After repeated bouts of cold waves in December and January, many parts of India witnessed a sudden temperature rise in February, perhaps as a preview of the upcoming intense summers. In northern states, including Delhi, fans and air conditioners buzzed back to life much earlier than normal this year as the mercury levels rose to unprecedented highs, Weather.com reported.
As per the latest records from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the country witnessed its third warmest winter this year as the mean temperature remained 0.78°C above normal in January and February.
|File photo: Clouds hover over at Rajpath during the summer of 2020. (Yogesh Kumar/TOI, BCCL, Delhi)|
Only during the winters of 2016 and 2009, India has recorded warmer mean temperatures than this, and both these years were El Niño years. The peculiarity of winter 2021 being among the warmest despite the Pacific being in the La Niña phase has raised concerns.
“For India, this was the 3rd warmest winter in 120 years. This was a La Niña season that should have a cooling effect on global temperatures—but this is now offset by global warming due to greenhouse gas emissions. Hence, La Niña years are now warmer than past years with El Niño,” explained leading scientist Roxy Mathew Koll from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology on Twitter.
The nighttimes were even warmer across the country with an average minimum temperature of 0.8°C above normal—only second to 2016. A maximum anomaly of 0.94°C was observed in northwest India, which includes Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Ladakh and Rajasthan. While all other parts of the country also remained warmer-than-normal, the southern peninsula witnessed the least warming of 0.6°C.
With average daytime temperatures of 24.4°C, northwest India witnessed extremely hot February days this year. The mean maximum temperature was 2.94°C warmer-than-normal during February 2021 across northwest India.
The average February temperatures across northwest India were 2.11°C above normal, making last month the second warmest February on record since 1901. Only 2006 witnessed warmer temperatures than this year, with an anomaly of 2.62°C. Even rainfall across northwest India remained subdued with less than 50% of the normal rainfall in January and February.
Even Delhi recorded a mean maximum of 27.9°C, which is the second-highest for the month since 1901. Before this, the highest mean maximum temperature was recorded in February 2006 at 29.7°C for Delhi. The normal maximum temperature for February is 23.9°C, which sometimes fluctuates up to 25°C. As against this mean temperature, February 2021’s average daytime mercury level was four degrees higher than the normal.
While those who hate winter chills might have cherished a warm February, such high temperatures during winters have multiple impacts. Warmer winters are often associated with widespread crop damage, especially wheat, apple and strawberries. A milder winter can also pose health concerns as they increase the odds of vector-borne disease spells by being conducive for mosquito breeding.
5-Day Nationwide Weather Forecast
According to Weather.com, the ongoing rain/snow in Arunachal Pradesh is expected to continue, with an increase both in intensity and extent likely by Saturday, before tapering off from Sunday. About 40-90 mm of rain is possible across the eastern half of the state from Thursday to Saturday. Thunderstorms are on the cards on Saturday.
After a brief respite on Friday, a fresh western disturbance, which is expected to be more substantial than the previous system, will start to affect the Western Himalayan Region from Saturday. The peak will fall on Sunday, with 25-75 cm of fresh snow accumulation likely across the northern parts of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand a day, along with thunderstorms.
As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the disturbance will cause fairly widespread to widespread rainfall/snowfall over the Western Himalayan Region on March 6-7, along with isolated heavy rainfall/snowfall over Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit, Baltistan and Muzaffarabad on March 6-7 and over Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand on March 7.
Further, the system will also affect the adjoining northwestern plains, producing isolated light rain/drizzle over Punjab on March 6 and 7, and over Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and West Uttar Pradesh on March 7. Thunderstorms with lightning and hail are also possible at isolated places over Punjab, north Haryana, Chandigarh and West Uttar Pradesh on March 7.
|Photo: Weather Online|
Meanwhile, the maximum temperatures will be 4 to 8°C higher than normal across much of Rajasthan during this forecast period. Below-average maximums are expected across the Brahmaputra Plains.
On the other hand, overnight minimums have been forecast to be warmer than normal across much of the country during this period, with the exception of the Deccan Plateau, where temperatures will remain normal or slightly cooler until Sunday.
Fairly widespread rain/snow and thunderstorms are on the cards over Arunachal Pradesh. Isolated snow/rain and thunderstorms have been forecast over Sikkim. Isolated rain and thunderstorms have been predicted over Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, and Sub-Himalayan West Bengal.
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Under the influence of a western disturbance, many parts of the western Himalayan region will receive light rain and snow in the next 24 hours.
|India daily weather forecast latest, February 28: Scattered rains, snow and thunderstorms to cover Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh |
Parts of Northeast India, particularly the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, are set to experience a fresh spell of rainfall and snowfall for the ...
|India daily weather forecast latest, February 27: Isolated rain, thunderstorms expected over some places |
It is expected that isolated rain and thunderstorms will sweep over Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Punjab.