Lack of WD, cloudiness driving rise in mercury: IMD

As winter winds up with February approaching its end, the whole of north India is experiencing the blazing sun which is rare for this time of year.

The temperature on Tuesday afternoon touched 31 degrees Celsius, six degrees above normal, and is expected to soar further by the end of the month, Kuldeep Srivastava, Head, regional weather forecasting centre of India Meteorological Department (IMD) told IANS.

“It (temperature) is not generally recorded this high in February. However, on more than one occasions in the last decade, we have observed this change,” he said.

Srivastava said that the unexpected delay in Western Disturbance (WD) over northern part of the peninsula is the reason behind the warming mercury. “We had expected six WDs this month but only one has prevailed so far, that too over the hills,” he added.

Srivastava said that the absence of WD is impacting the density of the cloud formation which is giving way for the sun to shine brighter over the subcontinent. “WD brings rain/snow fall and clouds formed under its prevalence are denser. Since there is no WD occurring currently, the clouds formed have lost their density, now easily penetrable by the sunlight which is warming the surface,” he explained.

However, a respite from the blazing sun is expected since a fresh WD is impacting the Western Himalayan region. “Once that moves away, there will be a marginal and brief drop in temperatures in the national capital as cold northwesterly winds will be blowing. Otherwise, it’s likely to get warmer now,” Srivastava added.

The fresh WD over the Himalayan region is likely to influence weather conditions. The IMD has predicted on Tuesday “widespread rainfall or snowfall over Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit-Baltistan and Muzaffarabad, scattered rainfall/snowfall over Himachal Pradesh in the next three days and fairly widespread rainfall for the subsequent two days while scattered rainfall or snowfall over Uttarakhand during the next five days.”

Meanwhile, the maximum temperature recorded on Monday was 28.9 degrees, 4 degrees above normal, and the minimum temperature was 11 degrees, 0 degrees above normal. The weather department had earlier forecast the temperature to rise by five degrees to settle at 32 degrees while minimum is likely to be 12-13 degrees over most parts of northwest India by February 26.