Monsoons

a MONsOON Is any wind that reverses direction seasonally. These occur in many parts of the globe, but the most famous is the Indian monsoon wind. The name monsoon is an adoption of the Arabic word mausim, which means season. For centuries, Arab sailors took the seasonal mausim as a wind that would carry them to India and beyond. The term was originally applied to the Indian monsoon. However, as the phenomenon came to be studied more thoroughly, the term monsoon has been applied to other annual weather cycles in both tropical and subtropical regions. It has also been applied to evidence of weather patterns in the geologic past, such as a monsoon system over the prehistoric super-continent of Pangaea, and to some extreme continental climate patterns.

Monsoons can occur in summer months or in winter months. Those that occur in summer months usually blow as a prevailing wind from a westerly direction. The westerly monsoons usually bring great amounts of rain as the rising air comes from the ocean and brings moisture that falls as rain. In the winter months, monsoon winds usually blow in an easterly direction. Because easterly winds usually blow from the land, they generally bring dry weather. They may also bring drought as the easterlies diverge or shift about. The intensity of monsoons varies annually. Some years they are stronger than in others. The strength of the annual monsoons is affected by the Earth's total climate system. As the amount of energy available varies, the system has different outputs, such as the strength of the monsoons, which results in variable amounts of annual rainfall.

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