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IMD forecasts above-normal winter temperatures across India

The IMD’s seasonal forecast predicts that maximum temperatures from December 2023 to February 2024 are likely to be above normal in India,

By Ground Report
New Update
IMD forecasts above-normal winter temperatures across India

The IMD’s seasonal forecast predicts that maximum temperatures from December 2023 to February 2024 are likely to be above normal in most parts of India, except for certain areas in central and northwest India, which may experience normal to below-normal maximum temperatures. Minimum temperatures are also expected to be above normal across most of the country.

For December, both minimum and maximum temperatures are anticipated to be higher than usual throughout India. The IMD also expects fewer coldwave days over most parts of northwest, central, east, and northeast India this winter. Coldwaves are less likely to be frequent, intense, or long-lasting compared to the norm.

El Nino is believed to be a contributing factor to the warmer temperatures recorded in December. The monthly rainfall for December in southern Peninsular India is expected to be normal, while the rest of the country is predicted to receive above-normal rainfall, except for many parts of the northeast, north Peninsular India, and adjoining central regions.

According to the IMD, the global mean near-surface temperature for 2023, up to October, was approximately 1.40 ± 0.12 °C above the average recorded between 1850 and 1900. The data suggests that 2023 is on track to become the warmest year in the 174-year observational record, surpassing the previous joint warmest years of 2016 and 2020.

The past nine years, from 2015 to 2023, are set to be the warmest on record, highlighting a continuing trend of rising global temperatures. This year’s temperatures have exceeded the 2016 average of 1.29 ± 0.12 °C and the 2020 average of 1.27 ± 0.13 °C above the 1850-1900 baseline. The IMD’s findings underscore the ongoing impact of climate change and the importance of monitoring and adapting to these environmental shifts.

unprecedented high temperatures

India has witnessed unprecedented high temperatures in 2023, with the months of August, September, and November securing the top spot as the warmest years since 1901, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced in a recent press briefing. The southern Peninsular region of India was particularly affected, recording the highest minimum temperature since records began over a century ago.

Globally, temperatures this year through October were 1.4°C above the 1850-1900 average, with a margin of uncertainty of 0.2°C. “It is virtually certain that 2023 may be the warmest year on record in the last 175 years,” stated Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director-general of Meteorology at IMD.

The country also experienced a deficit in rainfall between October and November, with a cumulative seasonal shortfall of 18.8 percent. Southern Peninsular India and central India were hit hardest, with rainfall 37.5 and 31.1 percent below normal, respectively.

However, November brought some relief as most parts of India, excluding east-central and northwest regions, saw normal to above-normal temperatures. This change was attributed to two low-pressure systems, including Cyclone ‘Midhili’ and another system that formed on November 30, which is likely to intensify into a depression.

The interaction between western disturbances and easterlies also caused severe weather conditions across northwest and central India towards the end of November. Additionally, sea surface temperatures were higher than normal in the eastern and central Pacific, western Indian Ocean, and much of the Atlantic Ocean.

The IMD has forecasted that El Nino conditions will persist through the spring of 2024, transitioning to ENSO neutral between May and July 2024. During ENSO-neutral periods, tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures are generally close to average.

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