Difference Between Advancing and Retreating Monsoon | Advancing vs Retreating Monsoon

By Shivank Goel|Updated : September 21st, 2022

The primary difference between advancing and retreating Monsoon is the wind blowing direction. In an advancing monsoon, the wind blows in the southwest direction, i.e., from sea to land, while in the case of the retreating monsoon, the wind blows from land to the sea.

Also, the advancing monsoon covers the entire subcontinent in over a month, except the North-West, while the retreating monsoons start in early September in the north-western states. Below, in this article, you will learn about the major difference between advancing and retreating monsoons.

Difference Between Advancing and Retreating Monsoon

India experiences four seasons that includes Winter (the season of cold weather), Summer (the season of hot weather), Rainy Season (The season of advancing monsoon), and Transition Season (the season of retreating monsoon).

Difference between Advancing and Retreating Monsoon PDF

The Advancing monsoon carries the moist wind while the retreating monsoon carries the dry wind along with the rain. The major points of difference between advancing and retreating monsoon are--

Points of difference

Advancing Monsoon

Retreating Monsoon


Advancing winds enter from the South by mid-June and move Northwards. They cover the entire subcontinent in over a month, except the North-West.

Retreating monsoon begins in early September in the north-western states, and by mid-October, it completely withdraws from the northern half of the Indian peninsula. By early December, monsoon retreats from the rest of the country.

Typical features

Wet and dry spells, the monsoon trough, and tropical depressions.

Clear skies, high temperatures, and high humidity in the Northern plains.

Rainfall Amount

Another major difference between the advancing and retreating monsoon is that the advancing monsoon results in High rainfall.

In terms of the difference, the retreating monsoon receives moderate to low rainfall in comparison to the advancing monsoon.

Wind movement

The wind pattern is from Sea to Land.

The winds blow from Land to Sea.

Wind type

Advancing monsoon carries moist winds

Retreating monsoon has dry winds

Wind direction

Towards North-East

Towards South-West

Affected regions

The Western and the Northeastern parts of India, Mawsynram, Khasi hills in Meghalaya receive maximum rainfall from the advancing monsoon.

The south-eastern coast-like states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu receive maximum rainfall from the retreating monsoon.

Similarities between Advancing and Retreating Monsoon

Monsoons denote a seasonal change in the wind pattern that causes rain. The monsoon is caused by temperature differences in the air over land and sea. Southeast Asia and India greatly depend on the Indian monsoon for their economic needs of agriculture, irrigation systems, electricity, and hydroelectricity. The Indian Meteorological Department recognizes the months between March to May as pre-monsoon seasons, June to September as southwest monsoon seasons and October to December as post-monsoon seasons.

What is Advancing Monsoon?

Advancing monsoon also called the South West monsoon, is the monsoon that occurs in the month of June to September. The advancing monsoon is said to bring a lot of major changes in the Indian weather conditions. Initially, the advancing monsoon results in heavy rainfall in the Western Ghats. It moves towards the northeast parts of India. During this season, the northeast part of India receives the highest amount of rainfall.

What is Retreating Monsoon?

Retreating monsoon is the monsoon during the months of October and November. During this phase, the winds of the southwest monsoon become weak. This weakness results in the retreating of the winds from North Indian skies. The temperatures at the time of the retreating monsoon show a significant drop. Along with the drop in the temperature, the pressure gradients also become low.

To sum up, the vital difference between advancing and retreating monsoons is the direction of the wind blowing and the rainfall. The advanced monsoon results in heavy rainfall in the northeastern states. However, the retreating monsoon results in moderate rainfall as compared to the advancing one. The advancing monsoon leads to the advancing monsoon while the retreating monsoon gives rise to the October heat.

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FAQs on Difference Between Advancing and Retreating Monsoon

  • The advancing monsoon starts in the nucleus of the Indian monsoon season, i.e., June to September, retreating monsoon occurs from October to November. The time of occurrence is the difference between an advancing and retreating monsoon.

  • The two types of monsoon are different in terms of their course, amount of rainfall, movement of wind, nature of winds, and affected reasons.

  • The southeastern coast of India receives heavy rainfall during the retreating monsoon. Tropical cyclones are also common during this time. The Western Ghats and the northeastern part of India receive hefty rainfall from June to September during the advancing monsoon.

  • The monsoon occurring from June to September is called the advancing monsoon. It results from the movement of moist air from the sea to land direction resulting in heavy rainfall in the Northeast region.

  • The monsoon that occurs during the October and November because of the weakening of the advancing monsoon is called as the retreating monsoon. It is prominent in Tamil Nadu and results in moderate to low rainfall.

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