Climatic Regions of India according to Koeppen's Scheme

Climatic Regions of India according to Koeppen’s Scheme – UPSC Indian Geography Notes

The empirical classification of Koeppen’s Climatic Regions relies on mean annual and mean monthly temperature and precipitation data. The spread of plants and climate, according to Koeppen, are inextricably linked. Classification involves taking specific temperature and precipitation values and correlating them to vegetation distribution, subsequently using these values to classify climates. This article will elucidate the Climatic Regions of India according to Koeppen’s Scheme, providing valuable insights for Geography preparation in the UPSC Civil Service Exam.

Koeppen’s Climate Classification

  • Koeppen’s Climate Classification is the most widely used climate classification.
  • Wladimir Peter Koeppen created this climatic classification system in 1884.
  • He observed an inextricable link between the spread of plants and climate.
  • The classifications are based on yearly and monthly temperature and precipitation averages.
  • Precise temperature and precipitation levels were chosen and connected to vegetation distribution for designating climates.
  • A, B, C, D, E, and H are the five primary climatic categories in the Koeppen climate classification system.
  • The small letters f, m, w, and s represent the seasons of dryness.
    • f – no dry season
    • m – Monsoon climate
    • w – Winter dry season
    • s – Summer dry season
  • Temperature severity is indicated by the small letters a, b, c, and d.
  • Koeppen classified India into nine climatic zones.

Koeppen’s Climate Classification – Climatic Groupings

A-TropicalThe coldest month’s average temperature is 18°C or higher.
B-Dry ClimatesThe amount of potential evaporation is greater than the amount of precipitation.
C-Warm TemperateThe average temperature of the coldest month in (Mid-latitude) climates is greater than -3°C but lower than 18°C.
D-Cold Snow ForestThe coldest month’s average temperature is -3°C or below.
E-Cold ClimatesThe average monthly temperature is below 10°C.
H-HighlandsCold due to elevation.

Koeppen’s Climate Classification – Climatic types

GroupTypeLetter codeCharacteristics
A-Tropical Humid ClimateTropical WetAfNo dry season
Tropical MonsoonAmMonsoonal, Short dry season
Tropical Wet and DryAwWinter dry season
B-Dry ClimateSubtropical SteppeBShLow-latitude semi-arid or dry
Subtropical DesertBWhLow-latitude arid or dry
Mid-latitude SteppeBSkMid-latitude semi-arid or dry
Mid-latitude DesertBWkMid-latitude arid or dry
C-Warm temperate ClimatesHumid SubtropicalCfaNo dry season
MediterraneanCsDry hot summer
Marine West CoastCfbNo dry season, warm and cool summer
D-Cold Snow-forest ClimatesHumid ContinentalDfNo dry season, severe winter
SubarcticDwWinter dry and very severe
E-Cold ClimatesTundraETNo true summer
Polar Ice CapEFPerennial ice
H-HighlandHighlandHHighland with snow cover

Koeppen’s Classification – Climatic Regions of India

Climate TypeRegionAnnual Rainfall
Amw (Monsoon type with short dry winter season)South of Mumbai, on the western shore.Over 300 cm
As (Monsoon type with dry season in high sun period)Coromandel coast – Coastal Tamil Nadu and bordering Andhra Pradesh regions75 – 100 cm (wet winters, dry summers)
Aw (Tropical Savanna type)Most of the peninsular plateau, with the exception of the Coromandel and Malabar coastal regions.75cm
BShw (Semi-arid Steppe type)Some rain shadow portions of the Western Ghats, a considerable portion of Rajasthan, and adjoining areas of Haryana and Gujarat12cm to 25cm
BWhw (Hot desert type)The majority of western RajasthanLess than 12cm
Cwg (Monsoon type with dry winters)Most of the Ganga Plain, eastern Rajasthan, Assam, and the Malwa Plateau are affected100cm to 200cm
Dfc (Cold, Humid winters type with shorter summer)Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, and portions of AssamApproximately 200cm
Et (Tundra Type)Uttarakhand’s mountainous terrain. The average temperature ranges from 0 to 10 degrees Celsius. The amount of rain that falls fluctuates from year to yearVaries
E (Polar Type)Higher portions of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, where the hottest month’s temperature ranges from 0° to 10° C. Snow is the most common kind of precipitationSnowfall


  • The Koppen climatic classification system categorizes the world’s climate zones based on local vegetation.
  • Vegetation development in a region is influenced by temperature and precipitation, crucial climatic elements.
  • Forests thrive in areas with greater rainfall and higher temperatures, while deserts are found in areas with less rainfall.
  • The system is generally simple to grasp and easily measurable.
  • The vegetation pattern in any region corresponds to the Koppen climate categorization system.
  • The system is significant for two primary factors: temperature and precipitation.
  • The Koppen climate classification system is comprehensive, encompassing all known climatic patterns and situations on Earth.


  • The widely adopted climatic classification is Koeppen’s Climate Classification.
  • In 1884, Wladimir Peter Koeppen formulated this climate classification system.
  • He identified a close relationship between plant spread and climate.
  • Categories are established based on annual and monthly temperature and precipitation averages.
  • Geographers often prioritize rainfall over temperature when defining Indian climatic areas, as rainfall changes are more pronounced than temperature changes.

FAQs on Koeppen’s Scheme

Question: What are the small letters used to represent the seasons of dryness in Koppen’s climatic classification?

Answer: In Koppen’s climatic classification, the small letters used to represent seasons of dryness are:

  • f: No dry season
  • m: Monsoon climate
  • w: Winter dry season
  • s: Summer dry season

Question: Briefly explain the significance of the Tundra region?

Answer: The Tundra region holds significance due to its unique environmental characteristics. It is characterized by extremely cold temperatures, low biodiversity, and a layer of permanently frozen subsoil called permafrost. The Tundra plays a crucial role in global climate regulation, and its vegetation and wildlife are adapted to survive harsh conditions. Additionally, the Tundra acts as a carbon sink, storing large amounts of organic material in its frozen soils.

Question: What is Koppen’s climatic classification?

Answer: Koppen’s climatic classification is a widely used system developed by Wladimir Peter Koppen in 1884 to categorize and classify the Earth’s climates based on temperature and precipitation patterns. The classification system utilizes letter codes to represent different climate types, taking into account factors such as temperature, precipitation, and the distribution of vegetation. It has categories ranging from tropical climates (A) to polar climates (E) and includes various subcategories to capture the diversity of climates around the world. Koppen’s system is instrumental in understanding and studying global climate patterns.

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