Discuss the mechanism of monsoons.


Discuss the mechanism of monsoons.


During summer, a low-pressure area develops over interior Asia as well as over north and north-western India. At the same time, there is a high-pressure system over the southern Indian Ocean. Winds move from a high-pressure area to a low-pressure area. As a result, the low-pressure system attracts the southeast trade winds of the southern hemisphere. On crossing the equator, these trade winds—due to the Coriolis force—turn right towards the low-pressure areas over the Indian subcontinent. After crossing the equator, these winds start blowing in a south-westerly direction, and enter the Indian peninsula as the southwest monsoon. As these winds blow over warm oceans, they bring abundant moisture to the subcontinent. Arriving at the southern tip of the Indian peninsula, the wind system breaks up into two branches − the Arabian Sea branch and the Bay of Bengal branch. The Arabian Sea branch hits the Western Ghats, while the Bay of Bengal branch flows over the Bay of Bengal and hits the eastern Himalayas. The coastal areas west of the Western Ghats receive much of the rainfall from the Arabian Sea Branch, while the regions lying east of the Western Ghats do not receive much rain from these winds. The north-eastern parts of the country receive much of their rainfall from the Bay of Bengal Branch. As these winds move from east to west, the moisture they carry progressively declines. As a result, rainfall decreases from east to west. The Arabian Sea branch moves towards the north-east from the south-west, and joins the Bay of Bengal branch over the northern part of the country. The duration of the monsoon is between 100 to 120 days. By the end of this period, the low pressure system over north and north-west India gradually weakens, and this leads to the retreat of the monsoon winds.

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