This winter could be warmer than usual, says IMD
This winter is set to be warmer than usual with the minimum temperature across most of north India predicted to be slightly higher than normal, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its winter forecast released on Friday.
According to the agency, winter in most parts of central and peninsular India will also be marked by higher temperatures.
“Minimum temperatures over most parts of central and peninsular India are likely to be warmer than normal by ≥ 1 degree C. The season averaged mean temperatures are likely to be warmer than normal by 0.5 degree C over most subdivisions of the peninsular India and some subdivisions of east and central India,” according to the Seasonal Temperature Outlook for December 2019 to February 2020.
The above-normal temperatures are linked to moisture and clouding while global warming was also a factor, the meteorologists said. Moisture incursion refers to winds from Bay of Bengal or Arabian Sea that bring in moist and warm air. The associated clouds absorbs thermal radiation on the earth’s surface and then reflects it back down, creating what is known as a cloud blanket effect, the scientists explained.
IMD, which uses the Monsoon Mission Coupled Forecasting System (MMCFS) model for its seasonal forecasts, said there is relatively “high probability” for above normal minimum temperatures in the “core cold wave zone” that includes Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
“This only indicates a climatological probability that it will be warmer. In peninsular India, clouding and moisture incursion can be expected which causes minimum temperatures to rise. Global warming is also a factor influencing seasonal temperature shifts. El Nino conditions are also slightly on the positive side which will also have a marginal impact on minimum temperatures,” said DS Pai, senior scientist at IMD Pune.
A scientist with a private forecasting agency said western disturbances too contribute to making the weather warmer. “We just had the fourth western disturbance (WD) in November. The WDs brought widespread rain and snow to the hills. [But] whenever there is a WD, wind direction changes and northerly winds are not able to penetrate central and peninsular parts,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice president, climate change and meteorology, Skymet Weather.
“This is only a seasonal outlook. It’s very difficult for us to predict the reasons now. These patterns are being shown by the model,” said K Sathi Devi, head of the National Weather Forecasting Centre, IMD.
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