Is Delhi winter over? No, not really! Here’s why you shouldn’t pack your woollens just yet!

Even though temperatures are above normal this year, winter is not yet over, IMD officials said. (Reuters Image)

As the plains in North India experienced a sharp change in temperature after severe cold conditions all through December and January, in the last week, apprehensions grew over winter leaving early and summers turning up soon. Here’ why North India is facing the heat all of a sudden?

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How has the last winter been in North India?

Cold conditions persisted in North and Northwest India all through December 2020 and January 2021 with severe cold waves experienced in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. Sporadic rainfall was also witnessed in the national capital in the first week of the New Year.

However, the monthly minimum temperature recorded in January was the highest in the last 62 years. RK Jenamani, senior scientist at the National Weather Forecasting Centre, New Delhi, informs The Indian Express that Western Disturbances across lower latitudes were fewer and were limited to hilly regions in January 2021

Why there is a sharp flux in temperature

The absence of cold wave conditions in North India made mercury to rise. Delhi and hilly regions like Dehradun experienced higher than normal day temperatures for this time of the year. In Delhi, on February 11, the day temperature was 7.7 degrees above normal.

Prevalence of easterly waves and mixed weather conditions in Central India are preventing cold waves to reach North India resulting in this sudden rise in temperature in North India, said Jenamani.

How will this change in weather system affect cold conditions in North India?

The confluence of humid easterly winds with the multiple weather systems on Central India is expected to bring thunderstorms over that region till February 19 affecting the cold wave conditions in North India.

Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Odisha are likely to experience light rainfalls accompanied by lightning. Hailstorm in some parts of Maharashtra is also expected in the next two to three days.

Hence no part of North India except Jammu and Kashmir will see significant cold conditions until February 20.

Are winters retreating from India?

IMD recognises February as a winter month. Even though temperatures are above normal this year, winter is not yet over, IMD officials said.

A fresh Western Disturbance is expected to cross north India bringing down the temperatures again and causing fresh snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir. A marginal drop of 2 to 3 degrees is expected in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab areas from February 22 onwards. Although not an extreme cold wave, yet, it will bring respite for warm conditions currently.

The minimum temperatures will again rise from February 25 onwards finally bringing an end to the winters and will remain between 22 and 30 degrees except for in Shimla and Jammu and Kashmir and other higher altitude areas.

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