India to witness hotter summer this year - GulfToday

India to witness hotter summer this year

Meena Janardhan

Writer/Editor/Consultant. She has over 25 years of experience in the fields of environmental journalism and publishing.

Writer/Editor/Consultant. She has over 25 years of experience in the fields of environmental journalism and publishing.

India summer

Illustrative image.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast that after intense cold waves sweeping parts of the country, the mercury is set to soar in the coming months.

The latest seasonal outlook by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) suggests that most parts of the country must brace for hotter than usual summer this year as daytime temperatures are set to breach the normal level marks across northern, eastern and western states.

The IMD outlook says, “Above normal seasonal minimum temperatures are likely over most of the subdivisions of north India along the foothills of the Himalayas, northeast India, the western part of central India and southern part of peninsular India. However, below-normal season minimum temperatures are likely over most of the subdivisions of the eastern part of central India and few subdivisions of the extreme northern part of the country.”

“During the upcoming hot weather season (March to May), above normal seasonal maximum (day) temperatures are likely over most of the subdivisions of north, northwest and northeast India, few subdivisions from eastern and western parts of central India and few coastal subdivisions of north peninsular India,” it added.

The Weather Channel reports that issuing the summer forecast for the months of March, April and May, the IMD predicted maximum temperatures to be higher than normal across north, northwest and northeast India. It is noted 0.25°C higher in the northeast and a whopping 0.71°C in northwest India – Delhi, Punjab, and Haryana. Parts of Delhi, Haryana, Chandigarh, Punjab, east Rajasthan and Madhya Maharashtra may also experience warmer nights in the coming months.

Moreover, the highest deviation in the mean maximum temperature is possible in Chhattisgarh at 0.86°C. Even in west Uttar Pradesh, the mercury levels may breach the normal standard by 0.61°C. Few subdivisions from eastern and western parts of central India and few coastal subdivisions of north peninsular India, including Mumbai, are likely to witness above normal seasonal maximum temperatures.

As per the IMD, the rise in temperatures is forecast despite the prevalence of moderate La Niña conditions over the equatorial Pacific Ocean. La Nina is generally responsible for bringing colder weather conditions, which results in the reduction of the severity of heat waves as compared to El Nino. Moreover, the MMCFS model forecast indicates that La Niña conditions are likely to sustain during the upcoming hot weather season (March to May).

Some respite from sweltering heat is possible for the parts of south India, at least for the next three months. The outlook states that the below normal seasonal maximum temperatures are likely over most of the subdivisions of the south peninsula and adjoining central India. These regions mostly include Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and some parts of Maharashtra.

In terms of minimum temperatures for the pre-monsoon months—most of the subdivisions of north India along the foothills of Himalayas, northeast India, the west part of central India and the south part of peninsular India are likely to witness above normal mercury levels.

In fact, as per the latest IMD records, the country witnessed its third warmest winter this year as the mean temperature remained 0.78°C above normal in January and February. 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 among experts.

Leading IMD scientist Roxy Mathew Koll tweeted recently, “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.”

The IMD forecast has stated that moderate La Niña conditions are prevailing over the equatorial Pacific and sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are below normal over the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. The latest model forecast indicates that La Niña conditions are likely to sustain during the upcoming hot weather season (March to May), it added. La Nina is associated with the cooling of the Pacific waters. The phenomenon has an impact on the weather of the Indian sub-continent. The IMD has said it will release the second summer forecast for April to June in April.

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