Winter in northern India will unlikely be harsh with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasting “normal to above normal” minimum temperatures for December-February.
These elevated temperatures are likely to be prevalent not only in northwest India but also south and northeast India and parts of the Himalayan foothills.
The IMD, however, did not provide by how many degrees, on average, would temperatures be elevated. Overall, winter temperatures have been on the rise. The IMD which started issuing winter forecasts in 2016 , except for 2017, had forecast warm winters for all years since then. Warm winters, experts say, are a sign of global warming. India on an average is 0.5 degree Celsius warmer than 50 years ago.
Colour code regions
IMD officials said that from this year they had a “new forecasting system” in which they would no longer give the actual expected temperature deviation but only colour code regions indicating if they were normal, above or below normal.
“Above normal would mean more than half the standard deviation of a region’s temperature,” said D.S. Pai, who heads the IMD’s climate division in Pune. He said that because all regions had different normal temperatures, it would not be feasible to provide individual temperature deviations.
Cloud cover, said Mr. Pai, was one of the key factors influencing minimum temperatures as they influenced how the ground heated up. “This doesn’t however mean there won’t be cold waves.”
Maximum temperatures were likely to be “below normal” over most parts of the country except over some parts of northwest India and most parts of northeast India, where normal to above normal
Winter rains over south Peninsular India, particularly Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal, coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam, Rayalaseema, Kerala and Mahe and south interior Karnataka, are most likely to be above normal (more than 132% of the Long Period Average.
Currently the Andaman Sea is seeing a cyclone precursor, called a low-pressure area. The IMD has forecast it to intensify into a cyclone, called Jawad, by December 3 that is likely to approach the Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts.