How Many Monsoons Inhabit Earth?

Monsoons of the World

We’ve begun work on our annual monsoon special and it’s a fun time for the weather department because, frankly, we get to learn more about the North American Monsoon, aka, the Arizona Monsoon, which graces our summer with towering thunderstorms, torrential rains, lightning and sometimes severe weather.

So, we’ve all heard of the Indian Monsoon. That’s the granddaddy of them all, resulting in literally hundreds of inches of rain in some areas. Cherrapunji, India, which is located in the eastern mountains of the country, holds the record annual rainfall amount at over 1,000 inches. So that’s two monsoons, right? Ours and the Indian Monsoon.

Here's a bit of a surprise. There are six more. We’ve attached a map but basically from left to right, here are their names: (NAM) North American Monsoon, (SAM) South American Monsoon, (NAF) North African Monsoon, (SAF) South African Monsoon, (IND) Indian Monsoon, (AUS) Australian Monsoon, (WNP) Western North Pacific Monsoon and (EAS) East Asian Monsoon. So that’s right according to researchers. And the East Asian Monsoon has a winter component. But we’re not getting into that right now.

This shows us that about half of the world’s population lives under the influence of a monsoon. Most of that is in developing countries. With global warming potentially impacting these seasonal flows, it has never been more important to understand the monsoons of the world, let alone the North American Monsoon, which impacts Arizona.

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