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2021 witnessed third warmest winter, reveals IMD analysis

Among the spatial regions, the maximum increase in temperatures and deviation from the normal temperatures were observed in the North-Western region of India.

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The winters for the year 2021 were short-lived as many parts of India witnessed a sudden rise in temperatures, which points to the upcoming intense summers in India. According to the National Weather Forecasting Centre of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), January- February of 2021 marked the third warmest on records. The average maximum, average minimum and mean temperature for the whole country as a whole during Winter 2021(January to February) were 27.47ºC, 15.39ºC and 21.43ºC respectively, against the normal of 26.70ºC, 14.59ºC and 20.65ºC based on the study for the period 1981-2010.

Among the spatial regions, the maximum increase in temperatures and deviation from the normal temperatures were observed in North-Western region of India where maximum temperatures were up 1.27ºC, while minimum temperatures too were 0.61ºC above normal lows recorded during winter (Jan-Feb) 2021. The total rise in temperatures for North-West India was 0.94ºC.

The more worrying news is for the month of February. In February 2021, the actual observed average maximum, average minimum and mean temperature for the country as a whole were 29.09 ºC, 16.01 ºC and 22.55 ºC respectively, which are again above normal.

In February again, the average maximum and mean temperature over Northwest India as a whole during February 2021 were 24.4 ºC and 16.92 ºC respectively. The maximum and mean temperatures over Northwest India exceeded the normal during February (by 2.94ºC and 2.11ºC respectively) making it the second warmest February since 1901.

The coming summer months for North, Northwestern, and Central India are expected to be hard. The study pointed out that rainfall over the country as a whole for the winter season, 2021 was recorded 27.8 mm which is 32 per cent  less than its Long Period Average (LPA) of 40.8 mm. The summers could see water scarcity in these areas.

For southern India, the maximum and mean temperatures stood at 26.46 ºC and 25.86 ºC which exceeded the normal by 0.60ºC, showing the least increase in temperatures among all the regions in India. Rainfall over South Peninsular India was recorded 56.1mm during the season was fourth-highest since 1901, according to IMD. February 2021 also witnessed heavy rainfall events over few stations in South Peninsular India.

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