After a deficient monsoon, Delhi could be in for a colder-than-usual winter.
“There is a possibility that winter this year will be a little harsher than usual,” said a Met official, pointing to forecast patterns so far.
Evening showers on Wednesday, brought on by a western disturbance over Himachal Pradesh, seemed to signal a change in season in the city, which has been experiencing a hot October.
The weatherman forecast light rain on Thursday too, but said there would be no major change in the maximum temperature, which has hovered around the 35ºC mark for the past week — two degrees above normal.
The Met official said scientists were also exploring the link between a strong El Niño and a cold winter.
El Niño — “little boy” in Spanish — is a weather glitch marked by higher sea surface temperatures. Its effects can ripple around the world, from droughts in India to floods in Brazil.
According to several reports, weather forecasting agencies have forecast a harsh winter in Europe as well.
Meteorologists at the India Meteorological Department have so far been non-committal about the precise impact of El Niño on the monsoon, though independent scientists say there is a clear link between the two.
Scientists are now exploring a link between El Niño and cold winters too.
Some Met department officials, however, cautioned that it was too early to predict what the winter has in store for Delhi.
“We have to remember that there are several factors that determine the nature of winter in the city. The number and frequency of western disturbances is among the most important and it is too early in the day to forecast that,” said a senior official.