From the Western Aravalis and the Punjab-Haryana plains the belt runs into the Ganga Valley and reaches the north-east, narrowing down steadily.
The main characteristic is the rainfall which is around 60 cm in the west and above 200 cm in the east. The winters on the whole are dry. The dry and cold winds from the north-west make the area cold.
The temperatures are low towards west but steadily increase towards east. The minimum temperature in the winter is about 8 to 10°C higher in the east than that in the west. The temperature in the west especially in Punjab and Haryana sometimes drops below 0°C but usually remains above 5°C.
Animals and men sometimes die in the cold spell. The hot and dry weather upto May or even earlier in the east is very significant. It is difficult to tolerate this season but it is less miserable than the rainy one when humidity is high with high temperature.
During the hot and dry seasons there are certain breaks which provide short spells of relief from dry and hot period. These are: (i) Dust Storms which prevail in Punjab and Haryana in May and June.
Though these storms create dusty atmosphere but usually they are followed by rain which cools the atmosphere for a short period, (ii) Andhis. These are also dust storms especially occurring in south-west. (iii) Kalbaisakhis (Norwesters) of West Bengal. These storms are in Chhotanagpur Plateau and move eastward by westerly winds. This is why they are also called norwesters.
These create squally winds accompanied by thunder, hail and lightning. Kalbaisakhis also sometimes cause heavy rainfall and are, therefore, disastrous, (iv) Cherry blossom-the short lived rainy storms occur in Karnataka.
Also the Mango Showers help increase possibilities of successful mango season for the mango growers. Winter rainfall is highly beneficial for bumper rabi crops.