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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/84

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CHAPTER V

CLIMATE

Types of Climate.—The climate of the Panjab plains is determined by their distance from the sea and the existence of formidable mountain barriers to the north and west. The factor of elevation makes the climate of the Himalayan tracts very different from that of the plains. Still more striking is the contrast between the Indian Himalayan climate and the Central Asian Trans-Himalayan climate of Spiti, Lahul, and Ladakh.

Zones.—A broad division into six zones may be recognised :

A 1. Trans-Himalayan.
B 2. Himalayan.
C. Plains 3. North Western.
4. Submontane.
5. Central and South Eastern.
6. South Western.

Trans-Himalayan Climate.—Spiti, Lahul, and Ladakh are outside the meteorological influences which affect the rest of the Indian Empire. The lofty ranges of the Himalaya interpose an almost insurmountable barrier between them and the clouds of the monsoon. The rain-fall is extraordinarily small, and, considering the elevation of the inhabited parts, 10,000 to 14,000 feet, the snowfall there is not heavy. The air is intensely dry and clear, and the daily and seasonal range of temperature is extreme. Leh, the capital of Ladakh (11,500 feet), has an average