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CLIMATIC REGIONS OF INDIA

The whole of India has a monsoon type of climate. But different weather conditions>>climatic regions There are three major schemes of classifying the climatic regions of India Koppen, Thornwaite & Trewartha Major climatic types of India are as per Koppen scheme, based on monthly values of temperature and precipitation. He identified five major climatic types, namely: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Tropical climates, where mean monthly temperature throughout the year is over 18C. Dry climates, where precipitation is very low. If dryness is less, it is semiarid(S); if it is more, it is arid (W). Warm temperate climates, where mean temperature of the coldest month is between 18C and minus 3C. Cool temperate climates, where mean temperature of the warmest month is over 10C, and mean temperature of the coldest month is under minus 3C. Ice climates, where mean temperature of the warmest month is less than 10C.

Koppen used letter symbols to denote climatic types as given above. Each type is further sub-divided into subtypes on the basis of seasonal variations in the distributional pattern of rainfall and temperature. He used S for semi-arid and W for arid and the following small letters to define sub-types: f (sufficient precipitation), m (rain forest despite a dry monsoon season), w (dry season in winter), h (dry and hot), c (less than four months with mean temperature over 10C), and g (Gangetic plain). Accordingly, India can be divided into eight regions

TREWARTHAS SCHEME Dr Trewarthas scheme has been most satisfactory of all classifications of the Indian climatic regions. He presented a modified form of Koppens classification. Dr. Trewarthas classification divides India into four major regions of the A, B, C and H types. The A type refers to tropical rainy climate where high temperatures are consistent. The B type stands for a dry climate with high temperatures but little rainfall. The C type indicates a region with dry winters where low temperatures range between 0 C and 18C. The H type indicates a mountain climate. The A, B, and C types are further sub-divided. There are seven climatic types. Tropical Rain Forest (Am) Found in the westcoastal plains, the Sahyadris and parts of Assam, this climate is responsible for high temperatures that do not fall below 18.2C even during winters. Temper tures rise to 29C in April and May which are t] hottest months. Rainfall, though seasonal, is heav that is, about 200 cm annually during May-Nover ber. Tropical Savanna (Aw) This climate is prevale in most of the peninsular areas except the semi-ar, zone in the leeside of the Western Ghats. It brinl the mean monthly temperature to above 18.2 c during the winters and to about 32C in summer The maximum temperature may shoot up to 46 0 and sometimes even to 48C. Rainfall is from Jur to September, although in the south, it may contim upto December end. Annual rainfall varies from ~ cm in the west to 152 cm in the east. As Tamil Nad has a more equitable temperature and experienc. more rainfall during October-December, it is class tied under the sub-type of Tamil Nadu Aw. Tropical Semi-Arid Steppe Climate (BS) TI rainshadow belt runs southwards from centri Maharashtra to Tamil Nadu in the leeside of tt Western Ghats and the Cardamom Hills. It includE Karnataka state, the interior of Tamil Nadu, wester Andhra Pradesh and central Maharashtra. Temperc ture varies from 20C to 23.8C (December) an 32.8 C (May) which are the coldest and hotte: months respectively. Annual rainfall is unreliabll varying from 40 to 75 em. So it is known as tl1 famine zone of India. Tropical and Sub-Tropical Steppe (BSh) This climate is prevalent from Punjab to Kutch across the Thar desert and over northern Gujarat and western Rajasthan. Tem perature vades from 12C Uanuary) to 35C in June. January and June are the coldest and hottest months of the year I,espectively. The maximum temperature rises up to 49C. The annual rainfall, varying from 30.5 to 63.5 em, is also highly erratic. Tropical Desert (BWh) This climate extends over the western parts of Barmer, Jaisalmer and Bikaner districts of Rajasthan and parts of Kutch. Mean monthly temperature is uniformly high (about 34.5 c) throughout the region during May and June, the hottest months. During winters, temperature decreases towards north. The rainfall is scanty with an annual average of 30.5 em, with some parts receiving a low 12.7 em. Moreover, it is also very erratic. Rains are mostly in the form of cloud bursts, taking place mostly in July-September when the south-west monsoons may penetrate the region. Humid Sub-Tropical Climate with Dry Winters (Caw) The climate. covers a large area to the south of the Himalayas, east of the tropical and sub-tropical steppe and north of the tropical savanna from Punj~b to Assam. It also extends into Rajasthan east of the Aravalli range. Winters are mild to severe. Summers are extremely hot in the western part but quite mild in the east. May-June are the hottest months. The annual rainfall in the area varies from 63.5 em to more than 254 em, most of it received during the south-west monsoon season. Rainfall is more towards the east and north where the atmosphere is humid. Winters are dry except for a little rain received from the westerly depressions. Mountain Climate(H) Such type of climate is seen in mountainous regions which rise above 6,000 m or more such as the Himalayas. There is a sharp contrast between the temperatures of the sunny and shady slopes. Inversion of temperature and variability of rainfall are felt progres sively as one ascends to altitudes ~gher than 1,500 m. The Trans-Himalayan belt situated to the northern side of the western Himalayas has a climate which is dry and cold. Vegetation is sparse and stunted. Winters are very cold and rainfall is scanty. Daily as well as annual range of temperature is high. In the Himalayas where the southern slopes are protected from cold, northerly winds accessible to the southwest monsoons, there is heavy rainfall on the slopes which are at a height of 1,069-2,286 m above sea level.

THORNTHWAITES SCHEME It is based on the concept of water balance. If the rainfall of a place is less than the water which is lost through evaporation and transpiration, the place has a water deficit. If it is more than the need, then there is a surplus. Thornthwaite evolved a formula to work out the monthly values of water surplus and water deficit. Areas having water surplus in all the months of the year have a humid climate and areas having water deficit in all the months of the year have an arid climate. In between these two extremes, there are other types with varying degrees of water surplus or water deficit. On the basis of Thornthwaites method (see map), the following climate regions can be identified: 1. Perhumid(A) 2. Humid (B) 3. Moist sub-humid (Cz) 4. Dry sub-humid (C) 5. Semi-arid (D) 6. Arid (E)