I am building a region which would be somewhere in the 20-30 degrees latitude range, similar to southern India, but I'd like the mountains to be taller, like say an eastern Appalachians at least and the weather to be a little crazy with lots of hurricanes etc which is why I thought of El Nino. My question would be, what would be the climate and the biomes of the region if something like that were to happen.

The snowcaps melting would create more rivers for sure, but what would be condition of the region beyond the mountain range? Would there be almost like a desert or would there be rivers flowing eastward as well?

I would appreciate any information y'all can provide me with. Thanks!

  • $\begingroup$ I find you question worded badly. I think you meant to ask what if the Western Ghats were replaced by the HImalayas. $\endgroup$ May 23 at 17:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The Himalayas are one thing and the lowly Appalachians are an entirely different thing. Voting to close because the title and the text of the question do not match. (And I don't understand what you mean by replacing the monsoon, which is a dependable, predictable, year-after-year seasonal wind, with El Niño, which is not a wind and occurs sporadically, on the average every 5 years or so, but sometimes more often and other times less often.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    May 23 at 21:04
  • $\begingroup$ Besides, those mountains are shaped and shape the landscape and weather. Cherry-picking different elements from different systems and joining them hardhandedly will get you a non-working (and likely incomplete) pseudo-system. $\endgroup$
    – Joachim
    May 23 at 22:35

1 Answer 1


Warning: Long answer ahead

Let's see a map of the Western Ghats, for those who don't know the terrain and geography of India:enter image description here

So, by some magic and handwavium, you managed to substitute the Western Ghats with the Himalayas and the monsoon with El Nino. The results are gruesome.

South Himalayas

The Himalayas are still cold as ever, due to the fact that the Himalayas do not behave like the Polar ice caps. The polar ice caps are frigid as they are located at the Earth's poles, where there is little direct sunlight. On the other hand, the Himalayas are cold as they reach way up into the atmosphere. Literally, "way up". Mt. Everest pierces the stratosphere. Similarly, I can imagine tall peaks like K2 and Kanchenjunga to atleast be really near the border of the stratosphere, if not in it.

This means that your subcontinent will basically be really cold and windy. Let's not forget that the Himalayas actually sit in the jetstream, being so tall and large. And forget the jetstream, the Himalayas now stand in the way of trade winds from the Arabian Sea, and the Bay of Bengal. And don't forget, hill stations in India (and around the world), even at low altitudes, near the Himalayas always snow, in some cases, even in summer. Basically long story short, South India is now basically Siberia on a budget.

That does not address the second part of the question, though:

El Nino

Contrary to what you would believe, El Nino won't favor rain clouds, except for hurricanes. This is a massive problem for India. As of now, 40% of India's annual water being used in agriculture comes from monsoon rain. So long story short, you have a starving nation with a ton of food deficit, droughts and blah blah blah. I haven't even started on the effects of strong turbulent winds on the climate. As in a previous answer of mine about the climate of Gondwana, India would likely suffer from a ton of droughts.

Bad news:

El Nino, while not favorable for raincloud formation, paradoxically catalyses hurricane formation. As El Nino is just a river of hot water in the ocean , a warm ocean band, you have more moisture in the air over the Arabian sea and Bay of Bengal. However, as the El Nino also warms up the air above it, the air is able to hold a b***load of moisture. This means that the moisture is held up in the air for a long time, unless the trigger is pulled, and the moisture suddenly condenses, and a hurricane is formed.

Also, even if the moisture was prematurely released before hurricane formation, you would still end up with a ton of thunderstorms. Cold air from the Himalayas and El Nino air would override each other in the subcontinent, forming supercells. In other words, India now has:

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

In other words, A perfect hellscape.

  • $\begingroup$ This sounds like Texas. We just had those hail stones. $\endgroup$
    – David R
    May 24 at 13:57

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