Wet season

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Rainfall distribution by month in Cairns, Australia. Cairns climate.svg
Rainfall distribution by month in Cairns, Australia.

The wet season is the time of year when most of a region's average annual rainfall occurs. Generally the season lasts at least a month. [1] The term "green season" is also sometimes used as a euphemism by tourist authorities. [2] Areas with wet seasons are dispersed across portions of the tropics and subtropics. [3]

Euphemism Innocuous word or expression used in place of one that may be found offensive

A euphemism is an innocuous word or expression used in place of one that may be found offensive or suggest something unpleasant. Some euphemisms are intended to amuse, while others use bland, inoffensive terms for concepts that the user wishes to downplay. Euphemisms may be used to mask profanity or refer to taboo topics such as disability, sex, excretion, or death in a polite way.

Tropics region of the Earth surrounding the Equator

The tropics are the region of the Earth surrounding the Equator. They are delimited in latitude by The Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere at 23°26′12.4″ (or 23.43678°) N and the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere at 23°26′12.4″ (or 23.43678°) S; these latitudes correspond to the axial tilt of the Earth. The tropics are also referred to as the tropical zone and the torrid zone. The tropics include all the areas on the Earth where the Sun contacts a point directly overhead at least once during the solar year - thus the latitude of the tropics is roughly equal to the angle of the Earth's axial tilt.

Subtropics

The subtropics are geographic and climate zones located roughly between the tropics at latitude 23.5° and temperate zones north and south of the Equator.

Contents

Under the Köppen climate classification, for tropical climates, a wet season month is defined as a month where average precipitation is 60 millimetres (2.4 in) or more. [4] In contrast to areas with savanna climates and monsoon regimes, Mediterranean climates have wet winters and dry summers. Dry and rainy months are characteristic of tropical seasonal forests: in contrast to tropical rainforests, which do not have dry or wet seasons, since their rainfall is equally distributed throughout the year. [5] Some areas with pronounced rainy seasons will see a break in rainfall mid-season, when the intertropical convergence zone or monsoon trough moves to higher latitudes in the middle of the warm season. [6]

Köppen climate classification climate classification system

The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by the Russian climatologist Wladimir Köppen (1846–1940) in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen, notably in 1918 and 1936. Later, the climatologist Rudolf Geiger introduced some changes to the classification system, which is thus sometimes called the Köppen–Geiger climate classification system.

Tropical climate climate in the tropical region

A tropical climate in the Köppen climate classification is a non-arid climate in which all twelve months have mean temperatures of warmer than 18 °C (64 °F). In tropical climates there are often only two seasons: a wet season and a dry season. Tropical climates are frost-free, and changes in the solar angle are small. In tropical climates, the temperature remains relatively constant (hot) throughout the year. Sunlight is intense.

Savanna grassland ecosystem

A savanna or savannah is a mixed woodland grassland ecosystem characterised by the trees being sufficiently widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of grasses.

When the wet season occurs during a warm season, or summer, precipitation falls mainly during the late afternoon and early evening. In the wet season, air quality improves, fresh water quality improves, and vegetation grows substantially, leading to crop yields late in the season. Rivers overflow their banks, and some animals retreat to higher ground. Soil nutrients diminish and erosion increases. The incidence of malaria increases in areas where the rainy season coincides with high temperatures, particularly in tropical areas. [7] Some animals have adaptation and survival strategies for the wet season. Often, the previous dry season leads to food shortages in the wet season, as the crops have yet to mature.

Summer one of the Earths four temperate seasons, occurring between spring and autumn

Summer is the hottest of the four temperate seasons, falling after spring and before autumn. At the summer solstice, the days are longest and the nights are shortest, with day length decreasing as the season progresses after the solstice. The date of the beginning of summer varies according to climate, tradition, and culture. When it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and vice versa.

Soil mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids, and organisms that together support life

Soil is a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids, and organisms that together support life. Earth's body of soil, called the pedosphere, has four important functions:

Malaria Mosquito-borne infectious disease

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals. Malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever, tiredness, vomiting, and headaches. In severe cases it can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma, or death. Symptoms usually begin ten to fifteen days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. If not properly treated, people may have recurrences of the disease months later. In those who have recently survived an infection, reinfection usually causes milder symptoms. This partial resistance disappears over months to years if the person has no continuing exposure to malaria.

Character of the rainfall

Wet season storm at night in Darwin, Australia. Darwin 1824.jpg
Wet season storm at night in Darwin, Australia.

In areas where the heavy rainfall is associated with a wind shift, the wet season is known as the monsoon. [8] Rainfall in the wet season is mainly due to daytime heating which leads to diurnal thunderstorm activity within a pre-existing moist airmass, so the rain mainly falls in late afternoon and early evening in savannah and monsoon regions. Further, much of the total rainfall each day occurs in the first minutes of the downpour, [6] before the storms mature into their stratiform stage. [9] Most places have only one wet season, but areas of the tropics can have two wet seasons, because the monsoon trough, or Intertropical Convergence Zone, can pass over locations in the tropics twice per year. However, since rain forests have rainfall spread evenly through the year, they do not have a wet season. [5]

Intertropical Convergence Zone

The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), known by sailors as the doldrums or the calms because of its monotonous, windless weather, is the area where the northeast and southeast trade winds converge. It encircles Earth near the thermal equator, though its specific position varies seasonally. When it lies near the geographic Equator, it is called the near-equatorial trough. Where the ITCZ is drawn into and merges with a monsoonal circulation, it is sometimes referred to as a monsoon trough, a usage more common in Australia and parts of Asia.

It is different for places with a Mediterranean climate. In the western United States, during the cold season from September–May, extratropical cyclones from the Pacific Ocean move inland into the region due to a southward migration of the jet stream during the cold season. This shift in the jet stream brings much of the annual precipitation to the region, [10] and sometimes also brings heavy rain and strong low pressure systems. [11] The peninsula of Italy has weather very similar to the western United States in this regard. [12]

Mediterranean climate climate zone

A Mediterranean climate or dry summer climate is characterized by rainy winters and dry summers, with less than 40 mm of precipitation for at least three summer months. While the climate receives its name from the Mediterranean Basin, these are generally located on the western coasts of continents, between roughly 30 and 45 degrees north and south of the equator, typically between oceanic climates towards the poles, and semi-arid and arid climates towards the equator.

Extratropical cyclone type of cyclone

Extratropical cyclones, sometimes called mid-latitude cyclones or wave cyclones, are low-pressure areas which, along with the anticyclones of high-pressure areas, drive the weather over much of the Earth. Extratropical cyclones are capable of producing anything from cloudiness and mild showers to heavy gales, thunderstorms, blizzards, and tornadoes. These types of cyclones are defined as large scale (synoptic) low pressure weather systems that occur in the middle latitudes of the Earth. In contrast with tropical cyclones, extratropical cyclones produce rapid changes in temperature and dew point along broad lines, called weather fronts, about the center of the cyclone.

Pacific Ocean Ocean between Asia and Australia in the west, the Americas in the east and Antarctica or the Southern Ocean in the south.

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.

Areas affected

Areas with a savanna climate in Sub-Saharan Africa, such as Ghana, Burkina Faso, [13] [14] Darfur, [15] Eritrea, [16] Ethiopia, [17] and Botswana have a distinct rainy season. [18] Also within the savanna climate regime, Florida and South Texas have a rainy season. [19] Monsoon regions include the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia (including Indonesia and Philippines), [20] northern sections of Australia's North, [21] Polynesia, [22] Central America, [23] western and southern Mexico, [24] the Desert Southwest of the United States, [10] southern Guyana, [25] portions of northeast Brazil. [26]

Sub-Saharan Africa area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara Desert

Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all African countries that are fully or partially located south of the Sahara. It contrasts with North Africa, whose territories are part of the League of Arab states within the Arab world. The states of Somalia, Djibouti, Comoros and the Arabic speaking Mauritania are however geographically in sub-Saharan Africa, although they are members of the Arab League as well. The UN Development Program lists 46 of Africa’s 54 countries as “sub-Saharan,” excluding Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan and Tunisia.

Ghana Republic in West Africa

Ghana, officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. Spanning a land mass of 238,535 km2 (92,099 sq mi), Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. Ghana means "Warrior King" in the Soninke language.

Burkina Faso country in Africa

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa. It covers an area of around 274,200 square kilometres (105,900 sq mi) and is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north; Niger to the east; Benin to the southeast; Togo and Ghana to the south; and Ivory Coast to the southwest. The July 2018 population estimate by the United Nations was 19,751,651. Burkina Faso is a francophone country, with French as the official language of government and business. Roughly 40% of the population speaks the Mossi language. Formerly called the Republic of Upper Volta (1958–1984), the country was renamed "Burkina Faso" on 4 August 1984 by then-President Thomas Sankara. Its citizens are known as Burkinabé. Its capital is Ouagadougou.

Northern Guyana has two wet seasons: one in early spring and the other in early winter. [25] In western Africa, there are two rainy seasons across southern sections, but only one across the north. [27] Within the Mediterranean climate regime, the west coast of the United States and the Mediterranean coastline of Italy, Greece, [28] and Turkey experience a wet season in the winter months. [29] Similarly, the wet season in the Negev desert of Israel extends from October through May. [30] At the boundary between the Mediterranean and monsoon climates lies the Sonoran desert, which receives the two rainy seasons associated with each climate regime. [31]

The wet season is known by many different local names throughout the world. For example, in Mexico it is known as "storm season". Different names are given to the various short "seasons" of the year by the Aboriginal tribes of Northern Australia: the wet season typically experienced there from December to March is called Gudjewg. The precise meaning of the word is disputed, although it is widely accepted to relate to the severe thunderstorms, flooding, and abundant vegetation growth commonly experienced at this time. [32]

Effects

Monsoon in the Vindhya mountain range, central India. Vindhya.jpg
Monsoon in the Vindhya mountain range, central India.

In tropical areas, when the monsoon arrives, high daytime high temperatures drop and overnight low temperatures increase, thus reducing diurnal temperature variation. [33] During the wet season, a combination of heavy rainfall and, in some places such as Hong Kong, an onshore wind, improve air quality. [34] In Brazil, the wet season is correlated with weaker trade winds off the ocean. [26] The pH level of water becomes more balanced due to the charging of local aquifers during the wet season. [35] Water also softens, as the concentration of dissolved materials reduces during the rainy season. [36] Erosion is also increased during rainy periods. [6] Arroyos that are dry at other times of the year fill with runoff, in some cases with water as deep as 10 feet (3.0 m). [37] Leaching of soils during periods of heavy rainfall depletes nutrients. [37] The higher runoff from land masses affects nearby ocean areas, which are more stratified, or less mixed, due to stronger surface currents forced by the heavy rainfall runoff. [38]

Floods

High rainfall can cause widespread flooding, [39] which can lead to landslides and mudflows in mountainous areas. [40] Such floods cause rivers to burst their banks and submerge homes. [41] The Ghaggar-Hakra River, which only flows during India's monsoon season, can flood and severely damage local crops. [42] Floods can be exacerbated by fires that occurred during the previous dry season, which cause soils which are sandy or composed of loam to become hydrophobic, or water repellent. [43] In various ways governments may help people deal with wet season floods. Flood plain mapping identifies which areas are more prone to flooding. [44] Instructions on controlling erosion through outreach[ clarification needed ] are also provided by telephone or the internet. [45]

Life adaptations

Equatorial savanna in the East Province of Cameroon. East - Guinean Savanna 001.jpg
Equatorial savanna in the East Province of Cameroon.

Humans

The wet season is the main period of vegetation growth within the Savanna climate regime. [46] However, this also means that wet season is a time for food shortages before crops reach their full maturity. [47] This causes seasonal weight changes for people in developing countries, with a drop occurring during the wet season until the time of the first harvest, when weights rebound. [48] Malaria incidence increases during periods of high temperature and heavy rainfall. [49]

Animals

Cows calve, or give birth, at the beginning of the wet season. [50] The onset of the rainy season signals the departure of the monarch butterfly from Mexico. [51] Tropical species of butterflies show larger dot markings on their wings to fend off possible predators and are more active during the wet season than the dry season. [52] Within the tropics and warmer areas of the subtropics, decreased salinity of near shore wetlands due to the rains causes an increase in crocodile nesting. [53] Other species, such as the arroyo toad, spawn within the couple of months after the seasonal rains. [54] Armadillos and rattlesnakes seek higher ground. [55]

See also

Related Research Articles

Climate Statistics of weather conditions in a given region over long periods

Climate is defined as the average state of everyday's weather condition over a period of 30 years. It is measured by assessing the patterns of variation in temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, precipitation, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological variables in a given region over long periods of time. Climate differs from weather, in that weather only describes the short-term conditions of these variables in a given region.

Geography of Nigeria

Nigeria is a country in West Africa. Nigeria shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast lies on the Gulf of Guinea in the south and it borders Lake Chad to the northeast. Noted geographical features in Nigeria include the Adamawa highlands, Mambilla Plateau, Jos Plateau, Obudu Plateau, the Niger River, River Benue and Niger Delta.

Monsoon seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea

Monsoon is traditionally defined as 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 the asymmetric heating of land and sea. 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 sometimes incorrectly used for locally heavy but short-term rains, although these rains meet the dictionary definition of monsoon.

Precipitation product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapour that falls under gravity

In meteorology, precipitation is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation include drizzle, rain, sleet, snow, graupel and hail. Precipitation occurs when a portion of the atmosphere becomes saturated with water vapor, so that the water condenses and "precipitates". Thus, fog and mist are not precipitation but suspensions, because the water vapor does not condense sufficiently to precipitate. Two processes, possibly acting together, can lead to air becoming saturated: cooling the air or adding water vapor to the air. Precipitation forms as smaller droplets coalesce via collision with other rain drops or ice crystals within a cloud. Short, intense periods of rain in scattered locations are called "showers."

Monsoon trough

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.

United States rainfall climatology

The characteristics of United States rainfall climatology differ significantly across the United States and those under United States sovereignty. Late summer and fall extratropical cyclones bring a majority of the precipitation which falls across western, southern, and southeast Alaska annually. During the winter, and spring, Pacific storm systems bring Hawaii and the western United States most of their precipitation. Nor'easters moving down the East coast bring cold season precipitation to the Carolinas, Mid-Atlantic and New England states. Lake-effect snows add to precipitation potential downwind of the Great Lakes, as well as Great Salt Lake and the Finger Lakes during the cold season. The snow to liquid ratio across the contiguous United States averages 13:1, meaning 13 inches (330 mm) of snow melts down to 1 inch (25 mm) of water.

Tropical savanna climate

Tropical savanna climate or tropical wet and dry climate is a type of climate that corresponds to the Köppen climate classification categories "Aw" and "As". Tropical savanna climates have monthly mean temperatures above 18 °C (64 °F) in every month of the year and typically a pronounced dry season, with the driest month having less than 60 mm of precipitation and also less than 100 – [total annual precipitation {mm}/25] of precipitation.

Climate of the United States

The climate of the United States varies due to differences in latitude, and a range of geographic features, including mountains and deserts. Generally, on the mainland, the climate of the U.S. becomes warmer the further south one travels, and drier the further west, until one reaches the West Coast.

Climate of the Philippines

The Philippines has five types of climates: tropical rainforest, tropical monsoon, tropical savanna, humid subtropical, and oceanic characterized by relatively high temperature, oppressive humidity and plenty of rainfall. There are two seasons in the country, the wet season and the dry season, based upon the amount of rainfall. This is also dependent on location in the country as some areas experience rain all throughout the year. Based on temperature, the warmest months of the year are March through October; the winter monsoon brings hotter air from November to February. May is the warmest month, and January, the coolest.

Climate of Vietnam

Vietnam's climate, being located in the tropics and strongly influenced by the South China Sea has a monsoon-influenced tropical climate typical of that of mainland Southeast Asia. In the north, the climate is monsoonal with four distinct seasons while in the south, the climate is tropical monsoon with two seasons. In addition temperate climate exists in mountainous areas, which are found in Sa Pa, Da Lat while a more continental climate exists in Lai Chau Province and Son La Province. The diverse topography, wide range of latitudes, and influences from the South China Sea lead to climatic conditions varying significantly between regions. 20% of Vietnam's total surface area is low-elevation coastal area making the country highly vulnerable to climate change effects and the rising sea levels in particular.

Rain liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then precipitated

Rain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then become heavy enough to fall under gravity. Rain is a major component of the water cycle and is responsible for depositing most of the fresh water on the Earth. It provides suitable conditions for many types of ecosystems, as well as water for hydroelectric power plants and crop irrigation.

Tropical monsoon climate

An area of tropical monsoon climate is a type of climate that corresponds to the Köppen climate classification category "Am". Tropical monsoon climates have monthly mean temperatures above 18 °C (64.4 °F) in every month of the year. Tropical monsoon climates is the intermediate climate between the wet Af and Aw.

Earth rainfall climatology

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. Global warming may also cause changes in the precipitation pattern globally, including wetter conditions at high latitudes and in some wet tropical areas, and drier conditions in parts of the subtropics and middle latitudes. 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.

Dhaka experiences a hot, wet and humid tropical climate. Under the Köppen climate classification, Dhaka has a tropical wet and dry climate. The city has a distinct monsoonal season, with an annual average temperature of 25 °C (77 °F) and monthly means varying between 18 °C (64 °F) in January and 29 °C (84 °F) in August. Nearly 80% of the annual average rainfall of 1,854 millimetres (73.0 in) occurs during the monsoon season which lasts from May until the end of September. Increasing air and water pollution emanating from traffic congestion and industrial waste are serious problems affecting public health and the quality of life in the city. Water bodies and wetlands around Dhaka are facing destruction as these are being filled up to construct multi-storied buildings and other real estate developments. Coupled with pollution, such erosion of natural habitats threatens to destroy much of the regional biodiversity.

The Climate of Cebu is a tropical wet and dry climate. There are two seasons in Cebu - the wet season and the dry season. Cebu has three different climates, based on the distribution of rainfall, with the most prevalent ones being Am and Af and a very minor area of Aw. Based on temperature, the warmest months of the year are March through October; the winter monsoon brings cooler air from November to February. May is the warmest month, and January, the coolest.

Climate of Africa

Owing to Africa's position across equatorial and subtropical latitudes in both the northern and southern hemisphere, several different climate types can be found within it. The continent mainly lies within the intertropical zone between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, hence its interesting density of humidity. Precipitation intensity is always high, and it is a hot continent. Warm and hot climates prevail all over Africa, but the northern part is that most marked by aridity and high temperatures. Only the northernmost and the southernmost fringes of the continent have a Mediterranean climate.The equator runs through the middle of Africa, as do the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, making Africa the most tropical continent.

Climate of Asia

The Climate of Asia is wet across southeast sections, and dry across much of the interior. Some of the largest daily temperature ranges on Earth occur in western sections of Asia. The monsoon circulation dominates across southern and eastern sections, due to the presence of the Himalayas forcing the formation of a thermal low which draws in moisture during the summer. Southwestern sections of the continent experience low relief as a result of the subtropical high pressure belt; they are hot in the 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 masses 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 Niño-Southern Oscillation modulates where in Asia landfall is more likely to occur.

The climate of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) is primarily defined as humid subtropical with dry winter (CWa) type with parts of Western U.P. as semi-arid (BS) type. Alternatively, some authors refer to it as tropical monsoon. Variations do exist in different parts of the large state, however the uniformity of the vast Indo-Gangetic Plain forming bulk of the state gives a predominantly single climatic pattern to the state with minor regional variations. U.P. has a climate of extremes. With temperatures fluctuating anywhere from 0 °C to 50 °C in several parts of the state and cyclical droughts and floods due to unpredictable rains, the summers are extremely hot, winters cold and rainy season can be either very wet or very dry.

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