Monsoon wind system

Monsoon wind system

In summer, monsoon winds bring heavy rainfall from the ocean to the continent.

Geography

Keywords

monsoon, wind system, winter monsoon, wind, summer monsoon, temperate zone, tropical zone, trade wind, precipitation, warming, cooling down, weather, temperature change, atmosphere, sea, ocean, air pressure, Equator, temperature, rain, drought, nature, Earth, geography

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Scenes

Temperate zone monsoon wind system

  • Arctic Circle
  • Tropic of Cancer
  • Equator
  • Tropic of Capricorn
  • Antarctic Circle
  • South Pole
  • North Pole
  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Indian Ocean
  • Arctic Ocean
  • Southern and Eastern China
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Eastern coast of South Africa
  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Eastern coast of South America
  • Chile
  • Eastern coast of Australia

Monsoon winds can occur in the temperate zone as well. They usually form on the eastern edge of the continents. Due to the seasonal reversal winds, summers are wet, while winters are dry in this zone.

Temperate zone monsoon

  • summer monsoon
  • L - lower pressure
  • H - higher pressure
  • high intensity rainfall
  • low rainfall
  • stronger warming
  • lower heat capacity
  • higher heat capacity

In summer, the cooler and higher pressure air flows from the oceans towards the warmer and lower pressure air mass above the continents.

In winter, it happens the other way round: the cooler and higher pressure air flows from the continents towards the warmer and lower pressure air mass above the oceans.

Tropical zone monsoon wind system

  • thermal equator - A line that connects the Earth's warmest, hence lowest pressure areas. Trade winds blow towards this line.
  • summer in the Northern Hemisphere
  • SE trade winds
  • SW (summer) monsoon - A wind that brings precipitation when it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • SE (winter) monsoon - A wind that brings dry weather when it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

Monsoon is a seasonal reversal in wind patterns over a certain region. It is formed mainly because of the asymmetric warming of continent and ocean, which implies differences in air pressure as well. In order to equalise these differences, air starts to flow in. When the wind blows from the ocean towards the continent, it brings precipitation, while if it blows in the other direction, it brings dry and sunny weather. When the wind's seasonal change of direction is at least 120°, it is called a monsoon wind.

Monsoon winds are part of the Earth's atmospheric circulation. If we connect the globe's warmest areas in the tropical zone with an imaginary line, we get the thermal equator. Due to the asymmetric warming of the continents and the oceans, the location of the thermal equator does not coincide with the geographic Equator. Since the continents warm up more than the oceans in summer, the thermal equator moves to the inner regions of the continents. Because of this, the NE and the SE trade winds do not blow towards the geographic Equator, but towards the thermal equator where temperatures are the warmest, hence air pressure is the lowest.

As a result, when it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the SE trade wind of the Southern Hemisphere continues to blow in the Northern Hemisphere towards the inner regions of the continents after crossing the geographic Equator. Since the Earth's rotation changes wind direction rightwards, the trade wind blowing from the southeast in the Southern Hemisphere becomes the monsoon blowing from the southwest in the Northern Hemisphere.

When it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the thermal equator moves to the Southern Hemisphere, clearing the way for the NE trade wind. This is why the tropical winter monsoon of the Northern Hemisphere is the same as the NE trade wind. When it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere. The NE trade wind of the Northern Hemisphere crosses the geographic Equator, and because of the rotation of the globe, it continues blowing in the Southern Hemisphere towards the inner regions of the continents as NW monsoon.

Tropical zone monsoon

  • summer monsoon
  • H - higher pressure
  • L - lower pressure
  • Equator
  • thermal equator - A line that connects the Earth's warmest, hence lowest pressure areas. Trade winds blow towards this line.
  • SW wind
  • strong warming
  • ocean
  • continent
  • high rainfall
  • low rainfall

In summer, air pressure above the continents is lower than above the oceans. In order to equalise the differences in air pressure, higher pressure air flows in from the oceans towards the lower pressure areas. These winds, which blow from the ocean, bring heavy rainfall.

In winter, air pressure is higher above the cooler continents than above the oceans. As a consequence, the air flows from the continents towards the oceans. These winds bring cold but sunny and dry weather.

Narration

Monsoon is a seasonal reversal in wind patterns over a certain region. It is formed mainly because of the asymmetric warming of continent and ocean, which implies differences in air pressure as well. In order to equalise these differences, air starts to flow in. When the wind blows from the ocean towards the continent, it brings precipitation, while if it blows in the other direction, it brings dry and sunny weather. When the wind's seasonal change of direction is at least 120°, it is called a monsoon wind.

Monsoon winds are part of the Earth's atmospheric circulation. If we connect the globe's warmest areas in the tropical zone with an imaginary line, we get the thermal equator. Due to the asymmetric warming of the continents and the oceans, the location of the thermal equator does not coincide with the geographic Equator. Since the continents warm up more than the oceans in summer, the thermal equator moves to the inner regions of the continents. Because of this, the NE and the SE trade winds do not blow towards the geographic Equator, but towards the thermal equator where temperatures are the warmest, hence air pressure is the lowest.

As a result, when it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the SE trade wind of the Southern Hemisphere continues to blow in the Northern Hemisphere towards the inner regions of the continents after crossing the geographic Equator. Since the Earth's rotation changes wind direction rightwards, the trade wind blowing from the southeast in the Southern Hemisphere becomes the monsoon blowing from the southwest in the Northern Hemisphere.

When it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the thermal equator moves to the Southern Hemisphere, clearing the way for the NE trade wind. This is why the tropical winter monsoon of the Northern Hemisphere is the same as the NE trade wind. When it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere. The NE trade wind of the Northern Hemisphere crosses the geographic Equator, and because of the rotation of the globe, it continues blowing in the Southern Hemisphere towards the inner regions of the continents as NW monsoon.

In summer, air pressure above the continents is lower than above the oceans. In order to equalise the differences in air pressure, higher pressure air flows in from the oceans towards the lower pressure areas. These winds, which blow from the ocean, bring heavy rainfall.

In winter, air pressure is higher above the cooler continents than above the oceans. As a consequence, the air flows from the continents towards the oceans. These winds bring cold but sunny and dry weather.

Monsoon winds can occur in the temperate zone as well. They usually form on the eastern edge of the continents. Due to the seasonal reversal winds, summers are wet, while winters are dry in this zone.

In summer, the cooler and higher pressure air flows from the oceans towards the warmer and lower pressure air mass above the continents.

In winter, it happens the other way round: the cooler and higher pressure air flows from the continents towards the warmer and lower pressure air mass above the oceans.

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