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Climates Of India (Koeppen’s Classification)

Climates Of India (Koeppen’s Classification)

Climatic Regions of India

  • The whole of India has a monsoon type of climate. But the combination of elements of the weather, however, reveal many regional variations. These variations represent the subtypes of the monsoon climate. It is on this basis that the climatic regions can be identified.
  • A climatic region has a homogeneous climatic condition which is the result of a combination of factors. Temperature and rainfall are two important elements which are considered to be decisive in all the schemes of climatic classification.
  • The classification of climate, however, is a complex exercise. There are different schemes of classification of climate.

Koeppen’s Climate Classification

  • Koeppen’s Classification of climate is the most commonly used classification of climate.
  • This climate classification scheme was developed by Wladimir Peter Koppen in 1884.
  • He recognized a close relationship between the distribution of vegetation and climate.
  • The categories are based on the data of annual and monthly averages of temperature and precipitation.
  • He selected specific values of temperature and precipitation and related them to the distribution of vegetation and used these values for classifying the climates.
  • The Koppen climate classification system recognizes five major climatic types and each type is designated by a capital letter- A, B, C, D, E, and H.
  • The seasons of dryness are indicated by the small letters: f, m, w, and s.
    • f -no dry season
    • m – Monsoon climate
    • w- Winter dry season
    • s – Summer dry season
  • The small letters a, b, c, and d refer to the degree of severity of temperature.
  • The capital letters S and W are employed to designate the two subdivisions of dry climate:
    • Semi-arid or Steppe (S) and
    • Arid or desert (W).
  • Capital letters T and F are similarly used to designate the two subdivisions of polar climate
    • Tundra (T) and
    • Icecap (F)

Five Major Climatic Types | Climates Of India (Koeppen’s Classification)

  • Tropical climates, where mean monthly temperature throughout the year is over 18°C.
  • Dry climates, where precipitation is very low in comparison to temperature, and hence, dry. If dryness is less, it is semiarid (S); if it is more, the climate is arid(W).
  • Warm temperate climates, where mean temperature of the coldest month is between 18°C and minus 3°C.
  • Cool temperate climates, where mean temperature of the warmest month is over 10°C, and mean temperature of the coldest month is under minus 3°C.
  • Ice climates, where mean temperature of the warmest month is under 10°C.

Subcategories of Climatic Types

Climates Of India (Koeppen’s Classification)

Group Type Letter Code Characteristics
A-Tropical Humid Climate Tropical Wet

Tropical Monsoon

Tropical wet and dry




No dry season

Monsoonal, Short dry season

Winter dry season

B-Dry Climate Subtropical Steppe

Subtropical Desert

Mid-latitude Steppe

Mid-latitude Desert





Low-latitude semi-arid or dry

Low-latitude arid or dry

Mid-latitude semi-arid or dry

Mid-latitude arid or dry

C-Warm temperate Climates Humid subtropical


Marine west coast




No dry season

Dry hot summer

No dry season, warm and cool summer

D- Cold Snow-forest Climates Humid Continental Subarctic Df


No dry season, severe winter

Winter dry and very severe

E-Cold climates Tundra

Polar ice cap



No true summer

Perennial ice

H-highland Highland H Highland with snow cover


(Climates Of India (Koeppen’s Classification))

Stamp’s Classification of Climatic Regions of India

  • Stamp used 18°C isotherm of mean monthly temperature for January to divide the country into two broad climatic regions, viz., temperate or continental zone in the north and tropical zone in the south.
  • This line runs roughly across the root of the peninsula, more or less along or parallel to the Tropic of Cancer.
  • The two major climatic regions are further divided into eleven regions depending upon the amount of rainfall and temperature.

Temperate or Continental India | Climates Of India (Koeppen’s Classification)

  • The Himalayan region (heavy rainfall)
  • The north-western region (moderate rainfall)
  • The arid lowland
  • The region of moderate rainfall
  • The transitional zone

Tropical India| Climates Of India (Koeppen’s Classification)

  • Region of very heavy rainfall
  • Region of heavy rainfall
  • Region of moderate rainfall
  • The Konkan Coast
  • The Malabar Coast
  • Tamil Nadu


Environment & Biodiversity

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