Wet season

The rainfall distribution by month in Cairns, Australia

The wet season (sometimes called the rainy season or monsoon season) is the time of year when most of a region's average annual rainfall occurs.[1] Generally, the season lasts at least one month.[2] The term green season is also sometimes used as a euphemism by tourist authorities.[3] Areas with wet seasons are dispersed across portions of the tropics and subtropics.[4]

Under the Köppen climate classification, for tropical climates, a wet season month is defined as a month where average precipitation is 60 millimetres (2.4 in) or more.[5] In contrast to areas with savanna climates and monsoon regimes, Mediterranean climates have wet winters and dry summers. Dry and rainy months are characteristic of tropical seasonal forests: in contrast to tropical rainforests, which do not have dry or wet seasons, since their rainfall is equally distributed throughout the year.[6] Some areas with pronounced rainy seasons will see a break in rainfall mid-season, when the intertropical convergence zone or monsoon trough moves to higher latitudes in the middle of the warm season.[7]

When the wet season occurs during a warm season, or summer, precipitation falls mainly during the late afternoon and early evening. In the wet season, air quality improves, fresh water quality improves, and vegetation grows substantially, leading to crop yields late in the season. Rivers overflow their banks, and some animals retreat to higher ground. Soil nutrients diminish and erosion increases. The incidence of malaria and dengue increases in areas where the rainy season coincides with high temperatures, particularly in tropical areas.[8] Some animals have adaptation and survival strategies for the wet season. Often, the previous dry season leads to food shortages in the wet season, as the crops have yet to mature. Crops which can be successfully planted during the wet or rainy season are cassava, maize, groundnut, millet, rice and yam.[9] The temperate counterpart to the tropical wet season is spring or autumn.

  1. ^ "When is rainy season?". Met Office. Retrieved 2022-09-02.
  2. ^ Glossary of Meteorology (2013). Rainy season. Archived 2009-02-15 at the Wayback Machine American Meteorological Society. Retrieved on 2008-12-27.
  3. ^ Costa Rica Guide (2005). When to Travel to Costa Rica. ToucanGuides. Retrieved on 2008-12-27.
  4. ^ Michael Pidwirny (2008). CHAPTER 9: Introduction to the Biosphere. PhysicalGeography.net. Retrieved on 2008-12-27.
  5. ^ "Updated world Köppen-Geiger climate classification map" (PDF).
  6. ^ Elisabeth M. Benders-Hyde (2003). World Climates. Blue Planet Biomes. Retrieved on 2008-12-27.
  7. ^ J. S. 0guntoyinbo and F. 0. Akintola (1983). Rainstorm characteristics affecting water availability for agriculture. Archived 2009-02-05 at the Wayback Machine IAHS Publication Number 140. Retrieved on 2008-12-27.
  8. ^ "Malaria Fact Sheet". The World Health Organization. April 2016. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  9. ^ "6 Types Of Crops To Plant During Rainy Season". agricfy.com. 2021-07-28. Retrieved 2022-10-01.

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