An aerial view of Delhi’s Connaught Place on Monday, December 30.(Amal KS/HT Photo)
An aerial view of Delhi’s Connaught Place on Monday, December 30.(Amal KS/HT Photo)

Wet and cold new year for Delhi. Blame it on cyclonic activity near Afghanistan

The Indian Meteorological Department had said in Novemner that it is going to be a warmer winter this year.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON AUG 14, 2020 07:29 PM IST

National capital Delhi is reeling under an unforgiving cold, and really low temperatures. After the coldest December day in 119 years on December 30, another chilly morning greeted people of Delhi on December 31.

Large swathes of north India are also experiencing similar weather pattern, and wind speed has increased the chill factor.

All this is surprising considering the fact that the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had forecast a warmer winter this year. In its seasonal outlook for December to February, the weather department said in November this year there was a higher probability of above-normal minimum temperatures during the winter season.

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“Except for the northern-most parts, the entire country could see a warmer winter this time - that’s what our coupled dynamic forecasting models show,” said Dr M Mohapatra, director-general of meteorology, IMD, New Delhi. The impact of above-normal mean temperatures will be mostly felt in the “core cold wave zone” which covers most of north-west India, including Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Haryana, the IMD had said.

So, why didn’t the prediction turn out the way IMD said? The reason, according to the weather department, is a western disturbance seen as a cyclonic circulation over Afghanistan and neighbourhood at 3.1 km above mean sea level.

“Under its influence, along with interaction with lower level easterlies, scattered to fairly widespread rainfall accompanied with thunderstorms, lightning and hail is also likely in major parts of northwest, east and adjoining central India during January 1-3, 2020,” the IMD said.

Skymet, an independent weather forecaster, said, “Widespread rains and thundershowers, accompanied by hailstorms and strong winds at a few places, will be experienced across the Northern plains, including the Delhi-NCR region.”

“The rainfall activity will peak on the first day of the new year. Another active Western Disturbance will develop around the 5th, which will impact the weather of the Hills and subsequently the plains,” Skymet further said.

The rainfall activity is expected to improve the air quality which has been in the ‘very poor’ to ‘severe’ categories, the forecaster said, ading that in the wake of these rains, the minimum temperature will drop leading to cold wave conditions.

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