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Western Disturbance occurs in India, Pakistan and Nepal to describe an extratropical storm originating in the Mediterranean, that brings sudden winter rain and to the northwestern parts of the Indian subcontinent. This is a non-monsoonal precipitation pattern driven by the Westerlies. The moisture in these storms usually originates over the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Extratropical storms are a global, rather than a localized, phenomena with moisture usually carried in the upper atmosphere. In the case of the subcontinent, moisture is sometimes shed as rain when the storm system encounters the Himalayas.

A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement ofthunderstorms that produce heavy rain. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by names such as hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone.

Tropical cyclones typically form over large bodies of relatively warm water. They derive their energy through the evaporation of water from the ocean surface, which ultimately re-condenses into clouds and rain when moist air rises and cools to saturation. This energy source differs from that of mid-latitude cyclonic storms, such as nor'easters and European windstorms, which are fueled primarily by horizontal temperature contrasts. The strong rotating winds of a tropical cyclone are a result of the conservation of angular momentum imparted by the Earth's rotation as air flows inwards toward the axis of rotation. As a result, they rarely form within 5° of the equator. Tropical cyclones are typically between 100 and 2,000 km in diameter.

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