Winter this year has been a long one for the northern parts of India. Not only have the snowfall activities been at their peak, but also, the winter chill has persisted for a very long time.
As per weather experts, this brutally cold winter could be linked to polar vortex which occurs when the Arctic region cold blast spills southwards which has been the case since late December.
Temperatures have been on a reducing note for quite a few places in India even now, with parts of Rajasthan recording temperatures below the freezing point as well. Experts believe that this persisting winter chill could be linked to the breaking up of polar vortex which has already caused freezing conditions in Europe before and is currently causing severe snow storms in United States.
The cold from the Arctic is being spilled into Europe and US which has been pushing Western Disturbances more towards the South than its normal position. Thereby, transmitting the cold weather of Southern Europe into Northern parts of India.
Western disturbances are low pressure winds that travel westwards from the Mediterranean region bringing cold winds which impact the northern parts of India particularly the Himalayas. The disruption in the polar vortex has resulted in warm winds entering the upper atmosphere over the Arctic resulting in a warming of the stratosphere over the North Pole which has further caused temperatures in the region increasing by tens of degrees. This could cause the cold trapped in the Arctic to spill out.
This time, Western Disturbances have been more frequent in time and more in number as compared to other years. The polar vortex is a rapid current affair with spins counterclockwise preventing Arctic weather from escaping into other parts.
Disruptions in polar vortex has been seen in the recent years due to changes in the jet stream which can further be attributed to the condition of global warming. This year, the Himalayas have seen several Western Disturbances with the last one of January currently impacting Kashmir and the other parts of the hills. As we move towards February, more are coming up.
Image Credit: NDTV