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Vlimate in India
India has tropical weather. One cannot speak of the climate of India, or else one must speak of several different India's. The subcontinent has eight climatic zones all of which only have the monsoon rains in common. But even the monsoon comes to different parts of the country at different times. And you can fly in the space of a couple of hours through a range of weather from the cold crisp air of the mountains to the burning dry heat of the Rajasthan Desert where summer temperature regularly reach 45°C and beyond.

It is beautiful to see the sand dunes shift and move to the will of the winds, but not at all pleasant to be caught in a sand strom coming off the Thar. In winter Rajasthan is dry and cold and the skies a translucent blue. There is little rain and the monsoon winds often pass Rajasthan by leaving the prickly thorny bushes, acacia trees and other native vegetation to pick up what little dew the night bring with it. Pumps and tube wells lift water for agricultural irrigation but farmers often get only a few distribution of water, particularly in the more arid areas of Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaisalmer, is systematically organized.

The wheat and sugarcane growing areas of the Punjab, Haryana and parts of western Uttar Pradesh suffer from drastic extremes in climate. It can be very cold from December - January, very dry and hot from the end of March till June, very hot and humid till the monsoons arrive from July through September. The rest of the year is comfortably pleasant. The fields are full of mustard flowers, the air is redolent of sugarcane being crushed and molasses on the boil.

Across the Gangetic plain, the summer months are an interminable heat haze. From Gwalior through Bhopal and Raipur to Patna and Nagpur, temperature begin to rise in March and by May they hover around 45°C. In the fields, the earth actually shows deep cracks. In Bihar, for example, a terrible drought with near famine conditions occurred a few year ago. The fickle winds had taken the clouds several thousands miles westward to the Punjab, and India's granary produced bumper crops that same year!