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climate in India is dominated by the seasonal monsoon, but regional
differences in the micro-climate abound due to the varying topography and
the influence of the oceans. Indeed, the presence of the Himalayas and the
Indian Ocean lend the country characteristics of both a tropical climate and
a continental one. The result is an extreme in temperature and moisture
levels from the arid conditions of the Thar Desert to the rainforest climate
of the Northeastern States. Similarly, temperatures vary from below freezing
in the higher passes of the Himalayas to torrid heat on the Gangetic Plains.
It is therefore difficult to generalize about the climate in India as a
whole. Nevertheless, India does provide one of the best examples of a
monsoon climate due to the distinct division between the wet and dry
The retreating monsoon brings relatively cool and dry weather to most of
India as drier air from the Asian interior flows over the subcontinent. From
November until February, temperatures remain cool and precipitation low. In
northern India it can become quite cold, with snow occurring in the
Himalayas as weak cyclonic storms from the west settle over the mountains.
Between March and June, the temperature and humidity begin to rise steadily
in anticipation of the Southwest monsoon. This pre-monsoonal period is often
seen as a third distinct season although the post-monsoon in October also
presents unique characteristics in the form of slightly cooler temperatures
and occasional light drizzling rain. These transitional periods are also
associated with the arrival of cyclonic tropical storms that batter the
coastal areas of India with high winds, intense rain and wave activity.