Monsoons are typically associated with rainy seasons in the tropics (the regions of Earth within 23.50 latitude of the equator) and the subtropics (regions from 23.50 to almost 350 latitudes, both south and north).
In particular areas, life significantly depends on the monsoon rains. A weak monsoon rainy season may cause crop failures, drought, and hardship for humans and wildlife. On the other hand, heavy monsoon rains have caused enormous floods which have killed many people.
Several parts of the world possibly experience monsoon. Perhaps, the most popular are the Asian monsoons that affect China, India, Southern Asia, and Japan.
Besides, monsoons affect parts of central Africa, where their rain is crucial to supporting life in the region south of the Sahara Desert. Fewer monsoons circulations impact parts of the southwestern US. The summer rainy seasons brings much-required rain to the dry plateaus of New Mexico and Arizona.
This unpredictable weather pattern is a result of changes in the circulation of the atmosphere and rain that results from the warming of both the sea and the land. Even though many people associate monsoon with rain, they can also include dry phases too.
The West African and the Asia-Australian monsoons are the main monsoon systems while there are also South – American and North -American monsoons.
Based on the location, a monsoon may not cause much change in weather conditions, while in some areas it can convert a desert into, green grassland. Monsoon doesn’t mean rain, although several people believe it is. Basically, it is just strong breezes which blow from cold to hot environments.
Interesting Monsoon Facts
- India often experiences the most dramatic monsoons in the world. The 2005 monsoon was very strong that over 1,100 lives were lost!
- There are nearly 500,000 lightning strikes during a monsoon.
- The name ‘monsoon’ is believed to be derived from the Arabic word ‘mausim‘. Mausim means a shift in season or wind.
- Arizona receives 31.5% of its total annual rainfall during a monsoon
- In several parts of the world, life depends on the monsoon rains. When the monsoon doesn’t occur in these places, it can result in extensive famine and death of both humans and animals.
- In India, during the monsoon period, it is common to see a mouse on the back of the frog. They normally do this to escape the floodwaters.
- In Arizona, during the monsoon season, it is also common to see a wall of dust which reaches hundreds of feet in the air.
- Monsoon period officially ends on September 30th every year.
- In the US, New Mexico, Southwest Texas and Arizona are all regions with a monsoon season from June 15th to September 30th every year.
- In Europe, they typically refer to the monsoon system as the ‘Return of the Westerlies’.