How Do Monsoons Affect People?

Monsoons affect people both in both positive and negative ways. In India and Southeast Asia, people rely on rain from monsoons to fertilize crops, fill aquifers and wells, and power hydroelectric facilities. However, monsoons also produce flash floods and droughts that can damage crops, drown livestock and threaten human life.

A monsoon is a seasonal shift in prevailing wind direction of a particular region, and usually brings with it a different kind of weather. Monsoons typically occur in India and Southeast Asia. A summer monsoon blows from the southwest between May and September and brings rain. Hurricanes, severe thunderstorms, large hail and tornadoes can accompany the arrival of the summer monsoon. A late arrival of the summer monsoon is bad for agriculture, as the rainfall is necessary for crops.

A dry monsoon blows from the northeast between October and April. During this time, dry storms suck the moisture away from the land out to sea and cause drought. The intensity of storms produced varies from year to year, and there is no way to predict their severity before they occur. In the late summer, a weaker, more-localized monsoon occurs over the Southwest United States when thunderstorms and humidity spread over the region.