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monsoon

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any of a type of major wind system that seasonally reverses its direction—e.g., one that blows for approximately six months from the northeast and six months from the southwest. The most prominent examples of such seasonal winds occur in southern Asia and in Africa. Monsoonal tendencies also are apparent along the Gulf Coast of the United States and in central Europe, …


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More from Britannica on "monsoon"...
380 Encyclopædia Britannica articles, from the full 32 volume encyclopedia
>monsoon
any of a type of major wind system that seasonally reverses its direction—e.g., one that blows for approximately six months from the northeast and six months from the southwest. The most prominent examples of such seasonal winds occur in southern Asia and in Africa. Monsoonal tendencies also are apparent along the Gulf Coast of the United States and in central Europe, as ...
>Monsoon Current
surface current of the northern Indian Ocean. Unlike the Atlantic and Pacific, both of which have strong currents circulating clockwise north of the Equator, the northern Indian Ocean has surface currents that change with the seasonal monsoon. During the northeast monsoon (November–March), the Indian North Equatorial Current (or Northeast Monsoon Drift) flows southwest ...
>monsoon forest
open woodland in tropical areas that have a long dry season followed by a season of heavy rainfall. The trees in a monsoon forest usually shed their leaves during the dry season and come into leaf at the start of the rainy season. Many lianas (woody vines) and herbaceous epiphytes (air plants, such as orchids are present. Monsoon forests are especially well developed in ...
>Monsoons
   from the climate article
A close examination of Figures and reveals particularly strong seasonal pressure variations over continents. Such seasonal fluctuations, commonly called monsoons, are more pronounced over land surfaces because these surfaces are subject to more significant seasonal temperature variations.
>Monsoon zone
   from the Indian Ocean article
The first zone, extending north from latitude 10° S, has a monsoon climate (characterized by semiannual reversing winds). In the Northern Hemisphere “summer” (May–October), low atmospheric pressure over Asia and high pressure over Australia result in the southwest monsoon, with wind speeds up to 28 miles (45 km) per hour and a wet season in South Asia. During the northern ...

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52 Student Encyclopedia Britannica articles, specially written for elementary and high school students
Monsoon forests
   from the jungle article
receive high amounts of annual rainfall distributed unevenly throughout the year. Monsoons of the Indian Ocean region characteristically create climatic situations of heavy and continual rainfall during spring and summer, followed by a distinct dry season in fall and winter. The canopy, or upper level, of a monsoon jungle is not as dense as that of an equatorial rain ...
Seasonal Shifts and Monsoons
   from the wind article
Because the planetary winds are caused by heat from the sun, they shift northward and southward as the sun changes position with the seasons. The wind shift lags behind the sun's position. As heat from the sun increases, it is absorbed by the Earth for a time before the air temperature rises. When the heat from the sun decreases, the stored heat is emitted and the air ...
Climate
   from the Thailand article
Average temperatures in Thailand range from about 77° F to 84° F (25° C to 29° C). The country has a monsoon, or wet-dry, climate. From May to October the monsoon, a seasonal wind, blows from the southwest across the tropical sea. It is hot, humid, and rainy. In October the northeast monsoon begins to blow from continental Asia, initiating a cool, dry season. Starting in ...
Heavy Rain
   from the flood article
A common cause of flooding is unusually heavy rainfall. Summer monsoons bring copious amounts of rain, especially in southern Asia. In 1998, for example, torrential rains from a monsoon left more than two thirds of Bangladesh underwater. More than 1,000 people were killed, and more than 30 million lost their homes. Floods caused by rainfall may occur at any time of the ...
Climate, Vegetation, and Animal Life
   from the China article
In terms of climate, China may be divided between the humid eastern region and the dry west. The humid east may be further subdivided between the warm and humid south and southeast and the temperate-to-cool, moderately humid north and northeast. Much of the humid eastern region of China exhibits a monsoonal pattern of temperature and precipitation. In a monsoon climate, ...

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