The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday said that this winter season would be warmer than usual across the country, barring extreme northern regions like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and neighbouring areas.
IMD, in its statement for the Seasonal Temperature Outlook issued for the period December to February, said that the seasonal average minimum temperature would remain above normal by over one degree Celsius.
“The moisture levels over the southern peninsular region will remain higher than normal during the winter months. Also, greater solar penetration due to lesser cloud cover that would prevail over the most parts of the the country would also contribute towards keeping the minimum temperatures, especially during the night hours, above normal,” D Sivanand Pai, who heads the Climate Research and Services at IMD, Pune told The Indian Express.
Meteorologists have also attributed climate change for the overall warming observed, particularly during the winter.
The IMD has also ruled out the possibility of any severe cold wave spells over the core cold wave zone (CWZ) during the next three months.
The regions falling under CWZ include Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Telangana and meteorological sub-divisions of Madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada, Vidarbha and Saurashtra. Generally, three to four cold spells sweep these areas during the winter months.
Earlier this week, Ministry of Earth Sciences secretary M Rajeevan had said that 2019 is set to be the second hottest calendar year recorded.
As per the Extended Range Prediction forecasts issued by the Met office, dry but warm conditions are expected to prevail over most parts of the country.