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Thursday, June 17, 2021

May was Punjab’s coolest month in past 2 decades

Experts said that the foremost reason for this fall is because of the three Western Disturbances (WDs) which occurred in May in the state and the impact of two cyclones — Yass and Tauktae — which hit the country.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
Updated: June 2, 2021 9:55:48 am
Punjab, dust stormAmritsar: Commuters during a dust storm in Amritsar, Monday, May 31, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Punjab witnessed its coolest May month in the past two decades this year, recording below normal temperatures during the month.

The average temperature for May this year month has seen a fall of around 2.6 degrees celsius, which according to weather scientists is drastic and can be taken as an indication for future climatic changes.

Punjab has been recording an average maximum temperature of 38.6 degrees in the month of May for the past two decades, with the daily temperature fluctuating between 37 and 44 degrees Celsius.

This time the average temperature for May has been recorded at 36 degrees Celsius, which is a fall of around 2.6 degrees.

Experts said that the foremost reason for this fall is because of the three Western Disturbances (WDs) which occurred in May in the state and the impact of two cyclones — Yass and Tauktae — which hit the country.

“The average maximum temperature of the state this year for May was around 36 degrees Celsius. Before this it was 38.6 degrees Celsius for the past two decades,” confirmed Dr Prabhjot Kaur, the head of the Department for Climate Change and Agricultural Meteorology, Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), Ludhiana.

“The Western disturbances and the cyclones impacted the weather of the state, leading to the coolest May month in past 20 years,” she said, adding that there were sudden ups and downs in temperature.

“Both maximum and minimum average temperatures for May were below normal this time,” said Surinder Pal, Director of Indian Met Department, Chandigarh Office.

“May is known for its hot winds and temperatures that remain in the 40 to 41 degrees Celsius range, predominantly. This time the hot wind days were very few. When the hot winds started blowing, the very next day there was rain or strong dusty winds which used to keep the temperature below normal,” the HOD said.

She added that frequent sharp falls of 5-6 degrees Celsius were noticed in the temperature within 24 hours, which was also a peculiar phenomenon. Earlier, the temperature mostly only dipped by around 2-3 degrees in a day, that too very infrequently.

“Even winds blowing at the speed of 30-40 kmph were quite frequent this time, which is quite unusual in May,” said Dr Kaur.

She said that as an environmentalist, she believed that such fluctuations were not good as such climatic variabilities (sudden departure) impact the flora and fauna of the region.

“When we talk about climate change, we mean that the temperature of the earth has gone up by 0.8 or one degrees in the past 100 years. This much change leads to global warming-like situation. In this case, the average temperature has slipped by 2.5 degrees. Although it is too early to determine anything and we cannot arrive at conclusions based on the average temperature of one month. But sudden falls in average temperature is a big climatic challenge, and it may continue to be so in the future too,” said Dr Kaur.

“Such sudden changes affect the crops also,” she said.

Even in May, the average rainfall has seen a big departure this year in the region. Chandigarh witnessed around 60mm of rainfall in May against the normal of around 32 mm, around 45 mm of rain was witnessed in Haryana against normal 17 mm normal, and 25 mm rain was recorded in Punjab against the normal 17 mm.

In Ludhiana, 37 mm rain was recorded against the normal of 23.3 mm in the month of May, said Dr Kaur said, adding that the entire pattern of weather is different this year so far.

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