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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 1, p. 104.


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CHAPTER III
METEOROLOGY
I. Getreral Mlrtoroology of India
THE area dealt with in the present chapter includes the whole
of India proper, with Burma and Baluchistan. It is not a self-
contained area, as its meteorology depends very largely upon
the oceanic area to the south and also, to a slighter extent,
upon the regions to the north and north-west, more especially
Central Asia and the Persian area or plateau. The object of
this chapter is not only to give a statement of the larger
seasonal weather changes, but also to indicate, so far as at
present possible, their relation to each other, and their co-
ordination to meteorological conditions and actions in the
neighbouring areas of land and sea.
MIeteoro- India probably presents a greater variety of meteorological
logy of
°Ind~iaof conditions, actions, and features than any area of similar size in
singular the world. The normal annual rainfall varies from 460 inches
interest. at Cherrapunji in the Assam hills, and from between 300 and
400 inches (probably) at suitably exposed positions on the
crests of the Western Ghats and the Arakan and Tenasserim
First, on hills, to less than three inches in Upper Sind. The largest
account of rainfall actually measured in India in one year was 905 inches,
its variety
and con- at Cherrapunji in I86I, while at stations in Upper Sind it has
trasts. been nil. A rainfall exceeding 25 inches within twenty-four
hours is of occasional occurrence, and falls exceeding 15 inches
are comparatively frequent. At one period of the year parts
of India are deluged with rain; at another persistent dry
weather with clear skies prevails for weeks or months. During
the rains the air is almost supersaturated with moisture in some
of the coast districts and in the hills, while in the hottest
weather it is occasionally so dry in the interior that the
methods employed for calculating humidity in Europe have
given negative and hence impossible results. The coasts are
occasionally visited by cyclones fiercer and more concentrated
than have probably ever occurred in Europe. These bring up
storm-waves that sweep over the low coast lands of Lower



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