Weather becomes the talking point every summer and winter season in the city, with most people wondering if this year is worse than the last one and most believing that the temperatures are on the rise.
For scientists who have been studying weather data over the last few decades, however, the evidence is not very convincing.
“The changes we are seeing currently are periodic. There are epochs in weather. Patterns repeat themselves after 30 to 40 years. Even now, the records for the maximum amount of rain in a day or the highest and lowest temperatures are from the 1940s and 50s. It will be premature to say that the weather has changed significantly. We are just in a different atmospheric epoch,” said OP Singh, DDGM, Regional Meteorological Centre, Delhi.
What drives the perception that the variations in weather are huge is the inter-annual variability, Singh said. “The change in weather from one year to the other is quite high, especially when it comes to rainfall. This makes people believe that either the weather has changed it or that it has become erratic. But as we go through data maintained for the last many decades, it becomes clear that such sweeping statements are premature,” Singh said.
The Met centre in Delhi has been gaining the confidence of people by being more accurate about their forecast, especially in the past one year. Singh attributes this to the procurement of better equipment and a more outgoing approach.
“Forecasting weather in Delhi is a touch-and-go affair as there are a number of factors that affect it. We have, however, come up with forecasts on rainfall, which are quite difficult, a week in advance. We hope that farmers in the region are being benefited by this,” Singh added.
According to him, the city is expected to see a usual summer till the end of the month.