Influencing Factors of Indian Climate


India is a peninsula covered by water on three sides and land on the other. The Tropic of Cancer passes through the center of the country. The Tropical location, water bodies, and topography influence the climate, soil, and forest resources of India. There is a wide variation in the distribution of temperature and rainfall over the entire sub-continent of India. In summer the western Rajasthan records more than 55°c of temperature while during winter Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir records -25°C of temperature. The seasonal variation in the climatic condition is due to various factors like temperature, pressure, wind, rainfall, etc.

Factors Influencing Indian Climate

  1. Latitudinal location
  2. Pressure and Winds
  3. Altitude
  4. Distance from the Sea
  5. Distribution of Land and Water
  6. Physiography

Latitudinal location

  1. The mainland of India extends between 8°N to 37°N
  2. Areas south of the Tropic of Cancer are in the tropics and hence receive high solar insolation. The summer temperatures are extreme and winter temperatures are moderate in most regions.
  3. The northern parts on the other hand lie in the warm temperate zone. They receive comparatively less solar insolation. But summer is equally hot in north India because of the hot local wind called ‘loo’. Winter is very cold due to cold waves brought by the western disturbances.
  4. Some places in the Himalayas record low temperature particularly in winter.
  5. Coastal regions see moderate climatic conditions irrespective of latitudinal position.
Latitude location of India

Pressure and Winds

  1. Northeasterly winds are found in the region where India is located.
  2. These winds move towards the equatorial low-pressure area as it gets deflected to the right by the Coriolis force when the winds blow from the South.
  3. In the northern hemisphere, there is a subtropical high-pressure belt and the North Easterly winds originate from the region.
  4. Over India, the wind and pressure conditions are unique.
  5. To the north of the Himalayas, there is a high-pressure area during Winter.
  6. In the South, the low-pressure areas over the oceans receive cold dry winds from the North.
  7. During summer, the direction of winds reverses completely, as the low-pressure area develops over Northwestern India and in the interior of Asia.
  8. In a south-easterly direction, over the southern Indian Ocean, air moves from the high-pressure area. Over the Indian subcontinent, the air turns right towards the low-pressure areas. These are Southwest Monsoon winds.
  9. Widespread rainfall occurs over the Indian mainland by these winds as they gather moisture while blowing over the warm oceans


  1. Compared to Central Asia, India has comparatively milder winters since the cold winds which blow from Central Asia are prevented from entering India by the mighty Himalayan Mountains
  2. The average height of the Mountains which lie in North India is around 6000 meters.
  3. The maximum elevation of India’s vast coastal area is around 30 meters.

Distance from the Sea

India is one of the countries which has the longest coastline. Areas in the interior of India are far away from the moderating influence of the sea. Such areas have extremes of climate. People of Mumbai and the Konkan coast have hardly any idea of extremes of temperature and the seasonal rhythm of weather. On the other hand, the seasonal contrasts in weather at places in the interior of the country such as Delhi, Kanpur, and Amritsar affect the entire sphere of life.

Distribution of Land and Water

The geography of India includes water on 3 sides, the Himalayas in the north which slid almost through north India. As compared to landmass, water heats up or cools down slowly. The differential heating pattern creates different air pressure zone in different seasons in and around the subcontinent. The difference in air pressure causes a reversal in the direction of monsoon winds.


  1. The relief of India also affects the temperature, air pressure, direction and speed of the wind, and amount of distribution of rainfall.
  2. Example: The windward side of the Western Ghats and Assam receives the highest rainfall during June and September whereas the southern plateau remains dry due to its leeward situation along the western ghats.