January weather in India
This is a collection of articles mainly from the Delhi- based press.
This page is under construction
January as a whole
Delhi/ warmest January days, 1994- 2019
See graphic, ' Delhi’s warmest January days, 1994- 2019 '
2019/ Prolonged winter: seven WDs
Western disturbances (WDs) are pulses of low pressure winds that travel westwards from in and around Mediterranean region, bringing cold, moist winds that either hit the Himalayas — impacting northern India
This January, seven WDs have hit north India as opposed to the normal of four to six
NEW DELHI: The long and chilly winter in north India this year could be linked to cold blasts from the Arctic region that have been spilling southwards since late December due to the breakdown of a wind circulation called the polar vortex, Indian Met officials said.
As north India continues to reel under severe cold, with the temperature dropping to -1.1 degrees Celsius in Churu, Rajasthan on [29 Jan] an official in the India Meteorological Department said the sustained chill over the region appears to be linked to the polar vortex breaking up — an event that has brought freezing spells in Europe and is currently unleashing severe snowstorms in the US.
“The cold from the Arctic has been spilling southwards into Europe and US due to the weakening of westerly currents. This seems to pushing western disturbances more southwards than normal towards northern India. In effect, this is transmitting the cold from southern Europe into north India,” said D Sivananda Pai, head of IMD’s long range forecasting.
Western disturbances (WDs) are pulses of low pressure winds that travel westwards from in and around Mediterranean region, bringing cold, moist winds that either hit the Himalayas — impacting northern India — or blow over to the north.
This January, seven WDs have hit north India as opposed to the normal of four to six. “These weather disturbances have been impacting the region every three-four days this month,” said B P Yadav, head of IMD’s Regional Meteorological Centre here.
Ironically, the disruption in the polar vortex was caused by warm winds entering the upper atmosphere over the Arctic causing “sudden stratospheric warming” over the North Pole that sent temperatures in the region rapidly up by tens of degrees. This sent the cold normally trapped in the Arctic spilling out.
The polar vortex is a counterclockwise-spinning rapid current of air that prevents the frigid Arctic weather from escaping into other regions. However, there have been increasing disruptions in the vortex in recent decades because of changes in the jet stream that some studies have attributed to global warming.
The sudden disruption in the polar vortex also seems to have upset IMD’s forecast of a warm winter this season.
The last WD of January hit north India [on 29 Jan].
Indo-Gangetic plains/ December, January, 1979 -2013:
A new study of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, has found that abnormal air circulation patterns in two far-away regions — the Arctic and Eurasia — have links to fog over the Indo-Gangetic plains of north India.
Based on an analysis of 105 cases of fog events in the period between 1979 and 2013, the study reported that widespread fog conditions over the Indo-Gangetic plains were connected to the abnormal movement of high pressure systems over the Arctic Circle and the Eurasian middle latitudes.
The Arctic is approximately 9,240km away from India. About 2,910km separates India from Eurasia.
“When an environment with lower air pressure surrounds the Arctic region, the cold air stays locked-up within the Arctic Circle. The development of high air pressure over the Arctic Circle, combined with east-west movements of air circulation over Eurasia, can cause more cold air to advance towards the tropical latitudes and the Indo-Gangetic plains,” said Ramesh Vellore, a scientist from IITM involved in the study.
Sinking of cold air coming from the Arctic and Eurasian regions over the Indo-Gangetic plains allows development of high pressure and favours fog formation in the presence of moisture close to the surface. Fog scenario in the Indo-Gangetic plains commonly occurs because of the development of a highpressure environment over the Himalayan valley.
Researchers suggested a suitable methodology could be devised to improve fog forecast assessment by combining the Arctic and Eurasian aspects. Number of studies in the past have associated the region’s fog lifecycle in this region to increasing pollution particulate matter arising from growing population, rapid urbanisation, biomass burning, and industrial and vehicular activities in the Indo-Gangetic plains.
The study period for the research was December and January months from 1979 to 2013. Daily summaries of surface meteorological observations (temperatures, humidity, winds, surface pressure, rainfall and other indicators of local weather phenomena like thunderstorms, fog and dust storms) documented by the National Data Centre, India Meteorological Department, Pune, were used in the study. Twenty-six stations, three each from Punjab, Haryana, and Bihar, two from New Delhi, 14 from Uttar Pradesh and one from Uttarakhand, were chosen for the study.
Delhi/ Years of high rainfall, 1999-2019
59.7mm of rain in January 1999.
47.9mm rainfall: 1-22 Jan 2019.
45.8mm rainfall in January 2009.
Indpaedia adds: By a coincidence, the three years with the highest rainfall in the period 1999-2019 all ended in a 9. In other words, very high January rainfall occurs in Delhi after every ten years.
HP and Uttarakhand, 2015-18
See graphic, ' January snowfall in HP and Uttarakhand, 2015-January 17, 2018 '
HP, Uttarakhand, 2018
Apple Crop, Water Supply Could Be Hit
2018-01-18: The peak winter period is almost over in north India and no major hill station in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand has yet received a single spell of snow. January has been almost totally dry across the region so far
Uttarakhand has a 100% rain deficit in January so far, while in Himachal Pradesh it is more than 99%. The northern plains too have had no rain in January, which is a major reason for the mild winter so far.
In fact, just one major wet spell has hit north India this winter. That came around December11-12, when most parts of the plains got rain while the higher reaches of the Himalayas had snowfall. For the rest of December, rain/snow remained confined to Jammu and Kashmir and a few places in the higher Himalayas.
This winter, the position of western disturbances (WDs) coming into north India has been more northerly than usual. These have mainly affected northern J&K, leaving almost no impact on the rest of the region. Most of the WDs have also been feeble,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, head of the IMD’s Regional Weather Forecasting Centre.
WDs, which are waves of cold, moist winds coming in from southern Europe and west Asia, are the only source of wet weather in winter across north India. WDs also regulate the weather during the season, bringing in cold spells in their wake.
“Shimla hasn’t recorded any snow this winter. In January, it hasn’t even rained so far. If the dry weather continues through the month, it would be the first time in 11 years that Himachal’s capital will go snowless in January,” said Manmohan Singh, head of Shimla’s Met office.
The official said there was growing concern over the impact of the dry weather on the state’s apple production, as the minimum number of chilling hours required for a good output has not been met so far. “Low snowfall accelerates melting of glaciers. In low snowfall years, Himalayan rivers have less water in summer which impacts irrigation in downstream states such as Punjab and Haryana while hitting hydro-power production,” Singh said.
“There has been no snow activity yet in Uttarakhand this month due to absence of any strong WD,” said Bikram Singh, director of the regional Met centre in Dehradun. Mukteshwar, where the sole IMD snow gauge in the state is located, is yet to record any activity this winter.
Mallika Virde, environmental activist and sarpanch of a van panchayat near Munsiyari, a town at the base of the Panchachuli peaks in Pithoragarh district, said the town received just one snow spell this winter.
HP: Jan 2018, 2019
See graphic, ' Snowfall in HP in Jan 2018 and till 19 Jan 2019 '
See graphic, ' The difference between Jan 2019’s snowfall and what was seen in January 2018, which was a particularly dry month, is clearly captured in Nasa’s satellite images '
2019: till 19 Jan
January continues to be “white” in the hills of north India as the month’s fifth spell of snow hit the region from 18 Jan. The difference between this season’s snowfall and what was seen last January which was a particularly dry month — is clearly captured in Nasa’s satellite images.
Good snowfall is crucial for water availability insummer months, across north India. “This is the best snowfall we have had in Uttarakhand in at least the last three years. Snow is the main source of water in the Himalayan rivers that feed the northern plains. If we get two-three more snow spells of in February and March, water discharge in the rivers will remain relatively high till peak summer,” said D P Dobhal, glaciologist at the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology in Dehradun.
Uttarakhand’s lone snow gauge at Mukteshwar has only recorded trace snowfall this month (on January 6), indicating that the lower hills in the state haven’t received much snow yet. However, the higher reaches are covered in white, including the Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines. “In Munsiyari in Pithoragarh district, we have had around five spells of snow so far this winter, which is around normal,” said mountaineer Mallika Virde, who lives in Sarmoli village, near Munsiyari.
Srinagar has already received 54cm of snow, very close to the entire month’s normal of 57cm. “We expect above normal snowfall this winter,” said Sonam Lotus, chief of Srinagar Met department.
Himachal too is in line for record snowfall. Kothi in Kullu district has received 110cm of snow this month, nearly 15 times more than what it got last January (7.5cm). “Temperatures have been quite low this month. This, coupled with frequent western disturbances, has brought heavy snow in many districts of Himachal,” said Manmohan Singh, head of the regional met department at Shimla.
Shimla has received 8.5cm of snow so far this month, surpassing last January’s 5cm, with more expected in the next few days.
Munnar/ minus 4°C, 2009
Chenduvarai near Munnar recorded a low of -4 degree Celsius on January 1, 2009, the lowest in memory.
Jammu & Kashmir
Jammu Minimum temperature was 6.0 degree C
Kargil minus 6.1 degrees Celsius
Leh minus 14.7 degrees
Central Pakistan to Tripura
At 9.30am on 3 Jan 2018, an unbroken layer of fog was spread across more than 2,000km of the Indian subcontinent — starting from central Pakistan in the west, running right through the Indo-Gangetic plains and ending around Tripura.
Experts said, in terms of territory covered, it was one of the largest simultaneously formed, single fog episodes over any land area in the world.
The daytime multi-channel fog detection scheme image captured by Insat 3D shows the fog covering at least four countries — Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. The fog actually began on Christmas Day in east UP and Bihar.
15 airports reported fog on Wednesday morning
The only comparable fog episode of this scale will have been from this region itself in previous years. Wednesday’s spread was certainly larger than other fog episodes in places such as central China, Italy or the California valley,” said R K Jenamani, head of the Met office at Delhi’s IGI Airport.
“After covering east UP and Bihar on Christmas, it started covering more areas in its west, including Delhi, by December 31. By January 2, it had covered Punjab and was continuing to move west into Pakistan. It has severely affected aviation, rail and road transport, and caused a sharp drop in day temperatures across the region,” Jenamani said.
Ironically, however, although the fog reached its maximum spread at 9.30am on Wednesday, visibility at many places in north India, including in Delhi-NCR, was in fact better at that time than in the previous two days. “The satellite picture shows the extent of the fog. What it doesn’t show is that at many places, the fog wasn’t actually on the surface but a few hundred metres in the air, like a very low cloud. Technically, it’s still a fog,” said Jenamani.
According to the IMD website, at least 15 airports in the country reported moderate to severe fog between 6.30am and 9.30am on Wednesday. These include Agartala, Patna, Gaya, Guwahati, Gorakhpur, Allahabad, Agra, Lucknow, Varanasi, Rae Bareli, Chandigarh, Jammu, Ludhiana and Pantnagar. The worst hit was Amritsar, which had visibility below 100m for 18 hours, from 6.30pm on Tuesday till 12.30pm on Wednesday.
Delhi, however, had visibility of around 300m. The Met office said visibility would further improve over the next two-three days. Fog is formed when a cold, moist air current meets relatively warm air, leading to formation of fine water droplets.
Jammu & Kashmir
Fog hits train, air service; 2 flights cancelled
Banihal maximum 16.5 degree C and minimum zero degree Celsius,
Batote maximum 13.2 deg C and minimum 2 degree C.
Bhaderwah maximum 12.6 deg C and minimum minus 0.1 degree C. Bhaderwah experienced snowfall in the higher reaches during last 24 hours.
Bhaderwah-Bani road also experienced heavy snowfall in the Chatergala Pass area.
Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 6.8 degree Celsius while the day temperature of the place was 1.8 degree Celsius, 0.2 degree Celsius above normal.
Jammu recorded season’s lowest temperature: 4.3 Deg C, which is about 3 degree below normal. Maximum 15.1 degree C
Kargil town recorded coldest night of the season: 20 degrees below the freezing point. The minimum temperature in Kargil town plummeted over 14 degrees from the previous night’s low of minus 6.1 degrees Celsius to settle at a low of minus 20.6 degrees Celsius. Kargil was the coldest recorded place in the State
Katra recorded a maximum temperature of 17 degree C and minimum 6.2 deg C,
Kokernag recorded minus 1.7 degree Celsius while the day temperature of the place settled at 8.6 degree Celsius, 3.0 degree Celsius above normal.
Kupwara recorded a low of minus 3.8 degree Celsius while the day temperature of the place was 8.6 degree Celsius, 3.0 degree Celsius above normal.
Leh town recorded a minimum temperature of minus 16.6 degrees Celsius last night down from minus 14.7 degrees the previous night. This was the lowest night temperature of the season last night in Leh as well.
Pahalgam recorded minus 6.1 degree Celsius while the day temperature of the place settled at 8.0 degree Celsius, 3.2 degree Celsius above normal.
Qazigund recorded minus 4.0 degree Celsius last night while the day temperature settled at 10.0 degree Celsius, 2.9 degree Celsius above normal.
Srinagar recorded minus 4.1 degree Celsius temperature last night while the day temperature settled at 10.7 degree Celsius, 3.8 degree Celsius above normal.
A senior official at Jammu Airport said that due to dense fog in parts of Jammu and the northern region, two flights of Indo Airways and Air India were cancelled today while most of the flights were delayed. The first Indigo flight could land only at around 1.20 pm today at Jammu Airport. All other flights operated thereafter. He said not only in Jammu, the dense fog in Delhi and other parts of northern region delayed the operation of flights. The train services were also badly delayed in the region due to poor visibility and foggy weather conditions. A Northern Railways spokesman said that Indore- Jammu Express was delayed by three hours, Kolkata- Katra by two hours, Shiv Shakti by two hours, Hemkund Express also by two hours, Bathinda-Jammu Express by 6 hours, Sialdah Express by 7 hrs, Kathgodam Garibrath by 7 hours, Jhelum Express by 10 hours, Archana Express by 7 hours, Ahmedabad-Udhampur Express by 18 hours, Tata Moorie by 17 hours, Jamnagar-Jammu by 10 hours, Malwa Express by 6 hours while other trains by one to two hours.
The inter-state bus service in the region has also been affected badly due foggy weather conditions.
Munnar, Kerala/ minus 3°C, frost; ‘snowfall' in Kannimala/ 2019
KOCHI: Parts of popular hill station Munnar witnessed sub-zero temperatures with Chendura, Chittuvara and Lakkad recording minus 3 degrees Celsius on 5th Jan. Thick layers of frost and fog turned the grassland areas into a white carpet across the entire land. The meteorological department said that dry weather prevailed with minimum temperatures falling well below normal in Malappuram and Kollam districts. Idukki, Wayanad, Alappuzha, Kannur, Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram districts recorded fall in minimum temperatures on 6th Jan. On 5 and 6 Jan, temperatures in Munnar town, Gudarvila, Nallathanni, Kannimala, Lakshmi and Kundala touched as low as minus 1 degree Celsius. Grasslands and plantations wore a snowy look as frost carpeted the land in many places. Farmers in Munnar said that the drop in minimum temperatures would impact the crops, especially in the budding season as plants are very stressed out, trying to beat the frost in the night.
Munnar/ minus 4°C, 2019
The cold wave continued to grip Kerala with the season’s lowest temperature of minus four (-4) degree Celsius being recorded at Chenduvarai near Munnar.
Delhi/ 21.3°C mx, 4.5°C min, 2019
The maximum temperature was 21.3 degrees Celsius, one notch above normal, while the minimum was 4.5 degrees Celsius, three degrees below average. This is the coldest January 16 in terms of minimum temperature since 2012.
Delhi/ 25.9°C mx, 5.7°C min, 2019
The mercury rose to 25.9°C— six notches above the average The rise in temperature was due to a western disturbance, a Met department official said. The minimum which was recorded at 5.7°C — one notch lower than normal
Delhi/ 28.7°C warmest January day since 2007; mn 7°C/ 2019
A day before wet weather hit the capital, the mercury climbed to 28.7°C on 20th, seven notches above normal, making it the warmest January day in the city in 12 years and the second warmest in at least 27 years. The sharp rise in temperature was caused by warm southerly winds sucked into the region by the western disturbance that [was] forecast to bring rain [the next day].
Delhi/ 12°C mn (very high), 2014
The minimum temperature on January 22: in 2014, it touched 12 degrees Celsius, being the highest then.
Delhi/ 19.4°C mx, 12.5°C mn (very high), very heavy rain, 2019
Heavy rain, thundershower and hail lashed many parts of the city from 21 Jan night and continued till 22 Jan morning. After the overnight rainfall, heavy overcast conditions in the morning plunged the city into pitch darkness before another rain spell hit Delhi, making this the wettest January in the city since 1999.
From Monday night to Tuesday 8.30am, 14.8mm rainfall was recorded at Safdarjung, 26.1mm at Ayanagar and 22.8 at Palam. From 8.30am to 5.30pm, 27.2mm was recorded at Safdarjung, while Ayanagar and Palam recorded 16.9mm and 6.2mm, respectively.
On Tuesday, the maximum temperature was 19.4 degrees Celsius, two notches below normal, while the minimum was 12.5 degrees Celsius, five degrees above normal. This is the highest minimum temperature on January 22 since 2012.
Delhi/ 19.9°C mx, 8°C mn; 27.8mm rain/ 2019
Humidity levels oscillated between 77% and 100%.
Delhi’s minimum on Wednesday was 8 degrees Celsius and the maximum 19.9, one degree below normal for this time of the season. Dense fog affected both train and flight operations as the visibility fell below 200 metres.
After recording the cleanest air quality index (AQI) of 104 (moderate) in four months on 22 Jan, the city air returned to ‘poor’ on 23 Jan with an overall AQI of 212.
An official said 27.8mm of rain was recorded in the last 24 hours.
An IGIA official said seven flights were diverted to nearby airports. Though no flight was cancelled, the schedule of around 100 got disrupted. At least 10 trains got delayed. “The early fog warnings at IGI Airport on Monday was the reason why not many flight operations were impacted,” said an official. A DIAL spokesperson said the visibility took a dip around 8am and became normal around 1pm.
Delhi, 5°C mn/ 2012
January 28 2012 the minimum temperature had dropped to 5.
Delhi, 18.9°C mx, 5.5°C mn/ 2019
The capital saw a chilly day on Monday as the maximum and minimum temperatures touched 18.9 and 5.5 degrees Celsius, respectively, three notches below normal. This was the chilliest January 28 since 2012.
Churu minus 1.1°C; Himalayas freeze; UP, Punjab cold/ 2019
See graphic, 'Minimum temperatures in North India on 29 Jan 2019 '
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