The Rainy Season
In a country like England, there is no fixed rainy season. Rain may fall at any time from January to December. But in India we have regular seasons of rain and of dry weather. In North India, there is generally some rain in December and January, and what are called “mango showers” in Mav: but, except for these rains, the period from October to June is the dry season. In the middle of June or the beginning of July, the monsoon breaks and the rainy season begin; and from July to the end of September we have wet weather. In South India, there is also rain in November, called the northeast monsoon.
The monsoon is the trade wind that blows steadily from the southwest during June, July, August, and September. It is called the “trade-wind” because, in the old days of sailing vessels, it could always be trusted to enable merchant ships to make voyages from the south to the north and east regularly, at that time of the year. In October or November, the wind changes and blows in the opposite direction, from the north-east, and so helps sailing ships to voyage south and west regularly. These regular winds were a great help to traders, and so were called the trade-winds
The south-west trade-wind comes to India over thousands of miles of the sea the Indian Ocean; and so it is full of moisture or water vapour. When it strikes against the Western Ghats, this warm wind is cooled and as a result, it can no longer hold the water-vapour it carries, which condenses and falls as rain. The wind blows on across the hot plains of India until it reaches the great Himalayan range of mountains, when the same thing happens again, and heavy rainfalls on the hills. All this makes the air above the Indian plains cooler, and the regular monsoon rains set in all over India.
Before the monsoon breaks, it is very hot and dry. The ground is baked hard like a brick, and no farming can be done. How glad the people are when they see the black thunderclouds coming from the south-west, till they burst in storms, and the refreshing, life-giving rain falls in torrents! Then the farmers get busy ploughing, grass and trees revive and the thirsty land rejoices. And well may all be glad; for if the monsoon fails, famine follows.