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Warm February to usher in an early summer

delhi Updated: Mar 02, 2009 00:25 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

If you thought it had been unusually muggy for this time of the year, you were spot on.

The Met department on Sunday declared this February, supposed to be Delhi's third coolest month in the year, to be one of the warmest in the past 107 years.

To be exact, there have been only 10 years since 1901 when February was warmer than the one that just ended on Saturday. “The temperatures during both day and night remained above-normal most of the time except for two brief spells,” said the report by the India Metrological Department (IMD).

The heat, unusual at this time of the year, led to the mercury touching summer-like highs, especially towards the end of the month. On February 24, the day temperature was 31 degrees Celsius, which was six degrees above the normal mark, and uncomfortably close to 34 degrees — the highest ever temperature in February, recorded on the 26th of the month in 2006.

Starting with December 2008, this was the third consecutive month to officially be one of the warmest in the past 100-odd years, making winter 2008-09 one of the muggiest ever. The Met department said the weather pattern over Delhi had definitely changed this season. But is Delhi’s climate changing for good?

“The Western Disturbance, which is a rain-bearing system that determines Delhi's weather, has been behaving unusually, this season. They have been different from conventional pattern in terms of intensity and frequency,” said B.P. Yadav, director and spokesman of the IMD, adding, “We need to study the pattern in the context of global climate-change developments.”