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Tropical Storms and Monsoons

November 06, 2012
Group owner Richard Martine


Tropical Storms and Monsoons

By: Richard Martine   Post Date : November 06, 2012
Tropical storms begin when warm sea-surface temperatures produce areas of large-scale evaporation and convection. From this, large areas of clouds begin to develop into clusters of thunderstorms. Monsoon weather occurs in some areas of the tropics due to a seasonal change in the direction of the prevailing wind. During the winter, very dry air flows outward from high pressure in the continental interior. In summer, as the land warms the high pressure gives way to low pressure. However, the pressure remains relatively high over the ocean since water warms more slowly than land. The winds reverse direction bringing moist air over the land. As the air crosses onto the land it rises producing huge clouds and the torrential rains of the monsoon. The monsoon begins with a dramatic thunderstorm and torrential rain that usually lasts for a week or longer which can often cause flooding. Following the onset the rains become less severe and more stable.

The northern part of the Indian Ocean has a monsoon climate which is characterized by rain-bearing winds that change direction twice yearly. These changes are accompanied by twice-yearly reversals in the pattern of ocean currents which distinguishes the northern part of the Indian Ocean from all other oceans. The monsoon zone is also prone to destructive tropical storms that form over the open ocean and move in a westward direction.

The people of India and parts of Asia depend on the monsoon for their crops. If the monsoon is too early the fields may not be ready for planting, and if it is late planting is delayed and the crop yield is poor. Advances in science has enabled meteorologists to better predict the onset of the monsoons allowing farmers to prepare their crops accordingly. Once they know when the rain will arrive, they can also predict the length of the growing season.

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