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Rain, hail to bring back chill next week

The minimum temperature on Friday was recorded at 16 degrees Celsius, five notches above the season’s average. The day temperature, however, settled at 23.4 degrees, a notch below normal.

delhi Updated: Feb 23, 2019 09:15 IST
HT  Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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People seen sitting near bonfire to keep themselves warm on a cold winter morning at I.P.Extension, in New Delhi(Sushil Kumar/HT PHOTO)

It’s too early to put your woollens away, with India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicting a drop in temperatures next week. IMD has predicted two western disturbances (WD) in quick succession in the western Himalayas from February 24 onward and the north-western plains from February 25, which will bring widespread rains and hailstorms in some places over the northern plains and a fresh spell of snowfall in the hills on February 26 and 27.

The minimum temperature on Friday was recorded at 16 degrees Celsius, five notches above the season’s average. The day temperature, however, settled at 23.4 degrees, a notch below normal.

“The main reason behind the rise in the minimum temperature is the presence of clouds, because of a WD approaching Delhi. Whenever there are clouds, the night temperature rises and the day temperature drops,” Kuldeep Srivastava, head, regional weather forecasting centre, IMD, said.

The unusually warm weather for February is mainly due to western disturbances in quick succession, which has raised temperature and moisture content, meteorologists said.

After the western disturbances pass, there is likely to be a brief fall in minimum temperature by 2 to 3 degrees, followed by a third western disturbance March 1 onwards.

“The temperature always rises before a western disturbance approaches because the wind rotation is anti-clockwise, from south to north (warmer to colder region)” said M Mohapatra, director general of meteorology, adding that since the variability is very high, it’s difficult to say if the winter will be prolonged, or recede from next month.

The western disturbances forecast for next week are the 13th and 14th of the season and the seventh this month. The minimum temperature has begun increasing with the onset of the western disturbance.

While the first western disturbance will affect north India February 24 onwards, “Another western disturbance, and its induced cyclonic circulation in quick succession, is very likely to enhance the rainfall activity over northwest India on February 26 and 27. This could result in fairly widespread to widespread rain and snow with isolated heavy falls; thunder squall and hailstorms over western Himalayan region and rainfall over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh on February 26,” the IMD said in its bulletin on Friday.

Strong winds reaching 50 kmph are also likely over the northwestern plains on February 26.

“There will be a temporary temperature drop in northwest India after the WDs pass. But we also expect widespread heavy rainfall over many places in east India on February 26 and 27. Colder winds will be blowing from the west to east, which will meet warm, moist winds from Bay of Bengal and bring rainfall,” Mohapatra added.

Widespread rainfall and thunder squall is likely over Jharkhand, West Bengal, north Odisha, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura between February 24 and 27.

First Published: Feb 23, 2019 09:15 IST