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Monsoons: Wet, Dry, Repeat

The monsoon is a seasonal rain and wind pattern that occurs over South Asia (among other places). Through NASA satellites and models we can see the monsoon patterns like never before. 

Monsoon rains provide important reservoirs of water that sustain human activities like agriculture and supports the natural environment through replenishment of aquifers. However, too much rainfall routinely causes disasters in the region, including flooding of the major rivers and landslides in areas of steep topography.

This visualization uses a combination of NASA satellite data and models, including GPM and MERRA, to show how and why the monsoon develops over this region. In the summer the land gets hotter, heating the atmosphere and pulling in cooler, moisture-laden air from the oceans. This causes pulses in heavy rainfall throughout the region. In the winter the land cools off and winds move towards the warmer ocean and suppressing rainfall on land.