Globally, the average temperature over land and ocean surfaces made January 2020 the hottest January on record, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) whose dataset dates back to 1880.
In India, January 2020 was the second warmest since 1919 in terms of average minimum temperatures, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data dating back to 1901.
# Against a January normal of 20.59°C, minimum temperatures for January 2020 averaged approximately 21.92°C, a deviation of 1.33°C. The only warmer January on record was January 1919 at about 22.13°C, an anomaly of 1.54°C. The only other years when January was warmer than normal were 1901 (+1.23°C), 1906 (+1.1°C) and 1938 (+1.05°C).
# The average maximum for January 2020 was the third highest on record at 30.72°C (normal 30°C), after 2016 (+1.1°C) and 2013 (+0.95°C).
# India’s mean temperature anomaly for January crossed 1°C for the first time since 1901. Against a January normal of 25.3°C, the mean temperature was 26.32°C — a deviation of 1.02°C. Other years when January mean temperature was over normal were 2016 (+0.88°C) , 2013 (+0.87°C), 1998 (+0.78°C) and 2005 (+0.57°C).
# Bucking the nationwide January trend, the overall winter in North India was harsh, with some areas in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand experiencing record cold conditions leading to extreme snowfall. In Delhi, cold-day conditions broke records during December, including a 17-day cold spell when the maximum plunged up to 4°C. Punjab and Rajasthan, too, had severe cold conditions in December and January.
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# The January 2020 globally averaged temperature departure from average over land and ocean surfaces was the highest in the 141-year NOAA record, at 1.14°C above the 20th-century average of 12°C. This surpassed the 2016 record by only 0.02°C. Across all months, only March 2016, February 2016 and December 2015 had a greater temperature departure.
# January 2016 and 2020 were the only Januaries with a global temperature departure from average above 1°C. The four warmest Januaries have occurred since 2016; the 10 warmest Januaries have all occurred since 2002.
# The January 2020 temperature departure was the highest monthly temperature departure without an El Niño present in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
With ENS in New Delhi
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