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Western disturbances UPSC | Physical Setting | Geography of India| UPSC | UP-PCS | State PCS

Table of Contents:

  • What is Western Disturbance
  • Origin and development of Western Disturbance
  • Impacts in India

What is the Western Disturbance?

Western disturbance is extratropical storms. It is also called western cyclonic disturbance.

Extratropical storms are a storm that usually gets moisture from upper atmospheric winds usually Jet stream whereas tropical Cyclone gets moisture from lower atmospheric winds.

Western Disturbance

Origin and development of Western Disturbance:

  • The origin of Western Disturbance is the Mediterranean sea. 
  • Evaporated moisture from the mediterranean sea condenses and forms clouds in the atmosphere. Due to the presence of the Subtropical Westerly Jet stream over the upper atmosphere over the Mediterranean sea and comparatively low atmospheric pressure present in the Indian Subcontinents; it causes drift towards Indian Subcontinents. Himalayan acts as a barrier to this coming moisture causing the rainfall in the northwestern part of India.
  • On towards India also gets moisture from the Black Sea and the Caspian sea.

Impact of Western disturbances in India:

  • Night temperature gets increased before the western disturbance
  • It causes rainfall in winter from December to March.
  • Day temperature decreases.
  • Cause moderate to heavy rainfall in the northwestern part of India specially Punjab, Haryana, northwestern UP, and the western Himalayas.
  • Moderate rainfall helps Rabi crops
  • Heavy rainfall causes flood and crop damage to plains areas.
  • Heavy rainfall or snowfall causes landslides and Avalanche in Western Himalayans.
Try to solve the following questions:
  • Explain the pattern of winter rainfall in India. ( UPSC 2015, 150 words, 10 marks)

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