The word Monsoon is a derivative of the Arabic word ‘Mausim’ meaning season. Traditionally, Monsoon is defined as the seasonal reversal of winds accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation.
The primary mechanism behind Monsoons or rainy seasons is a shift in global wind patterns, causing excessive rainfall in many parts of the world including Asia, North America, South America, Australia and Africa.
Why does it rain during Monsoon?
Winds mostly blow from the land to ocean making the air dry during most of the seasons. These winds originating from land are called continental winds. During certain months of the year, the winds blow from the ocean to the land and are called maritime winds. These moisture-laden winds originating over a water body, causes monsoonal rains over many countries.
Which countries are affected by Monsoon?
The places across the world affected by Monsoon include Australia, Africa, China, Philippines, Southeast Asian countries and India.
What are Global Wind Patterns?
To understand the wind patterns on a rotating earth we first have to know what is the Coriolis effect or the Coriolis force. It is defined as the apparent deflection of objects such as wind, aeroplanes, missiles and ocean currents, while moving in a straight path relative to the earth's surface.
Strength of the Coriolis force is proportional to the speed of the earth's rotation at different latitudes. Therefore, Coriolis force is maximum at the poles.
The Coriolis Effect is an apparent motion, which depends on the position of the observer. It explains the reason why winds are deflected to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere.
To know about Southwest Monsoon, which brings a humid climate and torrential rainfall in India and Southeast Asia, click here.
For more updates on Monsoon and Monsoon related stories, click here.
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