This is a collection of articles mainly from the Delhi- based press.
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Winters as a whole
1996-2019, Delhi: the coldest winters; average temperatures
Delhi’s long and cold winter [Dec 2018- Jan 19] was the harshest the city has seen in 13 years and the second harshest this century in terms of minimum temperatures in December and January, Met department data reveals.
The sustained chill [Dec 2018- Jan 19] can be gauged from the fact that in the 47 days since December 15, when the severe chill set in, minimum temperatures have risen above normal on just nine days. This period includes 21 consecutive days (December 16-January 5, both included) of below-normal temperatures.
The two-month period also had 28 days when temperatures dropped to 6 degrees C or lower. The average minimum temperature in December and January was 6.8 degrees C, the lowest since the winter of 2005-06, when the average was a shade lower at 6.6 degrees.
While December 2018 was the third coldest in 50 years, January too turned out to be the coldest in six years, with the average minimum temperature during the month at 6.9 degrees C, almost a degree below nor mal.
“December was unusually cold this season due to a long dry spell when sustained northerly winds chilled the region. While January saw a large number of western disturbances, seven in total, most of them did not impact the plains. There were long gaps in between when northerly winds blew, keeping minimum temperatures low,” said B P Yadav, head of IMD’s Regional Meteorological Centre here.
Although January received 54.1mm of rain—as against a normal of 21.7mm — the highest for the month in 20 years, most of the rain was recorded over two days, January 21 and 22. There were five rainy days in the month.
“The impact of the January 21-23 rain and snow across the region was felt in Delhi from Republic Day onwards, as northerly winds brought the cold from the snow-covered mountains into the region, sending night temperature appreciably below normal for five straight days at the end of the month. In all, minimum temperatures were below normal for 21 days in January, which is rather high,” Yadav said.
Daily temperatures didn’t create many records. The lowest temperature during the period was 2.6 degrees C, recorded on December 29 and the December temperature in four years. However, the feature of this season was the sustained chill that began in mid-December and lasted till January end, with little respite in between.
Coming after five mild winters, the long chill this season was reminiscent of Delhi weather of decades ago with a high number of sunny days. These sunny days kept maximum temperatures at close to normal levels. In December, the average maximum temperature was 23 degrees C against a normal of 22.9 degrees, while in Janaury, it was 21.2 degrees, 0.7 degrees above normal (20.5).
The high number of sunny days have given some respite from the chilly nights in the capital. With cloudy weather and fog forecast in the next four-five days, the maximum temperatures are expected to stay below normal.
2018: Coldest Jan since 2012; 4th warmest winter since 1901
January 2018 in India, despite global warming, was the coldest since 2012. But the winter was the fourth warmest in the last 117 years, reports Neha Madaan.
Longer than usual winters
2019, Feb 21- Mar 19/ Delhi: 26-day run of below-normal temperatures
[On 19 Mar 2019], the mercury crossed 30 degrees Celsius for the first time [in 2019], ending a marathon run of 26 days of below-normal maximum temperatures in the city. This is also the first time [since 2015] that the first 30-degree day of the year in the capital has come after March 15. [2016-16] saw 30+ temperatures in February itself. In 2015, the first day of 30-degree temperature was recorded on March 20, a day later than [in 2019].
Nights too have been much cooler than normal so far. Night temperatures have remained below normal since February 24. That’s 23 days and counting.
In terms of average temperatures, both the maximum and minimum in March [2019, till the 19th] are as much as 3 degrees below normal. That’s a significant deviation which confirms — if any confirmation were needed — that Delhiites have experienced a long winter this year, spilling into the month of March.
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