Winters: India

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See also individual months e.g. November weather in India <> December weather in India <> January weather in India <> February weather in India <>Winter rains: India etc.

This is a collection of articles mainly from the Delhi- based press.
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City-/ region- wise

Udhagamandalam/ Ooty

Minus 5°C: at Sandinala, about 10 km from Ooty December 28, 2017

Minus 3°C: December 24 2017 in areas near Ooty

0°C: Ooty itself recorded a minimum temperature of zero degree Celsius on early December 28, 2017 The Press Trust of India had reported, "The weather condition also resulted in formation of thin layer of ice on majority of water bodies”

0.4°C: Ooty proper: 2022 February 12

History: Shantha Thiagarajan/ Cold wave: Ooty shivers at 2.8 degrees Celsius/ India Times- The Times of India / Jan 11, 2023 added “The mercury sometimes dips to zero degrees Celsius between November 15 and February 26.

In the winter of 2008, the temperature touched -2 degrees Celsius. On February 12 2022, it recorded 0.4 degrees Celsius.

[Jan 2023] Some areas in Coonoor and Wellington witnessed frost formation …There were no reports of damage to tea gardens in and around Ooty due to frost formation.

The first recorded account of frost in the Nilgiris was in a letter from , the founder of British settlement in Ooty, to Sir Thomas Munro, who served as an East India Company Army officer and statesman. Sullivan wrote the lette from his first camp in Kotagerry Hills on January 8, 1819. "It freezes here every night, this morning we found ice in our water pots half an inch thick close to our tents," Sullivan wrote.

Colder than usual winters

2020: Oct to Dec

Priyangi Agarwal, January 1, 2021: The Times of India

Delhi had its second coldest December in 15 years with the national capital recording a mean minimum temperature of 7.1 degrees Celsius, according to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). The city also recorded eight cold wave days this month which was joint highest in 55 years, as the same number of cold wave days were recorded in December 2018. In 1965, nine cold wave days were reported in December, IMD data shows.

On Thursday, Delhi recorded the season’s lowest minimum at 3.3 degrees Celsius, four notches below normal.

The coldest December was reported in 2018 with mean minimum temperature of 6.7 degrees Celsius and before this, the average monthly temperature dipped below in December was in 2005 at 6 degrees Celsius. Met official said a cold wave day is declared when the minimum temperature is 4 or more notches below normal or when the minimum temperature is less than 4 degrees Celsius. The mean minimum temperature of December is 8.3 degrees Celsius.

In 2020, city had coldest Nov in 71 yrs, coldest Oct in 58 yrs

Met officials said the factors that led to cold wave and below normal temperatures in December were chilly northwesterly winds from western Himalayan region, which received snowfall, clear sky mostly in second half of the month, uplifted fog, global factor La Nina and less influence of western disturbances in the plains.

According to IMD, the first 12 days of December mostly remained warmer than usual. “Minimum temperature was near normal till December 12 due to western disturbances which affected plains of North West India. Clouds and rainfall due to these western disturbances put the temperatures near normal,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, scientist at IMD and head, Regional Weather Forecasting Centre.

After December 12, western disturbances mostly affected Western Himalayan region. The mountains in Jammu and Kashmir and Himanchal Pradesh under the influence of western disturbances received snowfall and rainfall. “After passing of the western disturbance, cold north-westerly winds are reaching Delhi-NCR from Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. ‘Uplifted fog’ over Punjab & Haryana made the winds reaching Delhi even colder,” said Srivastava.

In 2020, the national capital had recorded coldest November in 71 years and coldest October in 58 years. The maximum temperature recorded on Thursday was 17.4 degrees Celsius, two notches below normal. According to IMD, the maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to be 19 and 4 degrees, respectively, on Friday. Cold wave conditions are expected at isolated places. However, the maximum and temperatures may go up from January 2.

Cold waves

Cold wave days: 1951- 2011- 2021

Neha Madaan, February 1, 2023: The Times of India

India may have seen a number of record-breaking warm years in the recent decades, but there has been no let-up in the extreme cold waves in the country despite global warming, an IITM study has indicated.

The analysis, led by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) scientists Raju Mandal and Susmitha Joseph, took into account the number of cold wave events in the last seven decades, 1951–2022, and found that more cold wave days are occurring in the recent decades than in the previous ones.

“In the recent decade, more cold wave days have been observed across the central and eastern parts of the core cold wave zone in India. In the zone are east and west Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Vidarbha, Marathwada, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and some areas of northwest India such as Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi. Over the central and eastern parts, the average number of cold wave days has increased by more than five days per decade, and even by over 15 days per decade, in some places during the 2011-2021 period,” Mandal told TOI.

On an average, he said, the central and eastern parts of the core cold wave zone in India used to record 2-5 cold wave days per 10 years during most decades from 1951-2011. This rose to nearly 5-15 days in the last decade ending 2021.

“It could hence be concluded that the cold wave events tend to occur more over the central and eastern parts of this cold wave zone in recent times — except extreme north (for example Jammu & Kashmir) where no changes are seen over the decades. The data also showed that in parts of Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, cold wave days have increased to 5-10 per decade during the last 20-year period, as against an average of 2-5 in the previous decades,” Mandal said.

The study found that the longest cold waves (almost 61%) that occurred during the last eight decades were associated with La Nina conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Mandal said, “We wanted to understand through the study if there can be a reduction in cold wave events amidst a global warming scenario…”



Fog in Delhi, 2016- 2023 Feb
In Feb 2023 Delhi received its first February dense fog on the 22nd February .
Graphic courtesy: [ The Times of India]
‘’90% Of These Episodes Recorded Between Dec 18 And Jan 22’’

See graphic, ‘Fog in Delhi, 2016- 2023 Feb’


Dense fog is when visibility drops below 200 metres, which invariably affects traffic, rail and flight movement in the country.

IMD classifies the intensity of fog in terms of visibility. When visibility is under 50 metres, it is classified as ‘very dense fog’. Visibility between 50 and 200 metres is ‘dense’ fog, between 200 500 metres ‘moderate’ and between 500 and 1,000 metres ‘shallow’.

IMD’s data for the Palam monitoring station, where the met department monitors fog through the day, shows that the long period average for the winter season (November to February) for dense fog is 122 hours.

The intense spell of dense fog usually happens from mid-December to mid-January, but some episodes take place in other months too.

In 2022-23 Delhi recorded February’s first dense fog day on 22 Feb . However, such episodes happened in the same month in previous years too. In February 2022 and 2021, dense fog hours were 19and 28 hours, respectively.


2016-17: Delhi logged more hours of dense fog was in 2016-17, at 153, according to the India Meteorological Department.

2022- 2023 Feb: The city recorded 102 hours of dense fog so far this winter season, beginning November 2022, making it the most intense spell in the past six years, since 2017

2022- 2023 Feb: Though this winter witnessed fog spells 20 hours lower than normal, it still recorded the highest number of dense fog hours since 2016-17.

2022- 2023 Feb: In this winter season, dense fog was missing in November 2022 but December recorded 31 hours. January and the first 22 days of February have recorded dense fog for 66 and five hours, respectively . 2022- 2023 Feb: “Of the total dense fog hours this season, around 90% were formed between December 18, 2022 and January 22, 2023,” said RK Jenamani, senior scientist, IMD.

2021-22: According to IMD, the Capital was under the grip of dense fog for only 46 hours in the last winter season of 2021-22. Met officials said dense fog was missing in November and December 2021 due to less moisture and wind patterns. Similarly, winter 2018-19 saw dense fog for just 50 hours.

2017-23: However, the duration of dense fog in winter 2020-21 and 2019-20 was 99 and 71 hours, respectively. Like the 2022-23 t season, winter 2017-18 witnessed 102 hours of dense fog. 2021-22: According to IMD, the Capital was under the grip of dense fog for only 46 hours in the last winter season of 2021-22. Met officials said dense fog was missing in November and December 2021 due to less moisture and wind patterns. Similarly, winter 2018-19 saw dense fog for just 50 hours.

2017-23: However, the duration of dense fog in winter 2020-21 and 2019-20 was 99 and 71 hours, respectively. Like the 2022-23 t season, winter 2017-18 witnessed 102 hours of dense fog.


[February 1, 2024: The Times of India]

Dense fog recorded at IGI airport in December and January, 2013-24
From: [February 1, 2024: The Times of India]

Dec-Jan extreme: Dense fog for 128 hrs in 20 days

New Delhi : Delhi recorded visibility below 200 metres for 128 hours in 20 days of Dec23 and Jan 24, making this the third-most intense spell of dense fog in the past 10 years, according to India Meteorological Department.

In 2013-14, Delhi saw 160 hours of dense fog was in winter. The most intense spell of dense fog was in the winter (Dec and Jan) of 2014-15, which was for 174 hours.

IMD’s data for the IGI Airport monitoring station shows the long period average for winter season (Dec and Jan) for dense fog is 107 hours. This winter saw fog spells 21 hours higher than normal. 
The dense fog in Jan was also record-breaking. Jan saw dense fog for 14 days, totalling 88 hours. This was the third highest for any Jan between 2014 and 2024. The second-highest dense fog spell was in Jan 2015 for 98 hours. The highest was in 2014 with 121 hours in the past 10 years, according to the Met department.

Sunless days, several consecutive


2019, from December 12 till December 31, sunlight was blocked

2023 December 27 to 2024 Jan 5: clouds/ fog blocked sunlight

Longer than usual winters

North India, Lahore to Dhaka

Amit Bhattacharya, January 26, 2024: The Times of India

North India covered in fog for over 1 month, longest spell in sat records

2014:Daily satellite data started being analysed.

2023 (Dec 24) to 2024 (Jan 25 and beyond) (32 days and continuing ). This winter, fog and low cloud coverage over the IndoGangetic plains started around in the western end covering Punjab and Harya na. It spread to Delhi, north Rajasthan and west UP by Dec 25, and gradually covered east UP in the next few days and Bihar by Dec 31. Thereafter, it extended into parts of Bengal, Bangladesh and the northeast,” said R K Jenamani, senior IMD scientist who specialises in fog. This is a single spell of fog/ low cloud since it has continued to cover a large area of north India every day since Dec 24 , Jenamani said. During this period, the fog layer has waxed and waned in terms of the area under its coverage. At times it covered a 2,500km swathe from Lahore to Dhaka.

Amritsar and places in south Punjab have been among the worst hit, with dense fog having persisted on the surface for up to three days at a stretch on three different occasions. Delhi, Lucknow and Varanasi also had fog for nearly all days during this period. On the eastern side, the days of dense fog were lesser but shallow to moderate fog has been generally present,” said R K Jenamani.

Daylong fog cover, on the surface or uplifted, caused ‘cold day’ and severe ‘cold day’ conditions across the region, with the maximum temperature staying below 10 degrees C at multiple places. Amritsar recorded at least eight such days. The lowest maximum was 8.4 degrees C in Chandigarh (Jan 24) while Ganganagar (Rajasthan) logged 8.6 degrees C and Ludhiana 9 degrees C.

With day temperatures staying consistently low, night and early morning temperatures too fell at many places, especially on days when the fog had lifted in late afternoon. “We saw minimum temperature at 2-5 degrees in Punjab, south Haryana and Delhi as well as north Rajasthan, creating cold wave conditions, particularly from Jan 12 to 16,” Jenamani said.
Experts said the main reason for such a prolonged fog spell is the absence this winter of active western disturbances (WDs) — pulses of cool, moist winds coming into north India from regions around the Mediterranean that bring rain and snow to the region in winter.

2019-20, Dec 14 to Jan 2 ( roughly three weeks): the longest spell in the region after satellites started being used to monitor fog

2019, Feb 21- Mar 19/ Delhi: 26-day run of below-normal temperatures

Amit.Bhattacharya| Mercury hits 30°C, breaks 26-day run of below-normal temperatures | 19 Mar 2019 | The Times of India

[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.

Winters as a whole

1996-2019, Delhi: the coldest winters; average temperatures

1996-2019, Delhi: the coldest winters; average temperatures
From [ The Times of India ]

Amit.Bhattacharya | This was Delhi’s coldest Dec-Jan in 13 years | The Times of India

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

Neha Madaan | 3/14/2018| The Times of India

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.

See also

January weather in India <> February weather in India <> March weather in India <> April weather in India <> May weather in India <> June weather in India <> Summers: India<> July weather in India <> August weather in India <> September weather in India <> Monsoons: India<> October weather in India <> November weather in India <> December weather in India <> Winter rains: India <> Winters: India

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