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Distinguish between ‘Burst of Monsoon’ and ‘Break of Monsoon’

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A monsoon is a seasonal change in the direction of the prevailing or strongest winds in an area. Monsoons cause wet and dry seasons in many parts of the tropics. Monsoons are mostly associated with the Indian Ocean. The monsoon always blows from cold regions to warm regions. The summer and winter monsoons determine the climate of India and most of Southeast Asia.

Burst of Monsoon and Break of Monsoon

Burst of Monsoon and Break of Monsoon

Cause Of Monsoon

According to the  Meteorological Administration, monsoons (from the Arabic mawsim meaning “season”) are caused by the temperature difference between land and the adjacent sea. According to Southwest Climate Change, the sun heats land and sea differently, causing winds to tug-of-war and eventually change direction, bringing in cooler, moister air from across the ocean. When the rainy season ends, the wind reverses again.

Burst Of Monsoon

Monsoons are seasonal winds that change direction with the seasons. Monsoons constitute a dual system of monsoons as they start traveling from sea to land in summer and from land to sea in winter. The rainy season lasts from 100 to 120 days from early June to mid-September. During arrival,  normal rainfall increases suddenly and lasts for several days,  known as a “burst” of the monsoon. 

Break Of Monsoon

A monsoon break occurs when there is little or no rain for several days during the monsoon period. A monsoon tsunami occurs when it rains continuously for several days. The precipitation is not particularly strong. The intensity of the rain is very high. The monsoon rains for several days and then dries for several days. These are called the rainy and dry seasons, and the days when there is no rain are called the resting period of the monsoon season.

Difference Between Burst Of Monsoon and Break Of Monsoon

Burst of MonsoonBreak of Monsoon
The Burst of monsoon refers to the damage which is caused to property, life, and crops if it rains continuously and non-stop for many days.Break of Monsoon refers to little to no rainfall for several days during the monsoon period.
In the Burst of monsoon, the intensity of rainfall is very high.In case of Break of monsoon, the intensity of rainfall is mild.
There is continuous rainfall and also heavy intensity.There are breaks in rainfall, and it is not continuous and there is a combination of both dry and wet.

Wet and Dry Monsoon

According to National Geographic, wet monsoons typically occur during the summer months (April-September) and are accompanied by heavy rainfall. On average, about 75% of annual rainfall in India and about 50% of the monsoon regions of North America (according to a 2004 NOAA study) occurs during the summer monsoon season. The wet monsoon starts when winds bring a cooler, moister air over the ocean to land.

The dry monsoon usually occurs between October and April. Instead of blowing from the sea, winds tend to come to India from dry, warm climates like Mongolia and northwestern China, according to National Geographic. The dry monsoon tends to be less intense than the summer monsoon. Edward Guinan, professor of astronomy and meteorology  at Villanova University, says winter monsoons occur when “the land cools  faster than the water and  high pressure builds up over the land, preventing the infiltration of ocean air.” This leads to a drying period.

Northeast Monsoon

Cause: High-pressure cells in the Tibetan and  Siberian highlands.NE Monsoon winds bring rain to the country’s southeast coast  (Tamil Nadu coast and south Seemandhra coast).   

Factors responsible for the formation of the Northeast Monsoon   

  •  Formation and strengthening of high-pressure cells in the Tibet and  Siberian highlands during winters.
  •  Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) migration to southern India. 
  •  Westward migration and weakening of high-pressure cells in the southern Indian Ocean.

Southwest Monsoon

Cause: Intensive heating in summer causes the intensive formation of cyclones on the Tibetan Plateau. Permanent hyperbaric chambers in the South  Indian Ocean (east to northeast of Madagascar in summer). Southwest monsoon winds bring heavy rainfall to most countries.  

Factors Influencing the Occurrence of the Southwest Monsoon

  •  Concentrated Low-Pressure Formation on the Tibetan Plateau. 
  •  Permanent High-Pressure Cells in the Southern Indian Ocean. 
  •  Subtropical Jet Stream  
  •  East African Jet (Tropical East Jet).

Factors influencing the intensity of SW monsoons

  • Low pressure in the Tibetan Plateau and high pressure in the southern Indian Ocean. 
  • Somali Jet. 
  • Somali Current.
  • Indian Ocean Dipole. 

Monsoons and Global Warming

A 2015 study by Yen Yi Loo, Lawal Billa, and Ajit Singh team published in the journal Geoscience Frontiers found that the effects of global warming on the rainy season could be potentially devastating due to frequent shifts and changes in rainfall. level and time. World Monsoons estimates that rainfall will increase during the summer monsoon season over the next 50 to 100 years.

Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide can cause warm air to hold more water, which can then be released as rain to areas that are already wet. During the dry monsoon winter season, the land is thought to become drier as evaporation increases at higher temperatures.  According to  World Monsoons, precipitation during the summer monsoons can change from year to year over short periods of time due to a variety of factors, including air pollution.

An El Niño in the Pacific could also affect the rainy season in India in the short and long term, according to a study by the University of Colorado  Boulder.   According to the study above, the intensity of El Niño warming was thought to have a major impact on the intensity of the monsoon season. But it now appears to be a warming place, not an El Niño event. Researchers collected precipitation data from India and satellite observations of the Pacific and found that India experienced a drought when El Niño warming occurred in the central Pacific.  There were normal monsoon conditions in the Indo-East Pacific. More rain fell in India’s western Pacific Ocean.

There are many factors that can influence the monsoon season, including El Niño, and much research is being done to better understand these factors and how the monsoon season changes. Much of this research focuses on how the Office of Naval Research can better predict future and present precipitation and wind, as described in a 2015 article published in  Science Daily. The more knowledge we have of the workings of the monsoon, the more accurately we can predict its onset and intensity.

For example, according to Stratfor, about half of India’s population is engaged in agriculture, and agriculture accounts for 18% of India’s GDP, so changing both the rainy season and rainfall could be a  big problem. Any ongoing research can turn a problem into a solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q 1. What is the difference between bursts of monsoon and pre-monsoon showers?


The difference between both is that monsoon showers are normal rainfall for a continuous long period and pre-monsoon shower occurs right before the coming of the monsoonal period.

Q 2. What is a break in the monsoon period?


The break of monsoon refers to the dry spell when there is no or less rainfall during the monsoonal period in India.

Q 3. Where does monsoon break first?


Monsoon first breaks in the Arabian Sea Branch of the southwest monsoon which first hits the western ghats of the coastal state of Kerala in India.

Last Updated : 28 Jun, 2023
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