Types Of Rainfall

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As monsoon has arrived in India and is on its peak, we are bringing to you a brief explanation about the types of rainfall and their carriers, i.e. the clouds.

Hope you all would find it useful. 

Types of Clouds

Before discussing about the types of rainfall, its our obligation to know about their carriers. 



  • The highest clouds in the atmosphere are cirrocumulus, cirrus, and cirrostratus. Cumulonimbus clouds can also grow to be very high.
  • Mid-level clouds include altocumulus and altostratus.
  • The lowest clouds in the atmosphere are stratus, cumulus, and stratocumulus.


Stratus/strato = flat/layered and smooth

Cumulus/cumulo = heaped up/puffy, like cauliflower

Cirrus/cirro = High up/wispy

Alto = Medium level

Nimbus/Nimbo = Rain-bearing cloud

Convectional Rainfall

It is typical of warm moist air by heating from the ground surface and phenomenon called thermal convection . As a result of heating of the surface air, the air expands and forced to rise to great height. As the air rises, it cools and becomes saturated and dew point temperature(the temperature at which water vapour in the air condense(gas-liquid)) is attained and then clouds will form. By further cooling, precipitation takes place. The rain bearing clouds in the convectional rainfall are cumulonimbus clouds. 




cumulonimbus Cloud


In the equatorial regions, the precipitation due to convectional rainfall occurs in the afternoon. The rainfall is of very short duration but in the form of heavy showers.

Cyclonic / Frontal Rainfall

Cyclonic rainfall occurs due to the upward movement of the air caused by the convergence of different air masses with different temperatures. The warm air rises over the cold air and cyclonic rain occurs. The cold air pushes up the warm air and sky gets clear again.



These fronts and associated weather phenomenon are best developed in the middle latitudes, most of the winter precipitation of low lands in the middle latitudes is cyclonic or frontal is origin.


In India the phenomenon of cyclonic rainfall could be seen profoundly in the region of West Bengal and Assam as every year the cyclonic rainfall brings about a lot of damage in these states as the rains are very heavy. In the states of Punjab and Punjab, these rainfalls occur mainly in the winters and is generally mild.

Orographic/Relief rainfall

Orographic rainfall occurs in the mountainous regions near the coastal lines in general. Conditions favoring orographic rainfall in India is seen only over the Western ghats during monsoon period. Monsoon winds from Arabian sea gets blocked by Western ghats and gets lifted over the ranges and precipitates leaving dry winds to blow over Peninsular India.



Orographic rainfall results in heavier rainfall along the western side of Western ghats leading to more than 250cm rainfall per year.


Dominance of orographic rainfall in the western coastline of India.

If you will observe closely in the above given illustrations, you all will find that the eastern part of the Western Ghats are having a minimal amount of rainfall. This phenomenon is called the 'rain shadow effect'. 

This phenomenon is seen in the orographic rainfall. Under this phenomenon the moment of the rain-bearing clouds due to the winds is hampered by the collision with western ghats which results in precipitation. On the contrary the part which is on the other side of the western ghats(eastern) go through a dry spell when the western part is having monsoon showers.

Some of the places worth mentioning which face this effect are- Satara, Kolhapur, Marathwada, Nanded etc

The primary source of rainfall in this region limits to the convectional rainfall.


Similarly Himalayas blocks the monsoon winds and precipitates rain over the ranges of Himalayas. Cherrapunji and Mawsynram are the wettest place in the world due to its location in the windward side of Himalayas and Tibet remains dry being in the leeward side and experience the rain shadow effect. 



During winter, Western Himalayas block the warm moist air from Mediterranean sea and results in orographic precipitation. This results in snow over the higher reaches of Himalayas in Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir.

Tell Us Your Views

Please tell us in the comment section your views about these geographical phenomenons. 

The Indus River System.

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Geography

Blame it on my predilection towards geography that i have included the category of geography on my website. 


In the first three posts, I will be posting some interesting facts about some of the major rivers of India.

I will try to make this section interesting and responsible rather than mundane. 


Rivers In India can be divided into two main groups as far as the geographical demarcation is concerned i.e. 


 i) Himalayan Rivers

ii) Peninsular Rivers


The Himalayan Rivers can be divided in three river systems

i) The Indus System

ii) The Ganga System

iii) The Brahmaputra System 


In this post I will discuss about The Indus System.

The Indus River system mainly comprises of 6 major rivers and their tributaries. 




1) The Indus: The River after which the greeks named our land as India is one of the most significant rivers in Asia because of geographical, political and historical reasons. 

Total Length: 2880 Kms ( 710 kms In India )

The river originates near the Mansarovar Lake in Tibet, flows through the karakoram ranges of United Cease Fire Line (Kashmir) and goes to   Pakistan.

In Jammu and Kashmir it’s Himalayan Tributaries are mainly rivers which originates from glaciers like: Zanskar, Dras, Gartang, Shyok,         Shingar, Nubra, Gilgit etc.








It’s most important tributaries, which join Indus at various places are some of the most famous rivers of India. These rivers are responsible for the Punjab to be named as PUNJAB( the land of five rivers) at the first place.

Now i guess that you all are in a position to guess which rivers i’m talking about. 


2) Chenab (Chandrabhaga): The river Chenab originates from one of the highest and most beautiful places on the earth: Yes! The Baralacha-La Pass, Lahual Spiti, Himachal Pradesh and it is the longest tributary of Indus (1800kms). 






3) Satluj: The river originates from the Mansarovar Lake, Western Tibet and covers a distance of 1050 Kms. Interestinlgy, In Nari Khorsan province of Tibet, Satluj has created an extraordinary canyon, comparable to the grand canyon of Colorado (U.S.A). The Famous Bhakra Dam is built on this river only.





4) Jhelum: The city of Jammu is situated on the banks of Jhelum. The river rises from Verinag town in the District of Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir. It covers a distance of 725 kms.








5) Ravi: The river originates from the Kullu Hills near the famous Rohtang Pass, Himachal Pradesh and covers a distance of 720kms. 









6) Beas: The river flows for about a distance of 470 kms and is the shortest river in the Indus River system. It’s origination is found to be the world famous Rohtang Pass, Himachal Pradesh Only.






Looks so beautiful don’t you guys agree! 


It is so glorious and fortunate for our nation that most of these rivers originates from India and in fact all of them flows through India but unfortunately according to the Indus water Treaty signed between India and Pakistan in 1960, India can utilize only 20% of the total discharge of Indus, Jhelum and Chenab.


Kade kissi Ravi kolun, wakh na Chenab Howe. 


Please tell us in the comment section about what you all feel anout the Indus River System. 

(Take a note of the fact that i have prepared this post based on my personal knowledge and if you guys are interested in the topic, you all should rely upon more credible source)