[GS1] Monsoon: Why Karnataka gets more rain than Maharashtra & Kerala? Tibetan Plateau meteorological importance

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  1. Karnataka More rain than MH/Kerala?
  2. Tibetan plateau: Meteorological importance of
  3. Natural aerosol and their effect on Monsoon

Why Karnataka gets more Rainfall?

Topic in news Oct. 2014, Hindu; Relevance: GS1-Geography

Mains-GS1 Q. Examine the reasons why Western ghats in Karnataka receive more rainfall than Maharashtra and Kerala, during Monsoon? 200 words.
Ans: #1: More than Maharashtra because:

  1. Karnataka’s Mountain topography broader than Maharashtra. Since Mountain width greater => Rain clouds need to travel longer distance => more time for water to coalesce and precipitate as rainfall.
  2. Compared to this, Narrower width of W.Ghats in Maharashtra=> Rain bearing winds cross over to the leeward side quickly before rainfall can occur.
Why Karnataka gets more rain than MH & Kerala

Why Karnataka gets more rain than MH & Kerala

#2: More than Kerala because:
In Kerala, W.Ghats = isolated mountains. Rain-bearing winds can easily cross over leeward side through the gaps, without precipitation occurring.
#3: Other reasons:

  1. Karnataka Mountains = gentle slope than Kerala and Maharashtra. Gentle slope= Air parcel can retain energy and speed for a long time, allowing cloud droplets to grow and precipitate as rainfall.
  2. In Karnataka, mountains are continuous. No gaps= Clouds can’t easily escape to leeward side.

Tibetan plateau: Meteorological importance of

Topic in news Oct. 2014, Hindu; Relevance: GS1-Geography.

  • Tibet is the largest and highest plateau in the world.
  • Given its altitude and topography, Tibet gets more sunlight, becomes hotter than land at sea level.
  • This heating of Tibetan plateau leads to following events

Tibetan Plateu

#1: Traditional thermal theory

  1. Hot Tibetan surface: Increases land-ocean temperature differences, causes pressure gradients.
  2. Low pressure around Tibet, NW India and Pakistan=> attracts trade winds from Southern hemisphere
  3. These winds pickup moisture from ocean surface=> finally burst of Monsoon.

#2: Jet stream theory

  • Hot Tibetan surface=> intense low Pressure => air pumped upwards in the upper troposphere.
  • This air travels southwards and descends at Mascarene High basin near horn of Africa through Tropical Easterly jet (TEJ) stream.
  • Surface air from Mascarene High move towards ITCZ (low pressure) developed in North India =>monsoon.

Sidenote: Tibetan plateaus is also called third pole, because of third-largest ice-stock the world. Heavy winter snow on Tibetan plateaus increases surface albedo. It retards spring warming and delays summer monsoon over Northern India.

Yes, but Why in News?

  • Despite its meteorological significance, very few weather stations in Tibet, because of its remoteness, altitude and harsh conditions.
  • But China Meteorological Administration began putting temperature and moisture detectors, and sensor-towers to measure cloud properties. (Aug 2014)
  • This data will understanding relation between land surface heating, its impact on rainfall, snow cover and vegetation changes.

Mains-GS1: Discuss the meteorological importance of Tibetan plateau in 200 words.

Natural aerosol and their effect on Monsoon

Topic in news: March, 2014; Relevance: MCQ about examples of aerosols and scientific principle behind their role in monsoon:

  • Aerosols: tiny particles of either soli/liquid, suspended in atmosphere.
  • Natural aerosols: sea-salt, water vapour, dust, ash from volcanoes, organic material: spores, bacteria, pollen.
  • Artificial aerosols: particles of pollutants like, smoke, ashes.

How aerosols effect rain fall?

  • Dust absorbs sunlight and heats the atmosphere=> low pressure condition over land.
  • These pockets of low pressure attract south-west monsoon winds into the region.
  • Scientists found that dust from West Asia to India=>helps in monsoon.
  • IF more dust particles from W.Asia and N.Africa blow towards India, then more rain to India.

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49 Comments on “[GS1] Monsoon: Why Karnataka gets more rain than Maharashtra & Kerala? Tibetan Plateau meteorological importance”

  1. China also claimed that increase in the rate of melting of Himalyan snow isn’t due to it’s own counties emission but due to the Aerosol particles, pollution & other particles brought by Monsoon winds.

    1. wah re wah, chinese to aisa hi bolenge apni galti india ke upar dalne ke liye….. aisa agar likhega to upsc wale bhi bahut khush honge :)

    2. Fut Ref:

      Slight correction, extension and modification

      Atmospheric Brown Cluod
      1. intially found in Indo_pak boder area during Winter monsoon break periods(non rain periods), at that time it was called Asian Brown Cloud. Later they were found in other parts of the world so name changed

      Made from pollution of all types. Bio mass burn, particles etc.

      Ozone delpetion
      More cyclones in Arabian Sea region
      Farm output
      Melts Glacier ice over Himalayan region
      Delays Monsoon
      Global Dimming.

      This is what China said is coming from monsoon winds and China isn’t responsible for it ( but I think that’s not possible)

  2. Thank you Mrunal and team:) nice hand – drawn diagrams, easy to remember the whole concept…. thanks a ton for your efforts….

  3. i think dust particles reflect light and decrease atmospheric temp

    1. Although most aerosols reflect sunlight, some also absorb it. An aerosol’s effect on light depends primarily on the composition and color of the particles. Broadly speaking, bright-colored or translucent particles tend to reflect radiation in all directions and back towards space. Darker aerosols can absorb significant amounts of light.

    2. dust particles provide the surface for water vapours to condense. droplets absorb more heat through radiation. this increases the tendency of low pressure and high temp.

  4. Thanks a lot Mrunal bhai and Rajtanil.. If you can write a 30 day plan for mains it may help..priority wise..

  5. Mrunal bhai, u wont believe I got emotional by sseing d diagrams, how can u b so nice, so selfless and how can ppl still post ridiculous comments to tarnish ur image?
    u and ur gang-simply awesome and gr8, long live u
    And ur website, ll b obiliged to do anything 4 u in future……
    god bless u all.

  6. Thanks a lot to all mrunal team…you are doing a great job….may God bless u all

  7. Thanks mrunal
    U r doing a great work…

  8. Thanks Mrunal bhai amd Rajtanil

  9. Mrunal bhai, can u tell around what time UPSCwill set d questions, so dat I ll devote less time towards newspapr.

  10. thanks mrunal bhai, but write on yesterday resolved matter of bet india and america .

    plz give me link to understand what realy matter of doha round and MSP.

  11. seriously its good!

  12. Thanks a lot sir…its always a pleasure to read your fine article

  13. I heartiest thanx to u and ur effort….ur concept is very comprehensive…
    keep enriching our knowledge…god bless u

  14. RRB result is out….

  15. superb article
    Thanks a ton :)

  16. Very good article on Why more rain in Karnataka than Maharashtra and Kerela. Thanku Mrunal Sir ;)

  17. Thanks a lot..UR articles really makes a difference in upsc preparation..

  18. You guys are simply great.

    Aspirants need you, for sure. But I suppose more than anything else, country needs people like you to run the administration, government, institutions. Such selflessness is remarkable. It is indeed a message- how we must thrive collectively and with mutual benefit.

    But in your case I do not think it is even mutual. It is pure service.

    Thanks a lot. Not just for articles, but also for spreading a powerful message of selfless help.

  19. small doubt..if the dust paricles increases then, are there possibilities of over raining resulting in floods across the country?/ does the pros outweigh the cons in this matter??

  20. INCREASING INSTANCES OF CYCLONES IN ARABIAN SEA : (I am not sure if Mrunal covered it or not but thought to share…)
    Scientists have now discovered why in some years more cyclones form in the Arabian Sea than usual. This is due to a newly discovered Phenomenon (2007) El Nino Modoki.
    El Nino Modoki :
    o causes warm moist conditions in the Central Pacific and dry cold conditions in Eastern and western pacific.
    o El Nino Modoki brings only fewer number of cyclones in the Bay of Bengal because one of the two descending limbs of the Walker Cell is over the western Pacific and Bay of Bengal. The descending limb causes dry conditions not conducive for cyclone formation. The ascending limb of the Walker Cell, on the other hand, brings rain.
    o El Nino Modoki creates stronger divergence over the western Pacific and Bay of Bengal compared to El Nino. Divergence means surface winds move away from each other and result in low relative vorticity (rotational flow of winds). These conditions are not conducive for cyclones. But there is large convergence over the Arabian Sea during an El Nino Modoki explaining the large number of cyclones in that region.
    The number of cyclones per year show significant differences indicating that El Nino Modoki years are conducive for cyclone formation over Arabian Sea while El Nino is conducive for cyclones over the Bay of Bengal.

  21. thank u sir, you have been cleared my lot of doubt through ur explanation…it is very useful sir.

  22. simple and coherently explained…

  23. Sir see this darpg.nic.in regarding govts decision on upsc age reduction.

  24. Superb sir

  25. Sir if i remember correctly, this article wen posted in THE HINDU had the last paragraph raising a point regarding the height of the mountains too to the rainfall pattern. I ws not able to understand, can u plz elaborate it if possible. Thnx :)

  26. Sir if i remember correctly, this article about rainfall wen posted in THE HINDU had the last paragraph raising a point regarding the height of the mountains too to the rainfall pattern. I ws not able to understand, can u plz elaborate it if possible. Thnx :)

  27. Amazing!.Too good mrunal bhai, digrams, expl, too good

  28. thank u for the best elaboration on the above theories.

  29. Thank you Mrunal, Rajtanil and Team…May you live long..

  30. thank you sir for selfless effort

  31. Mrunal sir thanks for d such wonderful and exact explanation.There is no satifactory moment than when we understand d concet from mrunal.God bless u sir.
    @ Raku too good man…

  32. Mrunal Bhai, Political Science ka guidance chahiye ..
    2013 ka koi topper hai kya ye phir koi player

  33. hats off sir, u made such an selflesseffort…

  34. Sir, a slight modification

    1. Tibeten low pressure creates a cyclonic low pressure on the ground
    2. This leads to an upper air anticyclonic high pressure (due to convection), and a subsequent divergence
    3. The limbs of the diverging anticyclonic gyre fall on mascernes is. in Indian ocean, another circulates to gangetic plain due to presence of ITCZ …. thereby accelerating the Bay of Bengal branch of S-W mansoon
    4. This mascernes high accelerates the incoming S-W monsoon winds towards Indian subcontinent.

    5. These events lead to increased rainfall or a normal year rainfall


    1. The cloud formation in the upper atmosphere gets intensified due to convection
    2. But for condensation to occur, the humid air needs HYGROSCOPIC nuclei to condense otherwise there will be no condensation.
    3. These aerosols ( salt -from ocean, or industrial effluents) provide ample of ground for condensation to occur and then to precipitate.

  35. looking at diagram and article its totally clean in mind why it happen.ver good. diagram was amazing,

  36. Well said @ Vaibhav…. wanted to tell the same…

  37. Answer to the question :

    1) It is the third largest reservoir of ice in the world and feeds the lifeline rivers of Asia (eg. Ganges, Yangtze etc.). As such, it provides water to more than more than 2 billion people. Any variation in ice quantity can be directly linked to flood/drought like situation in the rivers. In view of recent floods in Kashmir and Pakistan, the meteorological importance of this region stands vindicated.

    2) It plays an important role in the onset of Monsoon. It is the highest plateau in the world at an altitude of about 15000ft. and almost as large as Western Europe at 2,500,000 sq. km. As such it gets heated more than land at sea level during summer and creates a low pressure zone. This, in turn, sets in motion, a circulation pattern in which, moisture laden winds are sucked towards the Indian land mass. So, the temperature and pressure readings of this area can be used for weather forecasts.

    3) Due to global warming, the glaciers (over 37000 in number), are receding. Immediate climatic effects of this development could be variation in precipitation over the Indian subcontinent. So, the study of this area is important for gauging the effects and extent of Climate change. (204 words)

    Please comment and correct.

  38. vooooooo……… thanks mrunal sir…………………….

  39. many toppers ( motivation story of mrunal org ) suggest gk today notes. how I get gk today note through internet.Anyone can help me to answer this question.

  40. why are tropical cyclones are more frequent in bay of bengal than in arabian sea..mrunal bhai plz throw some light on it..

    1. Dear Osho,

      1. Most of India’s coastal region falls under tropical region(0 to 23 1/2 latitude),
      2. there are two tyoes of cyclones temperate and tropical .
      3.The tropical cyclones have tendency to move from east to west similar to the counter equatorial current due to influence of rotation of earth is maximun in these regions(equatorial>tropical>temperate)
      4.so cyclones arising in bay of bengal will move westwards i.e towards the eastern coast
      5.While those arising in arabian sea will move westwards towards african coast
      6.The arabian sea is relatively cold hence it decreases the intensification of pressure gradient for formulation of cyclone

  41. no more words to expres about your efforts. thank u bhayya… my confidence levil is increased due to your creation mrunal.org

  42. I have started surfing mrunal notes very recently. can anybody tell me how to download the entire gs material

  43. Thank u mrunal team

  44. Sir i m confused abt aerosol
    It create hp or lp high pressure or Low pressure?
    Dust particles and pollutant particle creats the fog or smog over region such delhi in winter . More cloud over an area >>>obstruct the sun rays >>>> less heating >>>>> High pressure zone

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