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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/87

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CLIMATE

Gangetic plain by south-westernly winds. The lower ranges of the Pan jab Himalaya receive in this way very heavy downpours. The rain extends into the plains, but exhausts itself and dies away pretty rapidly to the south and west. The Bombay branch of the monsoon mostly spends itself on the Ghats and in the Deccan. But a part of it penetrates from time to time to the south-east Panjab, and, if it is sucked into the Bay current, the result is widespread rain.

Himalayan Zone.— The impressions which English people get of the climate of the Himalaya, or in Indian phrase "the Hills," are derived mainly from stations like Simla and Murree perched at a height of from 6500 to 7500 feet on the outer ranges. The data of meteorologists are mainly taken from the same localities. Places between 8000 and 10,000 feet in height and further from the plains enjoy a finer climate, being both cooler and drier in summer. But they are less accessible, and weakly persons would find the greater rarity of the air trying.

In the first fortnight of April the plains become disagreeably warm, and it is well to take European children to the Hills. The Panjab Government moves to Simla in the first fortnight of May. By that time Simla is pretty warm in the middle of the day, but the nights are pleasant. The mean temperature of the 24 hours in May and June is 65° or 66°, the mean maximum and minimum being 78 and 59. Thunderstorms with or without hail are not uncommon in April, May, and June. In a normal year the monsoon clouds drift up in the end of June, and the next three months are "the Rains." Usually it does not rain either all day or every day, but sometimes for weeks together Simla is smothered in a blanket of grey mist. Normally the rain comes in bursts with longer or shorter breaks between. About