When Does A Monsoon Happen Environmental Sciences Essay

Monsoons come from global winds and air pressure, though the exact cause is still not completely understood. India in southern Asia is in particularly dramatically affected by the seasonal monsoons every year. On the other hand, Monsoons that take place throughout the rest of the world are smaller and less extreme. We studied monsoons briefly, in our geography class but it did not satisfy my interest in seasonal monsoons that occur all over the world. We hear a lot about floods and dangerous life style in many countries but, I never knew that the real reason behind them is seasonal monsoons. In this research I will be searching more about monsoons, in general. Their causes, their effect on people’s lives, their advantages and disadvantages along with their types. Nevertheless, the reason behind choosing to write about monsoons is that I am interested to learn more about natural weather in particular seasonal monsoons and about how they amazingly help in one way and causes disasters in other ways to the civilians.


Monsoons, or “Mawasim” (an Arabic word for monsoon), are a shift in wind direction which causes unrestrained rainfall in many parts of the world. Asia, North America, South America, and Africa face natural seasonal wind, monsoons every year. Southern Asia comes across worst seasonal monsoons each year. Monsoons are known for its use and its damages. Monsoons are usually defined as seasonal winds accompanied seasonal differences in downfalls. Indian monsoons form due to the unequal heating of the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere in summer season by the solar radiation. Similar to the formation of sea breeze over coastal station and the formation of land. However, There are two types of seasonal winds dry monsoons during summer and the winter monsoons during winter seasons. These two types effect agriculture and sometimes might cause huge damages to the civilians and peasants in areas were monsoons are most dangerous. In other places of the world monsoons are the gift that farmers wait for throughout the year for its agricultural improvement and abundance.

What are Monsoons?

Monsoon is a word used to describe a system of alternating winds which blow persistently from the northeast during the northern winter and from the opposite direction, the southwest, during the northern summer. Thus, the term monsoon actually refers solely to a seasonal wind shift, and not to precipitation. Traders practice the waters off the Arabian and Indian coasts noted for centuries that dry northeast winds in the winter suddenly turn to the southwest during the summer, and bring beneficial yet torrential rains to the Asian subcontinent. It had became known that these large scale wind shifts, from dry desert areas to moist tropical areas, occur in other parts of the Earth, including the Oceanic subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Australia, North America, Africa and South America.

These wind shifts, and the dramatic change in weather they bring, are all more or less driven by a similar mechanism. For much of the year, low level winds in dry subtropical regions tend to blow from the land toward the sea. However by late spring, strong solar heating causes temperatures to soar over these land areas. Later on during the year much more humid air over the ocean is drawn toward the hot, dry air over land. This moist air moving onto the hot land eventually becomes unstable and develops into thunderstorms. Once this occurs and rain begins to fall, humidity levels increase over land, which only triggers more thunderstorms. This cycle will continue until land areas begin to cool in the early fall and water temperatures reach their peak in early fall.

Types and formation of monsoons

Caused by differential heating during summer and winter, Monsoons winds are just like land and sea breezes, except that they are on a large continental scale instead of just being to the coastal regions. Monsoons are most likely to be found in countries such as Asia especially the sub contents of China, Japan and India. The interior of Asia in the northern hemisphere during summer days is much hotter than the sea around the area. Rapid heating due to the hot weather causes the warm air to rise, creating intense low pressure. As for the southern hemisphere that experiences winter during this time creates a region of high pressure due to low temperature and cool air. Winds are thus blown across the equator into the Indian Ocean, bringing heavy rain in the form of the South-West Monsoons. The opposite takes place in the winter. Moreover, the interior of Asia is much colder than the sea around it in Northern Hemisphere. Region with high pressure will be formed by denser air and rapid cooling. Meanwhile in the Southern Hemisphere it is summer and the warm air rises creating a region with low pressure. Winds thus blow out of the continent of Asia into the Indian Ocean as the North-East seasonal Monsoon. Compared to nearby oceans monsoons are formed by a larger altitude of the seasonal cycle of land temperature. Monsoons are caused by several factors that affect the region. To begin with heating and cooling of large land masses in relation to the surrounding sea, which impacts on pressure and winds is one of important factors. Another factor, that plays an important role in the formation of monsoons is high land’s interference with the general atmospheric circulations.

Monsoons, dangerous or not?

Causing storms and floods, Monsoons, lead to the terrible loss of homes of people, families, and their possesses all of the catastrophic consequences makes these seasonal winds dangerous. Despite their damages that they cause, they are yet helpful and useful in other ways. One of the most important jobs that monsoons do is improving the farming in countrified areas. The agricultural operation in India entirely depends upon the monsoon which blows over the country and it helps in their rural work. If the monsoon that blows over India becomes weak in a specific year there will be crop failure. The abundant rain throughout monsoon season, sometimes for a few days it causes floods and affects the normal life. Overall the monsoon, particularly the Indian monsoon forms due the unequal heating of the Northern Hemisphere, where land area is more, and the Southern Hemisphere, where sea area is more, in summer season by the solar radiation. It is similar to the formation of land and sea breeze over coastal stations.

Occurring of monsoons.

Millions of civilians become homeless and with no place to go to, death rates increases each year in southern Asia, the region that experiences the worst monsoons around the world. Generally, the monsoon season of India occurs from June to September. Including how much rain will be seen and how long periods of time the rains will last the point of its effects changes from place to place. Monsoons are especially helpful for India, Bangladesh and Burma or Myanmar – providing valuable water for subsistence farmers and bringing a large portion of their water supply. The economy of these countries largely depends on the success of this rainy season.

Advantages and disadvantages of seasonal winds

Seasonal Monsoons have some advantages and disadvantages on the continent’s climate.

One of the advantages of these seasonal winds is the process of water cooling the earth and reducing the temperature. Earth necessitates water, if there is no rain the water bodies will get dried out. Rain is beautiful, is a visual cover, which captures human minds and thoughts. Rain is water and water is life so without water no living organism can survive. The abundance of water during seasonal winds is one of the most important advantages of monsoons. All with the vegetation of land gains from the rain brought by these seasonal winds are advantages. However, although monsoons have many advantages for the people disadvantages are also found. Extra water is not as good as average amount of water supply for the crops therefore farm some sensitive crops that need a specific amount of water will not be able to survive. Due to the floods caused by monsoons people’s properties will get lost or even damaged. However, family members especially kids and old people might get lost or even drowned due to the flooded lands. Many people do not know how to swim which will cause lots of trouble and will not help in any way if they wanted to rescue their kids or family. Many cars might get stopped due to the high water level and people inside it will be stuck inside for long time, dying eventually. Along with the diseases and flews that people will face during these bad weather circumstances. All these are disadvantages of seasonal winds or monsoons in other words.http://www.pacificislandtravel.com/nature_gallery/monsoons2.gif

Effects of monsoon

Monsoons represent the second rainy season for Arizona. For, dry and warm weather are brought during months of May and June over countries such as Arizona. And by the end of June, however, afternoon clouds can be seen building over the higher land of northern Arizona, and by early July, the skies typically begin to release its accumulated moisture. With the first rainy season occurring during the cooler months of November through April. Monsoon’s circulation does not produce thunderstorms every day during the months of July-September, but rather occurs in a pattern that has what are known as “bursts” and “breaks”. Weak disturbances in the upper atmosphere act to focus thunderstorm activity over the state for a period of a few days to more than a week during the “bursts” (below, left). Occasionally, however, the Bermuda high will become a bit stronger and develops over northwestern Mexico. This leads to “breaks” (below, right) in the monsoon, where the southerly winds decrease and the atmosphere becomes much less likely to allow thunderstorms to develop. Leading to a significant decrease in thunderstorm activity, and may last from a day or two to close to a week. This cycle of “bursts” and “breaks” will continue from the onset of the monsoon circulation, until the time when cold fronts begin to move across the state of Arizona, which returns our winds to a westerly or northwesterly direction. Although monsoons have bad effects on its people, including famine, the overall effects of these seasonal winds are yet useful and helpful for the farmers and peasants generally. After a long shortage of rainfall, the countries affected by monsoons seasons welcome the rain as a point at which the drought comes to an end. However, if these rainfalls during the season were below average then further drought can be devastating and will probably cause famine and further starvation for its people. All this leads to food supplies dwindling and crops unable to grow, and many of the area’s inhabitants may die of famine. Those who make their living from the land welcome the season, where the rains will make a large contribution to the crops they produce. However, flood will be caused by monsoons when too much rain comes in short period of time that not only damages crops and drowns livestock, but also harm inhabitants of the area. However, in less extreme forms these floods help to fertilize the soil. Monsoons have huge impacts on farmers and their crops and livestock. If the rains don’t come as expected then farming patterns can be disrupted. Not to mention the effects of drought and flood, as covered above. The economy of many countries greatly depends on agriculture, meaning that the disruption not only harms health and availability of food, but the economy as a whole and food prices rise dramatically in contrast.

Satellite image of monsoon bust conditions.Satellite image of monsoon burst conditions.

“Burst” “Break”

Characteristics of monsoon

A seasonal wind in southern Asia that blows from the southwest in summer and from the northeast in winter takes place over distances of thousands of kilometers, and their two frequent patterns of wind flow act over a periodical time scale. Monsoons are regional scale wind systems that predictably change direction with the passing of the seasons. These wind systems like land/sea breezes are created by the temperature contrasts that exist between the surfaces of land and ocean. However, monsoons are different from land/sea breezes both spatially and temporally. In the summer, the continents become much warmer than the oceans because of a number of factors. Some of these factors include specific heat differences between land and water, greater evaporation over water surfaces. Monsoon winds blow from the cooler ocean surfaces onto the warmer continents during the summer. Precipitation is normally related with the summer monsoon. Condensation and rain are caused from the onshore winds blowing from the inland from the warm ocean are very high in humidity, and slight cooling of these air masses. In some cases, this precipitation can be greatly intensified by orography uplift.

The winter monsoons bring clear dry weather and winds that flow from land to sea. Some highland areas in Asia receive more than 10 meters of rain during the summer months. With little solar energy available, the continents begin cooling rapidly as long wave radiation is emitted to space. In the winter, the wind patterns reverse as the ocean surfaces are now warmer. The ocean surface retains its heat energy longer because of water’s high specific heat and subsurface mixing.


In conclusion, I reached my goals and I successfully found out all the needed information on monsoons. Monsoons are seasonal winds found in many part around the world. They have many advantages and disadvantages along with good and bad effects on the agriculture of a country. There are two different types of these seasonal winds, summer and winter monsoons. Each forms and occurs in different circumstances and conditions. As a result, it is certainly not easy to live in a country that experience seasonal monsoons around the year .this research was very interesting and useful and full of information and knowledge.