Cold wave conditions are expected to continue for most parts of India in the beginning of 2019, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said, with a “higher negative anomaly” gradually concentrating over the eastern belt by the end of this week. The winter conditions are crucial for the rabi crop, especially wheat in North India.
While the IMD had prior to the winter season said temperatures are likely to be “slightly above normal”, a senior official at the Ministry of Earth Sciences clarified that the IMD had predicted an average for the entire season and the prevailing cold wave was a normal occurrence during the winter months.
In other words, it will be a cold start to the new year, which will continue on in eastern parts of India such as Odisha, Chhattisgarh and adjoining regions that will be “under the grip of cold wave and lower minimum temperature” in the second and third week of January as well, according to IMD forecasts.
The present cold wave, which has lasted almost a week, has affected the entire North and Central India up to Odisha including Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand except West Bengal, a senior IMD official told The Indian Express. “Now, there is a western disturbance over Pakistan which will move over Jammu and Kashmir tomorrow, which will bring some respite from the cold wave,” the official said.
While it will mostly be below normal mean minimum temperature over India in the second week of January, there will be above normal mean minimum temperature over north and northwest India in the last two weeks of the month, the IMD has said. The mean maximum temperature in this time will mostly be below normal over most of India during week 1 and week 2.
“The severe cold wave situation was triggered by Pacific Ocean disturbances which came towards western Himalayas,” the IMD official said. “There was a little rise in temperature today (Monday) since yesterday there was a western disturbance coming towards Jammu and Kashmir. There is another expected on January 2, which will bring widespread snowfall to parts of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.