This Holi is expected to be the warmest in the last five years at least, despite falling close to the winter month of February.
On Sunday, the mercury touched 31.6 degrees Celsius, 6 degrees above normal — making it the hottest February 28 in 10 years and the second hottest Holi-eve in five years.
The day’s minimum, too, was five degrees above normal at 16.6ºC.
The weatherman’s prediction for Monday is 34ºC.
The last time Delhiites came close to such a warm Holi in these five years was in 2008, when the temperature touched 33ºC. But the festival came around the last week of March, by when temperatures are already on their way up.
This year, being this close to winter couldn’t ensure a cooler Holi because the process of post-winter warming began earlier too. “The continuous fog did not let the temperatures fall much,” said S.C. Bhan, director, Safdarjung unit of the India Meteorological Department.
The warming can also be attributed to approaching rain clouds over Jammu and Kashmir. “It gets warm here whenever the rain system called Western Disturbance approaches the Himalayas,” said the duty officer at the Safdarjung observatory.
The unseasonal warmth started well in January. There was no real coldwave condition the whole winter because of continuously overcast skies.
“While J&K and Himachal Pradesh saw coldwave conditions, there was no impact on Delhi. We also did not have the ‘dry wind chill’ effect, characteristic of the city’s winter,” said O.P. Sharma, chief meteorologist at Skymet.