For those of us that live in North America, the term monsoon is used rather lightly. We use it as a way to describe how intense the rain is in a single event. But what about countries like India, Bengal, and other surrounding countries. A monsoon there has a whole different meaning.
To put a monsoon into retrospect, think of it as a giant sea breeze. In essence, the different heat capacities of water vs. land create pressure differences. These pressure differences causes moist air to flow inland from the ocean. Once the air rises over the land, it cools, decreasing its’ ability to hold water. Thus, precipitation occurs. This process happens continuously throughout the summer season in places like India and Africa. However, during the winter, the process is reversed. Land breeze’s take place instead, leading to droughts on land and precipitation over the ocean. Areas that are semi-deserts during the off season can be turned into green grasslands with flourishing plants and crops.
The general dates of an oncoming monsoon can be predicted, but like all weather, it is impossible to know exactly what will happen.