Weather conditions remained quite cruel for most parts of North India during the winter months of January and February. Month of February, otherwise the rainiest winter month for the plains witnessed near extinction of wet spells this season. Sub divisions of West & East Uttar Pradesh, East & West Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi have literally been routed with rainfall deficiency of 95-100%.
Absence of weather systems and consequently the winter rains, has raised the heat stress across the region. Both, day and night temperatures have persistently remained well above the normal. Increase in the irrigation cycles needed to compensate the depleted natural rains. Not only that process as such is laborious, it escalates the overhead cost. Any major rainfall deficiency becomes detrimental for the health of crops and artificial means of irrigation may not constitute a true substitute.
Vital wheat growing states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have encountered double whammy on account of weather conditions. Supposedly cool month of February has surpassed permissible limits of mercury variation, more so for the day temperatures across vast belt of North India. Monthly average temperatures, so far, are about 2.5 to 3 degree higher and are not expected to drop significantly in the remaining days of the month.
Subdued rain and snow over the mountains and scanty winter showers over the plains has accumulated excess heat across north India. Heat stress has been advected and travelled to parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra as well. Month of February is also known for some hailstorm activity over North India, parts of Maharashtra and Odisha. Only solace drawn from dry weather spell is that the adverse and damaging weather on account of hailstorm has been best avoided this season.