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Last December India’s warmest in 122 years: IMD

Updated on Jan 05, 2023 04:27 AM IST

The average maximum, minimum and mean temperature for the country as a whole during December 2022 were 27.32 degrees C, 15.65 degrees C and 21.49 degrees C respectively, against the normal of 26.53 degrees C, 14.44 degrees C and 20.49 degrees C .

A cold wave spell commenced from December 18 over northwest India (particularly Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi and north Rajasthan) and cold days started from December 21.(Amit Sharma / ANI)
ByJayashree Nandi, New Delhi

India recorded its warmest December in 122 years in 2022, the India Meteorological Department said on Wednesday.

The average maximum, minimum and mean temperature for the country as a whole during December 2022 were 27.32 degrees C, 15.65 degrees C and 21.49 degrees C respectively, against the normal of 26.53 degrees C, 14.44 degrees C and 20.49 degrees C . Climate experts and meteorologists said such records are to be expected in the context of the climate crisis.

Photos: Delhi shivers on X-mas, IMD declares season’s cold wave

The average maximum temperature, minimum and mean temperature were above normal by 0.79 degree C, 1.21 degrees C and 1.00 degree C respectively. Across India, during December, the average maximum temperature was the second highest after the year 2016 and the average minimum temperature was also the second highest after 2008. The mean temperature was the highest .

East, northeast, and central India recorded exceptionally high temperatures in December. Over east and northeast India , the average maximum temperature was highest ever in 122 years at 25.85 degrees C. The average minimum temperature was the third highest (12.37 degrees C) after the years 2008(12.70 degrees C) and 1958(12.47 degrees C). The mean temperature was also highest at 19.11 degrees C .

Also Read | Mahaashtra to witness cooler than normal nights in Jan: IMD

Over central India, the average maximum temperature was the sixth highest (29.49 degrees C) . The average minimum temperature was the second highest (15.88 degrees C) after the year 1967 (16.50 degrees C) . The mean temperature was the highest at 22.69 degrees C.

Over South Peninsular India, the average maximum temperature was the fifth highest and the average minimum temperature was the third highest.

Over northwest India average maximum temperature was the 20th highest (21.23 degrees C) and the average minimum temperature was the 24th highest (7.14 degrees C) since 1901.

Rainfall over the country for December was 13.6 mm, which was 14% less than the Long Period Average (LPA) of 15.9 mm. There was an 83% rain deficiency over northwest India; 77% rain deficiency over central India; 53% rain deficiency over east and northeast India and 79% excess over peninsular India.

There was no cold wave, cold day and dense fog conditions over northern and central parts of India till December 15. A cold wave spell commenced from December 18 over northwest India (particularly Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi and north Rajasthan) and cold days started from December 21.

“There was no cold wave or cold day condition over northwest India until late December. This was mainly because no strong western disturbances impacted the northwest region which mainly causes a drop in temperatures in winter. So, temperatures continued to remain above normal through the month. Moreover, rainfall was confined to Tamil Nadu and Kerala, there was deficient rainfall over most parts of the country leading to high day temperatures,” explained M Mohapatra, director general, IMD.

Experts said such high winter temperatures in a La Nina year is unusual. “Northerlies were missing due to weak western disturbance activity. But climate change definitely has a role to play in raising average temperatures. We have now started seeing record breaking temperatures even in La Nina years,” said OP Sreejith, head, climate monitoring and prediction group, IMD, Pune.

“Yes it’s a La Nina year but Europe is experiencing a heat wave. They have recorded abnormally high temperatures. Our December data shows the same. Global warming has weakened the impact of La Nina. We need to analyse what caused the spike in temperature in December but the overall records can be linked to climate change most certainly,” said M Rajeevan, climate scientist and former secretary, ministry of earth sciences.

This is the third successive year of La Niña, which is associated with cooler temperatures in the Indian subcontinent, also prevailed over the equatorial Pacific region.

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