Air is something that we all take for granted. We breathe it every day, we look through it, we pollute it. Most of the time, we don’t even notice it. But it can quickly make its presence known when wind is involved. Wind, in general is just moving air, and although in its stationary state it may seem harmless, once started, it is a force to be reckoned with; it can uproot trees, lift roofs of buildings, and generally wreak havoc. It is caused by differences in air pressure within the atmosphere, and the driving force behind all of that is the solar radiation.
Earth is almost spherical and because of its tilt, the sun’s rays hit the area near the equator at an almost right angle, while the areas further away are hit at a smaller angle. This means that the concentration of heat received at the equator is higher, and therefore the air warms quicker there than in the pole-ward regions. The air molecules expand and lift when they are heated, and that, coupled with differences in temperature sets the atmosphere in motion in a massive global chain reaction. The air lifted from the equator creates a low-pressure zone, and is replaced by winds from higher-pressure zones and then in turn, something has to move the air toward them. This air movement is affected by many factors, which makes it even more complicated and harder to understand, but scientists have come up with idealised models of general circulation.
They separated the sphere into three belts, or cells north and south of the equator – the Hadley cell ranging from the equator to about 30° N and S, the Ferrel cell from about 30° to about 60° N and S and the Polar cell from about 60° N and S toward the poles.
The polar cell is a relatively simple system....
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...atorial western Pacific was associated with heavy rainfall over India and a negative anomaly with deficient rainfall.
In a La Nina event, the eastern equatorial pacific is cold, but the western part is warm and presents a positive anomaly that results in a substantial amount of monsoon rainfall. The situation is inverted during an El Nino event – it results in an abnormally deficient rainfall.
Ramage, CS (1971) Monsoon Meteorology. Academic Press, New York.
Mooley DA, Shukla J (1987) Variability and Forecasting of the Summer Monsoon Rainfall over India. In Monsoon Meteorology (Eds. CP Chang, TN Krishnamurti), Oxford University Press, Oxford.
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