The Monsoon is part of a larger scale circulation pattern (Fig. 5.1), known as the Asian Summer Monsoon, which develops in response to the large thermal gradients between the warm Asian continent to the north and the cooler Indian Ocean to the south. The strong south westerly flow in the lower troposphere (Fig. 5.1, upper panel) brings a substantial supply of moisture into India which is released as precipitation primarily along the Western Ghats of India and over the Bay of Bengal (Fig. 5.2). During June to September, the rainfall associated with the monsoon provides the main source of fresh water for millions of people in India. The influence of the monsoon also extends to many regions remote from India. For example, the arrival of dry summer weather over Turkey and surrounding areas can be related to the development of the Asian Summer Monsoon (Rod-well and Hoskins 1996).
In this course, observations of the monsoon and its variability on different spatial and temporal scales will be discussed.
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