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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/90

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the climate is particularly trying. The nights are terribly hot. The outer air is then less stifling than that of the house, and there is the chance of a little comparative coolness shortly before dawn. Many therefore prefer to sleep on the roof or in the verandah. September, when the rains slacken, is a muggy, unpleasant, and unhealthy month. But in the latter half of it cooler nights give promise of a better time.

Special features of Plain Zones.— The submontane zone has the most equable and the pleasantest climate in the plains. It has a rainfall of from 30 to 40 inches, five-sevenths or more of which belongs to the monsoon period (June — September) The north-western area has a longer and colder winter and spring. In the end of December and in January the keen dry cold is distinctly trying. The figures in Statement I, for Rawalpindi and Peshawar, are not very characteristic of the zone as a whole. The average of the rainfall figures, 13 inches for Peshawar and 32 for Rawalpindi, would give a truer result. The monsoon rains come later and are much less abundant than in the submontane zone. Their influence is very feeble in the western and south-western part of the area. On the other hand the winter rains are heavier than in any other part of the province. Delhi and Lahore represent the extreme conditions of the central and south-eastern plains. The latter is really on the edge of the dry south-western area. The eastern districts of the zone have a shorter and less severe cold weather than the western, an earlier and heavier monsoon, but scantier winter rains. The total rainfall varies from 16 to 30 inches. The south-western zone, with a rainfall of from 5 to 15 inches, is the driest part of India proper except northern Sindh and western Rajputana. Neither monsoon current affects it much. At Multan there are only about fifteen days in the whole year on which any rain falls.