Question

Give reasons as to why.

(i) Seasonal reversal of wind direction takes place over the Indian subcontinent?
(ii) The bulk of rainfall in India is concentrated over a few months.
(iii) The Tamil Nadu coast receives winter rainfall.
(iv) The delta region of the eastern coast is frequently struck by cyclones.
(v) Parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and the leeward side of the Western Ghats are drought-prone.

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Answer

(i) Seasonal reversal of wind direction: This is primarily due to the Indian Monsoon, which is a result of differential heating and cooling of the land and ocean. During the summer, a low-pressure area develops over the interior of Asia as well as over northwestern India, attracting winds from the high-pressure area over the southern Indian Ocean. These reverse in direction in the winter due to the high-pressure system north of the Himalayas, causing winds to flow outwards towards the low-pressure areas over the oceans.

(ii) Bulk of rainfall concentrated over a few months: Most of the rainfall in India occurs during the monsoon season, which lasts from June to September. This is when the Southwest Monsoon winds carry moisture from the Indian Ocean, hitting the subcontinent and causing heavy rainfall. The intense and concentrated nature of the monsoon is why rainfall is mostly limited to these months.

(iii) Tamil Nadu coast receives winter rainfall: This phenomenon is due to the Northeast Monsoon or the retreating monsoon, which picks up moisture from the Bay of Bengal and precipitates it over the Tamil Nadu coast during October to December. Thus, this area receives rainfall in the winter months.

(iv) Delta region of the eastern coast frequently struck by cyclones: The regions like the deltas of the Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri are prone to cyclones that originate over the Bay of Bengal, particularly during the transition from the hot rainy season to drier winter conditions. These areas are susceptible due to their geographical positioning facing the Bay of Bengal where these cyclonic storms tend to get directed.

(v) Drought-prone areas of Rajasthan, Gujarat, and leeward side of the Western Ghats: These regions receive low rainfall due to several factors:

  • Rajasthan and Gujarat: These areas lie under the rain shadow of the Aravalli range and are also further from the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, leading to scanty rainfall.

  • Leeward side of the Western Ghats: Areas like eastern Maharashtra, north interior Karnataka, and parts of Telangana face away from the moisture-laden winds that lose their moisture while crossing the Western Ghats, leading to less rainfall and hence drought conditions.


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