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A monsoon ( // ) is traditionally a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with annual latitudinal oscillation of the Intertropical Convergence Zone between its limits to the north and south of the equator. Usually, the term monsoon is used to refer to the rainy phase of a seasonally changing pattern, although technically there is also a dry phase. The term is also sometimes used to describe locally heavy but short-term rains.
The major monsoon systems of the world consist of the West African and Asia–Australian monsoons. The inclusion of the North American Monsoon and South American monsoon with incomplete wind reversal has been debated.
The term was first used in English in British India and neighbouring countries to refer to the big seasonal winds blowing from the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea in the southwest bringing heavy rainfall to the area.
The etymology of the word monsoon is not wholly certain. موسم (mawsim, "season"), "perhaps partly via early modern Dutch monson".The English monsoon came from Portuguese monção ultimately from Arabic
Strengthening of the Asian monsoon has been linked to the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau after the collision of the Indian subcontinent and Asia around 50 million years ago. Because of studies of records from the Arabian Sea and that of the wind-blown dust in the Loess Plateau of China, many geologists believe the monsoon first became strong around 8 million years ago. More recently, studies of plant fossils in China and new long-duration sediment records from the South China Sea led to a timing of the monsoon beginning 15–20 million years ago and linked to early Tibetan uplift. Testing of this hypothesis awaits deep ocean sampling by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. The monsoon has varied significantly in strength since this time, largely linked to global climate change, especially the cycle of the Pleistocene ice ages. A study of marine plankton suggested that the Indian Monsoon strengthened around 5 million years ago. Then, during ice periods, the sea level fell and the Indonesian Seaway closed. When this happened, cold waters in the Pacific were impeded from flowing into the Indian Ocean. It is believed that the resulting increase in sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean increased the intensity of monsoons.
Five episodes during the Quaternary at 2.22 Ma (PL-1), 1.83 Ma (PL-2), 0.68 Ma (PL-3), 0.45 Ma (PL-4) and 0.04 Ma (PL-5) were identified which showed a weakening of the Leeuwin Current (LC). The weakening of the LC would have an effect on the sea surface temperature (SST) field in the Indian Ocean, as the Indonesian Throughflow generally warms the Indian Ocean. Thus these five intervals could probably be those of considerable lowering of SST in the Indian Ocean and would have influenced Indian monsoon intensity. During the weak LC, there is the possibility of reduced intensity of the Indian winter monsoon and strong summer monsoon, because of change in the Indian Ocean dipole due to reduction in net heat input to the Indian Ocean through the Indonesian Throughflow. Thus a better understanding of the possible links between El Niño, Western Pacific Warm Pool, Indonesian Throughflow, wind pattern off western Australia, and ice volume expansion and contraction can be obtained by studying the behaviour of the LC during Quaternary at close stratigraphic intervals.
The impact of monsoon on the local weather is different from place to place. In some places there is just a likelihood of having a little more or less rain. In other places, quasi semi-deserts are turned into vivid green grasslands where all sorts of plants and crops can flourish.
The Indian Monsoon turns large parts of India from a kind of semi-desert into green lands. See photos only taken 3 months apart in the Western Ghats. In places like this it is crucial for farmers to have the right timing for putting the seeds on the fields, as it is essential to use all the rain that is available for growing crops.
Monsoons were once considered as a large-scale sea breezecaused by higher temperature over land than in the ocean. This is no longer considered as the cause and the monsoon is now considered a planetary-scale phenomenon involving the annual migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone between its northern and southern limits. The limits of the ITCZ vary according to the land-sea heating contrast and it is thought that the northern extent of the monsoon in South Asia is influenced by the high Tibetan Plateau. These temperature imbalances happen because oceans and land absorb heat in different ways. Over oceans, the air temperature remains relatively stable for two reasons: water has a relatively high heat capacity (3.9 to 4.2 J g−1 K−1), and because both conduction and convection will equilibrate a hot or cold surface with deeper water (up to 50 metres). In contrast, dirt, sand, and rocks have lower heat capacities (0.19 to 0.35 J g−1 K−1), and they can only transmit heat into the earth by conduction and not by convection. Therefore, bodies of water stay at a more even temperature, while land temperature are more variable.
During warmer months sunlight heats the surfaces of both land and oceans, but land temperatures rise more quickly. As the land's surface becomes warmer, the air above it expands and an area of low pressure develops. Meanwhile, the ocean remains at a lower temperature than the land, and the air above it retains a higher pressure. This difference in pressure causes sea breezes to blow from the ocean to the land, bringing moist air inland. This moist air rises to a higher altitude over land and then it flows back toward the ocean (thus completing the cycle). However, when the air rises, and while it is still over the land, the air cools. This decreases the air's ability to hold water, and this causes precipitation over the land. This is why summer monsoons cause so much rain over land.
In the colder months, the cycle is reversed. Then the land cools faster than the oceans and the air over the land has higher pressure than air over the ocean. This causes the air over the land to flow to the ocean. When humid air rises over the ocean, it cools, and this causes precipitation over the oceans. (The cool air then flows towards the land to complete the cycle.)
Most summer monsoons have a dominant westerly component and a strong tendency to ascend and produce copious amounts of rain (because of the condensation of water vapor in the rising air). The intensity and duration, however, are not uniform from year to year. Winter monsoons, by contrast, have a dominant easterly component and a strong tendency to diverge, subside and cause drought.
Similar rainfall is caused when moist ocean air is lifted upwards by mountains,surface heating, convergence at the surface, divergence aloft, or from storm-produced outflows at the surface. However the lifting occurs, the air cools due to expansion in lower pressure, and this produces condensation.
|Location||Monsoon/sub-system||Average date of arrival||Average date of withdrawal||Notes|
|Northern Mexico||North American/Gulf of California-Southwest USA||late May||September||incomplete wind reversal, waves|
|Tucson, Arizona, USA||North American/Gulf of California-Southwest USA||early July||September||incomplete wind reversal, waves|
|Central America||Central/South American Monsoon||April[ citation needed ]||October[ citation needed ]||true monsoon|
|Amazon Brazil||South American monsoon||September[ citation needed ]||May[ citation needed ]|
|Southeast Brazil||South American monsoon||November[ citation needed ]||March[ citation needed ]|
|West Africa||West African||June 22||Sept /October||waves|
|Southeast Africa||Southeast Africa monsoon w/ Harmattan||Jan||March|
|Kerala, India||Indian monsoon||Jun 1||Dec 1||persistent|
|Mumbai, India||Indian monsoon||June 10||Oct 1|
|Karachi, Pakistan||Indian monsoon||July 15||August|
|Lahore, Pakistan||Indian monsoon||late July||Sep 1|
|Colombo, Sri Lanka||Indo-Australian||May 25||Dec 15||persistent|
|Yangon, Myanmar||Indo-Australian/Indian-Indochina||May 25||Nov 1|
|Kaohsiung, Taiwan||East Asian monsoon||May 10|
|Taipei, Taiwan||East Asian monsoon||May 20|
|Hanoi, Vietnam||East Asian monsoon||May 20|
|Kagoshima, Japan||East Asian monsoon||Jun 10|
|Seoul, South Korea||East Asian monsoon||July 10|
|Beijing, China||East Asian monsoon||July 20|
|Darwin, Australia||Australian monsoon||Oct||April|
The monsoon of western Sub-Saharan Africa is the result of the seasonal shifts of the Intertropical Convergence Zone and the great seasonal temperature and humidity differences between the Sahara and the equatorial Atlantic Ocean.The ITCZ migrates northward from the equatorial Atlantic in February, reaches western Africa on or near June 22, then moves back to the south by October. The dry, northeasterly trade winds, and their more extreme form, the harmattan, are interrupted by the northern shift in the ITCZ and resultant southerly, rain-bearing winds during the summer. The semiarid Sahel and Sudan depend upon this pattern for most of their precipitation.
The North American monsoon (NAM) occurs from late June or early July into September, originating over Mexico and spreading into the southwest United States by mid-July. It affects Mexico along the Sierra Madre Occidental as well as Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, West Texas and California. It pushes as far west as the Peninsular Ranges and Transverse Ranges of Southern California, but rarely reaches the coastal strip (a wall of desert thunderstorms only a half-hour's drive away is a common summer sight from the sunny skies along the coast during the monsoon). The North American monsoon is known to many as the Summer, Southwest, Mexican or Arizona monsoon.It is also sometimes called the Desert monsoon as a large part of the affected area are the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. However, it is debatable whether the North and South American weather patterns with incomplete wind reversal should be counted as true monsoons.
The Asian monsoons may be classified into a few sub-systems, such as the Indian Subcontinental Monsoon which affects the Indian subcontinent and surrounding regions including Nepal, and the East Asian Monsoon which affects southern China, Taiwan, Korea and parts of Japan.
The southwestern summer monsoons occur from July through September. The Thar Desert and adjoining areas of the northern and central Indian subcontinent heat up considerably during the hot summers. This causes a low pressure area over the northern and central Indian subcontinent. To fill this void, the moisture-laden winds from the Indian Ocean rush into the subcontinent. These winds, rich in moisture, are drawn towards the Himalayas. The Himalayas act like a high wall, blocking the winds from passing into Central Asia, and forcing them to rise. As the clouds rise, their temperature drops, and precipitation occurs. Some areas of the subcontinent receive up to 10,000 mm (390 in) of rain annually.
The southwest monsoon is generally expected to begin around the beginning of June and fade away by the end of September. The moisture-laden winds on reaching the southernmost point of the Indian Peninsula, due to its topography, become divided into two parts: the Arabian Sea Branch and the Bay of Bengal Branch.
The Arabian Sea Branch of the Southwest Monsoon first hits the Western Ghats of the coastal state of Kerala, India, thus making this area the first state in India to receive rain from the Southwest Monsoon. This branch of the monsoon moves northwards along the Western Ghats (Konkan and Goa) with precipitation on coastal areas, west of the Western Ghats. The eastern areas of the Western Ghats do not receive much rain from this monsoon as the wind does not cross the Western Ghats.
The Bay of Bengal Branch of Southwest Monsoon flows over the Bay of Bengal heading towards north-east India and Bengal, picking up more moisture from the Bay of Bengal. The winds arrive at the Eastern Himalayas with large amounts of rain. Mawsynram, situated on the southern slopes of the Khasi Hills in Meghalaya, India, is one of the wettest places on Earth. After the arrival at the Eastern Himalayas, the winds turns towards the west, travelling over the Indo-Gangetic Plain at a rate of roughly 1–2 weeks per state,pouring rain all along its way. June 1 is regarded as the date of onset of the monsoon in India, as indicated by the arrival of the monsoon in the southernmost state of Kerala.
The monsoon accounts for nearly 80% of the rainfall in India.Indian agriculture (which accounts for 25% of the GDP and employs 70% of the population) is heavily dependent on the rains, for growing crops especially like cotton, rice, oilseeds and coarse grains. A delay of a few days in the arrival of the monsoon can badly affect the economy, as evidenced in the numerous droughts in India in the 1990s.
The monsoon is widely welcomed and appreciated by city-dwellers as well, for it provides relief from the climax of summer heat in June.However, the roads take a battering every year. Often houses and streets are waterlogged and slums are flooded despite drainage systems. A lack of city infrastructure coupled with changing climate patterns causes severe economic loss including damage to property and loss of lives, as evidenced in the 2005 flooding in Mumbai that brought the city to a standstill. Bangladesh and certain regions of India like Assam and West Bengal, also frequently experience heavy floods during this season. Recently, areas in India that used to receive scanty rainfall throughout the year, like the Thar Desert, have surprisingly ended up receiving floods due to the prolonged monsoon season.
The influence of the Southwest Monsoon is felt as far north as in China's Xinjiang. It is estimated that about 70% of all precipitation in the central part of the Tian Shan Mountains falls during the three summer months, when the region is under the monsoon influence; about 70% of that is directly of "cyclonic" (i.e., monsoon-driven) origin (as opposed to "local convection").The effects also extend westwards to the Mediterranean, where however the impact of the monsoon is to induce drought via the Rodwell-Hoskins mechanism.
Around September, with the sun retreating south, the northern landmass of the Indian subcontinent begins to cool off rapidly, and air pressure begins to build over northern India. The Indian Ocean and its surrounding atmosphere still hold their heat, causing cold wind to sweep down from the Himalayas and Indo-Gangetic Plain towards the vast spans of the Indian Ocean south of the Deccan peninsula. This is known as the Northeast Monsoon or Retreating Monsoon.
While travelling towards the Indian Ocean, the cold dry wind picks up some moisture from the Bay of Bengal and pours it over peninsular India and parts of Sri Lanka. Cities like Chennai, which get less rain from the Southwest Monsoon, receive rain from this Monsoon. About 50% to 60% of the rain received by the state of Tamil Nadu is from the Northeast Monsoon.In Southern Asia, the northeastern monsoons take place from October to December when the surface high-pressure system is strongest. The jet stream in this region splits into the southern subtropical jet and the polar jet. The subtropical flow directs northeasterly winds to blow across southern Asia, creating dry air streams which produce clear skies over India. Meanwhile, a low pressure system known as a monsoon trough develops over South-East Asia and Australasia and winds are directed toward Australia.
The East Asian monsoon affects large parts of Indochina, the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. It is characterised by a warm, rainy summer monsoon and a cold, dry winter monsoon. The rain occurs in a concentrated belt that stretches east–west except in East China where it is tilted east-northeast over Korea and Japan. The seasonal rain is known as Meiyu in China, Jangma in Korea, and Bai-u in Japan, with the latter two resembling frontal rain.
The onset of the summer monsoon is marked by a period of premonsoonal rain over South China and Taiwan in early May. From May through August, the summer monsoon shifts through a series of dry and rainy phases as the rain belt moves northward, beginning over Indochina and the South China Sea (May), to the Yangtze River Basin and Japan (June) and finally to northern China and Korea (July). When the monsoon ends in August, the rain belt moves back to southern China.
Also known as the Indo-Australian Monsoon. The rainy season occurs from September to February and it is a major source of energy for the Hadley circulation during boreal winter. The Maritime Continent Monsoon and the Australian Monsoon may be considered to be the same system, the Indo-Australian Monsoon.
It is associated with the development of the Siberian High and the movement of the heating maxima from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere. North-easterly winds flow down Southeast Asia, are turned north-westerly/westerly by Borneo topography towards Australia. This forms a cyclonic circulation vortex over Borneo, which together with descending cold surges of winter air from higher latitudes, cause significant weather phenomena in the region. Examples are the formation of a rare low-latitude tropical storm in 2001, Tropical Storm Vamei, and the devastating flood of Jakarta in 2007.
The onset of the monsoon over the Maritime Continent tends to follow the heating maxima down Vietnam and the Malay Peninsula (September), to Sumatra, Borneo and the Philippines (October), to Java, Sulawesi (November), Irian Jaya and northern Australia (December, January). However, the monsoon is not a simple response to heating but a more complex interaction of topography, wind and sea, as demonstrated by its abrupt rather than gradual withdrawal from the region. The Australian monsoon (the "Wet") occurs in the southern summer when the monsoon trough develops over Northern Australia. Over three-quarters of annual rainfall in Northern Australia falls during this time.
The European Monsoon (more commonly known as the return of the westerlies) is the result of a resurgence of westerly winds from the Atlantic, where they become loaded with wind and rain.These westerly winds are a common phenomenon during the European winter, but they ease as spring approaches in late March and through April and May. The winds pick up again in June, which is why this phenomenon is also referred to as "the return of the westerlies".
The rain usually arrives in two waves, at the beginning of June, and again in mid- to late June. The European monsoon is not a monsoon in the traditional sense in that it doesn't meet all the requirements to be classified as such. Instead, the return of the westerlies is more regarded as a conveyor belt that delivers a series of low-pressure centres to Western Europe where they create unsettled weather. These storms generally feature significantly lower-than-average temperatures, fierce rain or hail, thunder, and strong winds.
The return of the westerlies affects Europe's Northern Atlantic coastline, more precisely Ireland, Great Britain, the Benelux countries, western Germany, northern France and parts of Scandinavia.
Orographic lift occurs when an air mass is forced from a low elevation to a higher elevation as it moves over rising terrain. As the air mass gains altitude it quickly cools down adiabatically, which can raise the relative humidity to 100% and create clouds and, under the right conditions, precipitation.
Atmospheric circulation is the large-scale movement of air and together with ocean circulation is the means by which thermal energy is redistributed on the surface of the Earth. The Earth's atmospheric circulation varies from year to year, but the large-scale structure of its circulation remains fairly constant. The smaller scale weather systems – mid-latitude depressions, or tropical convective cells – occur "randomly", and long-range weather predictions of those cannot be made beyond ten days in practice, or a month in theory.
In meteorology, a low-pressure area, low area or low is a region where the atmospheric pressure is lower than that of surrounding locations. Low-pressure systems form under areas of wind divergence that occur in the upper levels of the atmosphere. The formation process of a low-pressure area is known as cyclogenesis. In meteorology, atmospheric divergence aloft occurs in two kinds of places:
The trade winds or easterlies are the permanent east-to-west prevailing winds that flow in the Earth's equatorial region. The trade winds blow mainly from the northeast in the Northern Hemisphere and from the southeast in the Southern Hemisphere, strengthening during the winter and when the Arctic oscillation is in its warm phase. Trade winds have been used by captains of sailing ships to cross the world's oceans for centuries. They enabled colonial expansion into the Americas, and trade routes to become established across the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
In meteorology, prevailing wind in a region of the Earth's surface is a surface wind that blows predominantly from a particular direction. The dominant winds are the trends in direction of wind with the highest speed over a particular point on the Earth's surface. A region's prevailing and dominant winds are the result of global patterns of movement in the Earth's atmosphere. In general, winds are predominantly easterly at low latitudes globally. In the mid-latitudes, westerly winds are dominant, and their strength is largely determined by the polar cyclone. In areas where winds tend to be light, the sea breeze/land breeze cycle is the most important cause of the prevailing wind; in areas which have variable terrain, mountain and valley breezes dominate the wind pattern. Highly elevated surfaces can induce a thermal low, which then augments the environmental wind flow.
The climate of India consists of a wide range of weather conditions across a vast geographic scale and varied topography, making generalizations difficult. Based on the Köppen system, India hosts six major climatic sub types, ranging from arid deserts in the west, alpine tundra and glaciers in the north, and humid tropical regions supporting rain forests in the southwest and the island territories. Many regions have starkly different microclimates, making it one of the most climatically diverse countries in the world. The country's meteorological department follows the international standard of four seasons with some local adjustments: winter, summer, monsoon (rainy) season, and a post-monsoon period.
In the Indian Ocean north of the equator, tropical cyclones can form throughout the year on either side of India, although most frequently between April and June, and between October and December.
The monsoon trough is a portion of the Intertropical Convergence Zone in the Western Pacific, as depicted by a line on a weather map showing the locations of minimum sea level pressure, and as such, is a convergence zone between the wind patterns of the southern and northern hemispheres.
The climate of Delhi is an overlap between monsoon-influenced humid subtropical and semi-arid, with high variation between summer and winter temperatures and precipitation. Delhi's version of a humid subtropical climate is markedly different from many other humid subtropical cities such as São Paulo, New Orleans and Brisbane in that the city features dust storms and wildfire haze due to its semi-arid climate.
Natural catastrophe in India, many of them related to the climate of India, cause massive losses of life and property. Droughts, flash floods, cyclones, avalanches, landslides brought by torrential rains, and snowstorms pose the greatest threats. A natural disaster might be caused by earthquakes, flooding, volcanic eruption, landslides, hurricanes etc. In order to be classified as a disaster, it will need to have a profound environmental effect and/or human loss and frequently incurs a financial loss. Other dangers include frequent summer dust storms, which usually track from north to south; they cause extensive property damage in North India and deposit large amounts of dust and dirt from arid regions. Hail is also common in parts of India, causing severe damage to standing crops such as rice and wheat and many more crops.
A western disturbance is an extratropical storm originating in the Mediterranean region that brings sudden winter rain to the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent, which extends as east as up to northern parts of Bangladesh and South eastern Nepal. It is a non-monsoonal precipitation pattern driven by the westerlies. The moisture in these storms usually originates over the Mediterranean Sea, the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. Extratropical storms are a global phenomena with moisture usually carried in the upper atmosphere, unlike their tropical counterparts where the moisture is carried in the lower atmosphere. In the case of the Indian subcontinent, moisture is sometimes shed as rain when the storm system encounters the Himalayas. western disturbances are more frequent and strong in winter season.
The 2004 North Indian Ocean cyclone season was the first in which tropical cyclones were officially named in the basin. Cyclone Onil, which struck Pakistan, was named in late September. The final storm, Cyclone Agni, was also named, and crossed into the southern hemisphere shortly before dissipation. This storm became notable during its origins and became one of the storms closest to the equator. The season was fairly active, with ten depressions forming from May to November. The India Meteorological Department designated four of these as cyclonic storms, which have maximum sustained winds of at least 65 km/h (40 mph) averaged over three minutes. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center also issued warnings for five of the storms on an unofficial basis.
Thermal lows, or heat lows, are non-frontal low-pressure areas that occur over the continents in the subtropics during the warm season, as the result of intense heating when compared to their surrounding environments. Thermal lows occur near the Sonoran Desert, on the Mexican plateau, in California's Great Central Valley, the Sahara, over north-west Argentina in South America, over the Kimberley region of north-west Australia, the Iberian peninsula, and the Tibetan plateau.
Located in both a temperate and a tropical zone, Vietnam's climate is characterized by strong monsoon influences but has a considerable amount of sun, a high rate of rainfall, and high humidity. The diverse topography, long latitude, and influences from the South China Sea lead to climatic conditions varying significantly between regions. In the north, the climate is monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons while in the south, the climate is tropical monsoon with two seasons. In addition, a temperate climate exists in mountainous areas, which are found in Sa Pa and Da Lat, while a subtropical highland climate exists in Lai Châu Province and Sơn La Province.
The Indian Monsoon Current refers to the seasonally varying ocean current regime found in the tropical regions of the northern Indian Ocean. During winter, the flow of the upper ocean is directed westward from near the Indonesian Archipelago to the Arabian Sea. During the summer, the direction reverses, with eastward flow extending from Somalia into the Bay of Bengal. These variations are due to changes in the wind stress associated with the Indian monsoon. The seasonally reversing open ocean currents that pass south of India are referred to as the Winter Monsoon Current and the Summer Monsoon Current. The Somali Current, which is strongly linked to the Indian monsoon, is also discussed in this article.
Earth rainfall climatology Is the study of rainfall, a sub-field of meteorology. Formally, a wider study includes water falling as ice crystals, i.e. hail, sleet, snow. The aim of rainfall climatology is to measure, understand and predict rain distribution across different regions of planet Earth, a factor of air pressure, humidity, topography, cloud type and raindrop size, via direct measurement and remote sensing data acquisition. Current technologies accurately predict rainfall 3–4 days in advance using numerical weather prediction. Geostationary orbiting satellites gather IR and visual wavelength data to measure realtime localised rainfall by estimating cloud albedo, water content, and the corresponding probability of rain. Geographic distribution of rain is largely governed by climate type, topography and habitat humidity. In mountainous areas, heavy precipitation is possible where upslope flow is maximized within windward sides of the terrain at elevation. On the leeward side of mountains, desert climates can exist due to the dry air caused by compressional heating. The movement of the monsoon trough, or Intertropical Convergence Zone, brings rainy seasons to savannah climes. The urban heat island effect leads to increased rainfall, both in amounts and intensity, downwind of cities. Warming may also cause changes in the precipitation pattern globally, including wetter conditions at high latitudes and in some wet tropical areas. Precipitation is a major component of the water cycle, and is responsible for depositing most of the fresh water on the planet. Approximately 505,000 cubic kilometres (121,000 cu mi) of water falls as precipitation each year; 398,000 cubic kilometres (95,000 cu mi) of it over the oceans. Given the Earth's surface area, that means the globally averaged annual precipitation is 990 millimetres (39 in). Climate classification systems such as the Köppen climate classification system use average annual rainfall to help differentiate between differing climate regimes.
The climate of Asia is dry across its southwestern region, with dry across much of the interior. Some of the largest daily temperature ranges on Earth occur in the western part of Asia. The monsoon circulation dominates across the southern and eastern regions, due to the Himalayas forcing the formation of a thermal low which draws in moisture during the summer. The southwestern region of the continent experiences low relief as a result of the subtropical high pressure belt; they are hot in summer, warm to cool in winter, and may snow at higher altitudes. Siberia is one of the coldest places in the Northern Hemisphere, and can act as a source of arctic air mass for North America. The most active place on Earth for tropical cyclone activity lies northeast of the Philippines and south of Japan, and the phase of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation modulates where in Asia landfall is more likely to occur.
The monsoon of South Asia is among several geographically distributed global monsoons. It affects the Indian subcontinent, where it is one of the oldest and most anticipated weather phenomena and an economically important pattern every year from June through September, but it is only partly understood and notoriously difficult to predict. Several theories have been proposed to explain the origin, process, strength, variability, distribution, and general vagaries of the monsoon, but understanding and predictability are still evolving.
The 2014 North Indian Ocean cyclone season was an event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone formation. The season included two very severe cyclonic storms, both in October, and one other named cyclonic storm, classified according to the tropical cyclone intensity scale of the India Meteorological Department. Cyclone Hudhud is estimated to have caused US$3.58 billion in damage across eastern India, and more than 120 deaths.
The Asiatic Low is a low-pressure trough which lies over southern Asia, during early summer. It is located roughly over India, heading over the Bay of Bengal. It is a major action centre for the Northern Hemisphere during that time of the year.
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