Indian Monsoon Season
India receives monsoon rain in two cycles. One directly after the summer that ends in early September and then a second cycle that blows south from northern India. It is caused by a reverse of the weather conditions that bring the southwest monsoons. It is also named after its point of origin, which is the northeast of the Indian subcontinent.
What is a Northeast Monsoon?
- By the month of September the land begins to rapidly cool off as the sun moves into the southern hemisphere.
- Since the Indian Ocean is the last to get heated during this retreat, the high pressure created from the rapidly cooling land causes winds to blow southwards.
- Cold winds from the Indo-Gangetic plain sweep to the south of the Deccan plateau, once again picking up moisture off the Bay of Bengal and delivering rains to the Eastern Ghats along the Kanyakumari and Coromandel coasts.
- This is also known as the retreating monsoons.
- For many millennia Arab merchants have relied on the cycle of the monsoons to trade with India.
- They would ride the trade-winds ahead of the southwest monsoons bringing their precious cargo during the summer months and return with fresh finds from Indian kingdoms, using the northeast monsoon winds to take them back home.
- It is no wonder that the word ‘monsoon’ comes from the Arabic word ‘mausim’, meaning season.
Project for Kids
Find yourself an outline map of India and mark on it the regions that are affected by the northeast monsoons. These are: The Kanyakumari and Coromandal coasts of the Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. It includes Sri Lanka and the Andaman and Nicobar islands.