India has six major climates, ranging from the arid deserts in the west, alpine tundra and glaciers in the north, and humid tropical regions in the southwest and the island territories. India also has four seasons: winter in January and February, summer which is from March to May, a monsoon season from June to September, and a post-monsoon period in October, November and December. The Himalayas play a huge part in the weather of India due to it being the world’s highest mountain range, at an average of 6000 metres, this means it protects the country from the icy winds of northern Central Asia, so India has milder winters than the rest of Central Asia. As well as this, India has a vast coastline with maximum elevation of about 30 metres and the Thar Desert plays a role in attracting the summer monsoon winds that provide the majority of India’s rainfall.
The tropical arid and semi-arid climates subdivide into three climatic subtypes: tropical semi-arid steppe, arid climate, tropical and sub-tropical steppe climate. The first, a tropical semi-arid steppe climate stretches over the Tropic of Cancer and east of the Western Ghats. It is drought-prone, as it tends to have less reliable rainfall due to failure of the southwest monsoon. North of the Krishna River, the summer monsoon is responsible for most rainfall; to the south, significant post-monsoon rainfall also occurs in October and November. In December, the coldest month, temperatures still average around 20–24 °C. During the winter in the Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir region it is even colder with much of Kashmir under snow over these months. Kashmir does not have a monsoon season. However, when monsoons do occur they can vary from a few hours of torrential downpour followed by sunshine; or days or weeks of overcast skies and drizzly rain despite the variation the Tropic of Cancer is always humid during the monsoon season. The months between March to May are hot and dry; mean monthly temperatures hover around 32 °C, with 320 millimetres of rain. Hence, without artificial irrigation, this region is not suitable for permanent agriculture. The vegetation mostly comprises grasses with a few scattered trees due to the rainfall. Clothing wore in the Tropic of Cancer is usually lightweight cotton clothing in the summer and heavy coats in the winter similar to western climates.