the pressure – gradient
is steepned so that even the trade winds from southern hemisphere are drawn towards the
thermal low positioned in north-western region of the sub-continent. The southerly
trades on crossing the equator are deflected to their right in accordance with Ferrell’s

Law. Now, the originally southeast trade winds become southwesterly blowing towards

Winter Monsoon
A secondary high-pressure system develops over Kashmir and the Punjab. The
high-pressure area controls the prevailing wind direction over the rest of the
subcontinent. Contrary to the pressure condition over land, there are low-pressure centers
formed over the India Ocean, the Arabian Sea, and northern part of Australia. In the cool
season, therefore, there is pressure gradient from land to sea as a result of which winds
begin to move from land to sea. These are the northeast or winter monsoons of northern
The southern part of Indian Peninsula receives rainfall from north eat monsoon
currents. These currents while traveling over the Bay of Bengal pick up moisture from
warm ocean surface. The amount of winter rainfall on the eastern side of the peninsula is
much heavier than that on the other side. It is also known as retreating monsoon.

Flood: High degree of runoff is known as flood. Runoff is that portion of precipitation
that returns of the oceans and other water bodies over the land surface of through the soil
and water table. May be direct return of rainfall or the flow form melted snow and ice
fields – which have temporarily stored water.
Flood differs from simple runoff only in degree. Distinction between the two
depends upon how affect surface features. River floods result whenever the channel
capacity is exceeded by the runoff due to excessive runoff of rainfall or snowmelt. But,
the channel capacity may also be affected by barriers of flow, sudden change of direction
of stream, reduced gradient, siltation of the streambed, or sudden release of water due to
broken dam.
Factors affecting run off
1. The amount and intensity of precipitation
2. Temperature
3. Characters of the soil
4. Vegetative cover of the area

5. Slope of the land.

When rain occurs the proportion of runoff will depend on capacity of the soil and
vegetation to absorb. Plants retain some rainfall on their external structures and slow the
velocity of raindrops. They also detain water in its horizontal movement. Plants improve
soil structure and their roots provide channels to move water to greater depths. The high
humus content of soils with dense grass cover enhances absorption; for it acts something
like a sponge porous soils absorb more water by infiltration than dense clays. Impervious
sub-soil redness the amount of water that can be stored.

Climatic causes of flood

The predisposition of a climate to storms producing excessive precipitation is the
fundamental basis of the flood. In some climates flood-producing storms occur
irregularly; in others they follow a seasonal pattern.

Two types storms causing flood are

a. Violent thundershowers, which is of short duration and produces a flash flood.
b. Prolonged wide spread rain which through sheer quantity of water, creates
extensive flooding over entire watersheds.
Damages due to flood
1. Loss of human life.
2. Loss of field crops – may vary according to the duration and intensity of
3. Loss of cattle wealth.
4. Loss of soil.
5. Loss of properties.
Not all floods are “ bad” for centuries agricultural areas in the lower – Nile flood
plain and Mesopotamia depends on annual river flooding and the accompanying deposits
of fertile silt. What is gained in this way in the lowlands must be lost at higher levels in
the watershed.

Management of flood
1. Conserve water in the soil where it falls by increasing porosity of the soil and
growing vegetations i.e., reduce runoff.
2. Increase the capacity of channels (rivers) to carry excess water direct to the ocean
or to the water bodies for storage.
3. Avoid silting of water course by conserving soil by adopting sol conservation
techniques such as by vegetative barriers, counter bunding, contour cultivation
allowing grassy water ways etc.,
Management of crops affected by flood
Too much of water may be just as harmful to plants as too little. The most
injurious aspects of flooding or too much of water are lack of aeration in oxygen supply.
In wet soil nitrification suffers which causes yellowing and sticky appearance of plants.
Management practices
1. Drain away excess water as early as possible.
2. Give a foliar spraying of nutrients especially nitrogen for immediate relief. (Rice:
1.0% urea + 0.5% Zn So4).
3. Spray fungicides to protect the crop from fungal diseases, which are common
under high moisture condition.

(Chapter –14)

Weather aberrations and their effect on Agriculture

Dry spells: The interval between the end of a seven day wet spell, beginning with the
onset of effective monsoon and another rainy day with 5 e mm of rain (Where “e” is the
average daily evaporation) or the commencement of another seven day rainy spell with
four of these as rainy days (Satisfying the third criterion) and with a total rain of 5 e mm
or more during this spell is called the first dry spell. If the duration of this dry spell
exceeded certain value, depending on the crop-soil complex of the region, this dry spell
was called a critical dry spell.

Drought free week: The weekly rainfall exceeds 20 mm the week is set to be drought
free week.

Critical Dry Spell (CDS)

CDS is defined as the duration between the end of a wet spell and the start of
another wet spell during which a 50% depletion of available occurs in the top 50 cm soil
It is calculated by
CDS = --------
Where, CDS in day
AMD = 50% of the available soil moisture in the top 50cm soil layer, expressed in
terms of depth (mm)
ET = Average maximum daily ET of a crop (mm/day)
Criteria for forecasting rainfall characteristics (like onset of effective monsoon)
(Ashok Raj, 1979.)

1. The first days rain in the 7-day spell signifying the onset of effective monsoon
should not be less than “e” mm where “e” mm was the average daily evaporation.
2. The total rain during the 7-day spell should not be less than 5 e + 10 mm.
3. At least four of these seven days should have rainfall, with not less than 2.5 mm
of rain on each day.
Wet spell
A wet spell is defined as a rainy day with “X” mm of rainfall or a 7-day spell
where the total amount of rainfall equals “x” mm or more and the condition that three out
of these seven days mist be rainy with rainfall more than 2.5 mm on each day. In this “x”
is the amount of rainfall, which brings the top 50 cm soil layer to field capacity. The
water holding capacity varies with the type of soil as also the value of “x”.
For example, the value of “x” is equal to
83 mm for light soils
125 mm for medium soils and
166 mm for heavy soils of Punjab
Drought has varied meanings for different people. In general drought may be
defined as a complex phenomenon, which results from the prolonged absence of
precipitation in conjunction with high rate of evaporation. This causes abnormal loss of
water form water bodies, lowering of the water supply to plants.

Classification of Drought
Drought can be broadly divided into three categories.
1. Meteorological drought: is a situation when the actual rainfall is significantly
lower than the climatologically expected rainfall over a wide area.
2. Hydrological drought: is associated with marked depletion of surface water and
consequent drying up of lakes, rivers, reservoirs etc. Hydrological drought occurs
when meteorological drought is prolonged.
3. Agricultural drought: is a condition in which there is no rainfall and insufficient
soil moisture availability in soil to the crop.

4. Atmospheric drought: it occurs when the rate of transpiration exceeds rate of

absorption of water due to low RH, high temperature and moderate to high wind
velocity even through available soil moisture is high in the soil. The drought is
temporary and reversible.
5. Soil drought – Condition when the soil moisture supply exceeds – 15 hours
(Permanent wilting point). It is gradual and progressive. It is highly detrimental
than others.
6. Physiological drought – even through the available soil moisture is high in the
soil, the plants are not able to absorb due to
i. High salt concentration and
ii. Low soil temp.
Drought: Under normal condition excessive moisture is far less a problem than drought.
Thornthwaite defines drought as “a condition in which the amount of water

Aberrations in rainfall: Aberration means the deviation from the normal behavior of the
rainfall. As we all know the principal source of water for dry land crops is rain, a major
portion of which is received during the monsoon period. Bursts of rain alternated with
“Breaks” are not uncommon. There are at least four important aberrations in the rainfall
1. The commencement of rains may be quite early or considerably delayed.
2. There may be prolonged breaks during the cropping season (Intermittent drought).
3. The rains may terminate considerably early (early cessation of rain) or continue
for longer periods.
4. There may be spatial and or temporal aberrations.

1. Early or delayed onset of monsoon: To quantity in the onset of monsoon, 50

years of data to be analyzed for the dates onset of monsoon has to be studied for
different regions of the country. (For example, it was seen that the normal date of
onset of monsoon in the Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra region is 10th June. In
8% of the years onset of monsoon can occur during last week of May (May 28 th
in 1925) and in10% of the years it is as much delayed as beyond 21st June). The
aberrations require changes in crops and varieties with the normal onset of NEM
in September, October - Crops like Sorghum, Bajra, Pulses and Oil seeds can be
grown in Kovilpatti tract of Tamil Nadu. If monsoon is delayed up to late
October, Bajra, Pulses, sunflower etc., can be raised. If it is very much delayed
up to first week of November only sunflower can be sown.
2. Breaks in the monsoon rains (Intermittent drought): The breaks can be of
different duration. Breaks of shorter duration (5-7 days) may not be a serous
concern, but breaks of longer duration of 2-3 weeks or even more, lead to plant –
water stress causing reduction in production. These breaks intermittent droughts
can be different magnitude and severity and effect different crops in varying
degrees. The yields of many drought resistant crops are not seriously affected, but
in several sensitive crops the yield reduction was heavy.
Another aspect of the breaks or intermittent drought is the stage of the
crops at which the drought occurs. The effect on crop will be different stages.
Another important factor is the effect or intermittent drought depends on
the physical properties of the soil particularly its water holding capacity. Deep
black soils have capacity to store as much as 300 mm of available soil moisture in
one meter depth, whereas light soils like desert soils can store only as little as 100
mm or so. Hence drought is more pronounced in the soils having less storage
3. Early withdrawal of monsoon: For example, the normal of SWM in
Rayalaseema region will be between 25th Sept. and Oct.15th. But is 4% of the
years out of 55 years monsoon can withdraw during first fortnight of September
and in 10% of the years it withdraws during the month of December.
Since, crops and varieties in any given region are selected based on the

normal length of growing season. Persistence of rains much beyond normal dates
creates an extraordinary situation.
Under Kovilpatti (TN) condition short duration bajra and sunflower
be suitable under early withdrawal of monsoon.
Cultural practices to mitigate the effect of moisture stress due to
intermittent drought and early withdrawal of monsoon are

1. Shallow interculture to eradicate weeds

2. Maintain soil mulch to conserve soil moisture
3. Application of surface mulch
4. Thinning of crops by removing alternated rows as in sorghum and bajra.
5. Recycling of stored run off water.
6. Ratooning in crops like sorghum and bajra.
7. For indeterminate crops like castor and red gram give 2-3% Urea sparay after a

4. Uneven distribution of monsoon rains, in space and time over different parts
of the country
Such as situations are encountered almost every year in one or another part of the
country during monsoon period leading to periodical drought and flood situations.

High variability of rainfall (or more precisely the soil-water) is the single factor
which influences the high fluctuations in the crop yields in the different parts of the

Chapter -15
Climate is general is the totality of weather during a longer period and over wider
area. An agro climate can be defined as the conditions and effects of varying weather
parameters like solar radiation, rainfall, etc.,. On crop growth and production.

Agro climatic zone classification is a method of arranging various data of climatic

parameters to demarcate a country or region into homogenous zones, i.e., places having
similar conditions.
Advantages of agro climatic classifications
1. This would enable in exploring agricultural potentiality of the area.
2. Locating similar type of climate zone will enable in identifying the specific
problems of soil and climate related to agriculture.
3. This will help in introduction of new crops from other similar areas. E.g.,
introduction of oil palm in Kerala from Malaysia.
4. Development of crop production technologies, specific to the region.
5. To take up research work to solve the regional problems and
6. To transfer the technology easily among the farmers
Agro climates of India
Krishnan and Muktar Singh (1969) have classified India into eight major agro
climatic zones using Thornthwaite moisture index and thermal index.
The moisture index is given by the following formula.
MI= --------- x 100
MI = Moisture Index
P = Precipitation /rainfall
PE = Potential evapotranspiration
Based on the year 1989, the Planning Commission made an attempt to delineate
India in to different agro-climatic zones. Based on the similarity in rainfall, temperature,
soil topography, cropping, farming system and water resource, India has been divided

into fifteen agro-climatic regions. This was done mainly to identify the production
constraints and to plan future strategies. (Agro climatic zones of India and Tamil Nadu-
study from record)

Efficient crop zones

The new different crop zone approach should aim in utilizing the natural
resources to the fullest extent. The uneconomical crops should be replaced by more
employment opportunities and economic stability of the farmers.
Based on the productivity, efficiency of the crops, each state has been divided into
five categories.

1. Efficient zone : The productivity of the crops is high and also stable due
to the prevalence of the optimum conditions.
2. Potentiality efficient zone: The productivity is high but unstable.
3.Moderately efficient zone : Stable, medium productivity.
4. Less efficient zone : Unstable, medium productivity
5. Inefficient zone : Low productivity

MAP scans

Chapter –16

Definition: Climatic normals means the degree of temperature amount of rainfall,

Humidity, etc.,. Which distinguish optimal conditions from those defined as abnormal,
both because of excess and insufficiency.
Uses of study Agro-climatic normals for field crops can be as follows: -
1. Useful for Agricultural Planning
2. Useful in introduction of any crop. If the climate in which a crop is introduced
matches to the requirements of the crops, then the benefit will be the maximum.
Examples: a. Introduction of groundnut in Peninsular India from Africa
b. Long grained patnai rice into California
3. Will be useful to forecast the abnormal weather.
Climatic normals for crop plants
Besides rainfall, temperature and solar radiation influence rice yield, directly
affecting the physiological processes involved in grain production and indirectly through
the incidence of pest and diseases.

Temperature: The difference in yield is mainly due to temperature and solar radiation
received during its growing season. It requires high temperature, ample water supply and
high atmospheric humidity during growth period. This crop tolerates up to 400C provided
water is not limiting. A mean temperature of 220C is required for entire growing period.
If high temperature drops lower than 150C during the growth phase, the rice yield is
greatly reduced by formation of sterile spike lets. The period during which low
temperature is most critical is about 10-14 days before heading.

Solar Radiation: Low sunshine hours during the vegetative stage have alight ill effect on
grain production, whereas the same situation during reproductive stage reduce the
number and development of spike lets and thereby the yield. For getting higher grain

yield of 5t/ha, a solar radiation of 300 cl./cm2 /day is required. A combination of low
daily mean temperature and high solar radiation during reproductive phase has given
higher yield.

Rainfall: Rice requires high moisture and hence classified as hydrophyte. Rice requires
a submerged condition from sprouting to milky stage. The moisture requirement is 125
cm. An average monthly rainfall of 200 mm is required to grow low land rice and 100
mm to grow upland rice successfully.

Temperature: Optimum temperature for sowing is 15-200C. At maturity it requires
250C. At harvest time wheat requires high temperature of 30-350C and bright sunny
period of 9-10 hours.

Moisture: One hectare of wheat consumes about 2500-3000 tonnes of water. Water
deficiency at the heading stage results in shriveled grains and low yield. In Punjab, 35 to
40 cm of well-distributed rainfall in the entire crop season or irrigations, one at crown
initiation stage and subsequently three at 40 days interval, result in good yield in wheat.

This crop is best suited for intermediate climates of the earth to which the bulk of
its acreage is confined.
Temperature: Maize requires a mean temperature of 340C and a night temperature above
150C. No maize cultivation is possible in areas where the mean summer temperature is
below 190C or where the average night temperature during the summer falls blow 210C.
However, high night temperatures also result in less yield. The crop gave 40% lesser
yield at 290C night temperature as compared with 180C.

Moisture: Maize is adapted to humid climates and as high water requirements. It needs
75 cm of rainfall during its life period. The average consumptive use of water by maize
is estimated to range between 41 and 64 cm. From germination up to the earing stage,

maize requires less water. However, at flowering it requires more water and the
requirement reduces towards maturity.

It is a tropical crop distributed between 450N latitude to 300S.

Temperature: it can be raised under a wide range of temperature. However, both very
high and low temperatures adversely affect it. A temperature range of 14-160C is
necessary for the seeds to germinate. Higher temperature results in better performance in
terms of length of stem, number of flowers and the number of pods. Maximum of pods
have been harvested at a mean soil temperature 230C. The numbers of pods decrease as
the temperature increases.
Moisture: An ideal rainfall consists of 75-125 mm during months preceding sowing,
125-175 mm during a fortnight after sowing and 370-600 mm of well distributed rainfall
during the crop growth.
It is not season crop. It requires 4-5 months of uniformly high temperature (28-
450C) during its crop growth period.
Mean air temperature for 21 to 290C is required at vegetative period. The
optimum air temperature for reproductive phase is 27-320 C; mean sunshine hour is 8-9
hrs/day; and mean RH is 70%. But at boll development and boll opening period
(September to November) RH less than 70% and 8-hrs.of sunshine are ideal for good
cotton production.
The growth rate of cotton crop is increased at 25-300C. Temperature below 150C
retards growth and reduces the square (bud) formation.
Moisture: The minimum rainfall required for cotton is 500-650 mm. Heavy rainfall
during early stage is undesirable. Dry autumn months are desirable for good quality
produce. Excess rainfall at later stage may cause shedding of leaves, squares and bolls. It
also stimulates top growth and delays maturity and discolors lint. High humidity favors
many pests and diseases.

i. Mean air temperature for optimum germination is 300C.
ii. Mean air temperature for optimum growth is 350C.
iii. At temperature less than 200C growth is reduced.
iv. Ideal climate is 4-5 months of hot period with temperature of 30-350C
followed by 6-8 weeks of cooler period for better maturity.

Chapter –17

Weather forecasts for India are made in advance by the Indian Metrological
Department and broadcasted through mass media like Radio, Television, and Newspapers
etc. Forecasting requires knowledge of the average and seasonal weather conditions of
the locality, accurate information about the actual weather conditions of the locality with
regard to all the weather elements at the time of forecasting, prevailing weather data
pertaining other places whose of the locality in question can possibly influence the
weather of the locality in question and finally considerable practical forecasting
There are two types of weather forecast.
1. Short range forecast and
2. Long range forecast.


The daily forecasts of weather are short-range forecasts and are based mainly on
current weather data. The influences are based on pressure, and temperature changes and
cyclonic tendencies. The cyclone often takes the same course in each region and past
experiences indicates the probable course of movement of depressions.
The short-range forecast of the day-to-day weather is very helpful to Irrigation
Engineers, Mariners and aviators: it enables them to take timely precautions in times of
stroms, cyclones, heavy rains etc; precautionary measures against possible flood and
storm damages by providing suitable embankments and drains where necessary. It is
valid for 24-48 hours.
Knowledge of the normal climatic conditions from the normal during the 1 or 2
months preceding helps to forecast weather for the next 1-2 months other about. The
behavior of climate in different parts of the world is often a guide and in certain cases it is
possible to correlate climate of a given locality with the past climate with the other parts

of the world. E.g., Abundance of rainfall in India is associated with an excess of wind
pressure over the Pacific Ocean, Chile and Argentina, combined with deficit pressure in
the Indian Ocean and the Cape of Good Hope. From such correlations a forecast of the
immediate future monsoon can be made.
Long-range seasonal forecast are useful in another way; they enable cropping to
be adjusted to the anticipated climate.

Extended forecast: It gives emphasis on type of weather, sequence of rainy days, normal
weather, sequence of rainy days, normal weather hazards in farming such as strong
winds. Extended dry or wet spells and holds good for 5-7 days. It is useful for many
agricultural operations such as sowing, irrigation, spraying, etc.

Now casting: Weather forecasting is given 2 to 3 hours in advance. It will be useful for
Aviation and Navigation. Weather scientists are also turning to the other end of the
forecasting spectrum; extremely short-term forecasts – ‘Now casting’. A pilot
approaching London Air Port, for instance, wants to know what the weather will be like
in the next few minutes. Will there be a wind shear?.etc.

Laser Techniques: Now casting, which predicts local weather up to six hours ahead on
the basis of radar and satellite soundings, gives such answers. Unlike numerical models,
which represent weather conditions in terms of temperature, humidity and wind, reader
can “See” rain and pin point its location down to a few kilometers. With radar probes and
infrared photos available from satellites, now casters can predict small and short-term
phenomena like lightning or flash flooding. And by using computers, now casters can
extrapolate from what they already see to indicate the course a rainstorm will follow and
the likely variations in its intensity.
Suitable organizations have been set up in the different countries for forecasting
weather. Accepted international methods of measuring weather elements, assigning
values to them and representing them in international code are being adopted by all the
participating countries. There are about 300 meteorological observation stations of

different types distributed over India. First class observatories like those at Poona, Agra,
New Delhi, Calcutta, and Bangalore etc. Take continuous readings of pressure,
temperature, wind humidity, rainfall sunshine, etc.
The second-class observatories take reading at 8 hours and 17 hours (Indian
Standard time IST) daily. Third class observatories record rainfall and temperature only.
Fourth-class observatories record rainfall and temperature only. Certain taluk offices
record rainfall alone and these are compiled periodically and forwarded to the
Meteorological Laboratory, Poona.
The communication system provides the forecaster with a large mass of figure.
The next step is to put them into a form suitable for study. Plotting the observations on a
large outline map, which in popular term is called a “weather map” technically a
“Synoptic chart”, does this, simplified synoptic charts appear in some newspapers
On the forecaster’s synoptic chart the position of each station is marked by a
small circle. The report for each station is plotted in and around the circle. Some
elements like temperature, and pressure are entered in plain figures. Others like rain,
snow fog and cloud not easily expressed in figures are plotted in internally agreed
symbols. Some of the symbols used are shown under. The meanings to be attached to
the figures and symbols depend upon where they are placed in relation to the station
Thus the amount of shading in the circle is an indicator of the proportion of sky
covered by cloud the temperature (in whole degrees) is written to upper left of the circle,
the sea level pressure in millibars and tenths to the upper right (The hundreds figure for
the pressure that is the critical 9 or 10 is omitted as being understood since the pressure is
almost always between 950 and 1050 millibars. Thus 987=998.7 mb 125 = 1052.5 mb).
The wind is represented by an arrow flying with the wind and drawn towards the station
circle. The speed by feathers on the wind arrow, a short feather indicating 5 knots, a large
one 10 knots, a long and short 15 knots and so on.
Air temp.0C --------- ------------- Type of high cloud
Wind speed --------- ------------- Type of medium cloud

Weather ----------- ------------ Weather since last report
Dew point
Temp.0C ---------- -----------Type of low cloud

When the plotting of synoptic chart is completed the forecaster then proceeds to
the analysis. The object of which is to systematize the collection of individual station
plots into a coherent picture. The first stage is to draw the isobars – lines along which the
pressure is the same. The completed isobars usually revealed a few standard patterns,
like low pressure (cyclone) and high pressure (anticyclone), etc., and how they will
change in due course. Generally isobar formations show the general characters of the
weather in their areas.
In India such synoptic charts are drawn two tines daily (0830 I.T and 1730 hrs

Chapter –18
Season is a period in a year comprising few months during which the
prevailing climate does not very much. Growing season for a crop is more important for
its yield and other management practices to be followed.
Indian meteorological Department has divided the year into four seasons.
i. Summer / Zaid : March-May
ii. Monsoon : June – September
iii. Post Monsoon : October – November
iv. Winter : December - February
The monsoon season is designated as Kharif, whereas the post monsoon and
winter seasons are together designated as “Rabi” throughout India.
Based on temperature ranges three distinct crop seasons have been identified in
i. Hot weather (Mid February – Mid June)
ii. Kharif or rainy season (Mid June – Mid October)
iii. Rabi (Mid October to Mid February)
In southern states (Tamil Nadu, Andhara Pradesh and Karnataka) there is slight
variation in the season based on rainfall duration as
1. Winter - January and February
2. Summer - March to May
3. Rainy season - a. South West monsoon – June to September
b. North East monsoon – October - December
Based on the criteria, monthly precipitation and temperature, the growing season is
broadly divided as follows: -
i. Hot month - if the average temperature is above 200C
ii. Cold month - if the mean temperature is between 0 – 100C
iii. Warm month - if the mean temperature is between 15 – 200C

Agronomic concepts of the growing seasons

Agronomic ally the growing season can be defined as the period when the soil
water, resulting mainly from rainfall, is freely available to the crop. This condition
occurs when the water consumed by the crop is in equilibrium with rainfall and water
storage in the soil.

The growing season for a rain fed crop involves three different periods during which
the soil moisture conditions depend on the rainfall received.

a. Per-humid period: During this period precipitation will always remain lower than
the potential evapotranspiration for the corresponding period. This period
corresponds to the sowing period of the crop. Sowing can be done when the
precipitation during the week is > 0.5 PET.
b. Humid period: During this second period the precipitation remains higher than the
PET. The crops in this period will be in active vegetative and flowering phase
and the water requirement will be at its peak. At the end of this period water
balance is on the positive side and the water storage in the soil is on the increase,
since the rainfall is higher than the water needs.
c. Post-humid period: This period follows the humid period. During this period
there is a gradual reduction in the water stored in the soil due to the utilization by
the crop plants. The crops will also make use of the rainfall received. This period
usually coincides with maturity stage of the crop.
Types of growing period
There are four types of growing period.
1. Normal: In this type, rainfall is in excess during the humid period the humid
period. At the end of the pre-humid period when precipitation is higher than the
PET sowing of the crops are taken up. This type of growing season is prevalent in
semi arid tropics.
2. Intermediate type: The precipitation is lower than the PET all round the year.
The growing season is limited to the period when rainfall is in excess of PET.

Only drought hardy crops like pearl millet, castor, etc., can be grown. Dry
farming is highly risky.
3. All year round dry: In this type, the precipitation is more than PET all round the
year, indicating the moisture sufficiency for cropping. This type occurs in high
rainfall areas and mostly perennial crops are raised.
4. All year round dry: The precipitation is lower than PET throughout the year.
Cropping is not possible in these areas. This type of growing season is found in
extremely arid areas, mostly the deserts.
The fluctuations in the crop yields depend on the following conditions.
1. The length of the rainy seasons i.e., from sowing to the end of the rains
2. The quantity and distribution of rains during the per-humid and humid periods
3. The excess rainfall during humid period should go to soil storage. It may cause
water logging and crop lodging
4. The amount of rainfall received during post humid season, may supplement the
soil moisture during maturity. This may favorably influence the yield.

In India, four cropping seasons have been identified by IMD in dry farming areas.

S.No Name of the Duration Water need Crops

season (LGP) from RF
1 Short duration Upto 10 weeks 75% Very short duration crops
2 Medium duration 10-15 weeks 75% Medium duration crops with intercrops
3 Extended medium 15-20 weeks 75% A medium duration crop followed by
duration short duration crops if soil type is suitable
4 Long duration 20-30 weeks 75% Medium duration crops followed by short
duration crops.