With eight different climatic zones, you could witness numerous shades of weather in India throughout the year. However, winter in India has been particularly unusual and vastly varied this year. From rainy and stormy conditions to snowfall in the higher reaches, this winter season is seeing it all! Here’s a look at the varied weather events in India so far.
North India – In the hills of North India, Srinagar is currently freezing with night temperatures constantly plummeting to sub-zero levels, recording at around -3⁰C. Leh too continues to remain under freezing point with minimum temperature sticking around -9⁰C. But in the plains, capital city Delhi is far from feeling the winter chill. Just like those woolens, the notorious ‘dilli-ki-sardi’ is yet to come out of the closet. With maximums maintaining 3 to 4 degrees above normal, at 28⁰C in the month of December, the start of the winter has been warm. Forecast suggests cold days could begin by the middle of the week in Delhi and adjoining states.
East and Northeast – While Delhi is yet to face the chill, parts of Uttar Pradesh in East India are facing immense trouble because of the already severe cold conditions. Lucknow and Kanpur have been recording minimum temperatures between 6⁰C to 8⁰C. In Muzzaffarnagar, over 25 children have died in relief camps due to cold. And that’s not all, last month; Varanasi recorded a minimum of 9⁰C, which was the lowest in ten years. Fog situation and poorer visibility levels (700 meters in Lucknow) have further added to the misery.
Fog, which is a famous characteristic of the winter weather in Delhi and North India, has been missing in the region till now because of less number of Western Disturbances this year.
Central India- Generally quite pleasant and cool during winters, Central India has been warmer this time around. Lack of a strong system in the north has failed to affect the weather in Central India. Night temperatures saw a rise of about 4 degrees in Bhopal, settling at 19⁰C. After witnessing the strongest and one of the most devastating cyclones (Phailin) of the year 2013, Odisha saw maximum temperatures rising to about 30⁰C, making the days quite warm and uncomfortable. Mumbai and Ratnagiri in Maharashtra have been maintaining their position of being the warmest in India in the winter season, with maximums touching 36⁰C at times.
Unexpected and unseasonal rain spells were other weather events, along with high temperatures that kept Central India occupied. Despite the absence of a weather system in the region, Aurangabad recorded 60 mm of rain on Tuesday, Dec 2. Indore too record 10 mm of rain on Dec 3.
South India– Winter weather in South India has been the most eventful, constantly stealing all the limelight. The number of cyclones and systems (Phailin, Helen and Lehar) forming rapidly in the Bay of Bengal brought good amounts of rain in South India, however, it destroyed crops worth crores of rupees. Despite of a number of cyclones which brought rain, rainfall figures varied all across South India. While Andhra Pradesh received excess rainfall by about 114% till the end of November, Tamil Nadu continues to face a deficit of about 40%, with the interiors of the state alone facing a rain deficit of over 80%.
Photo by Ritika Acharya.