Why Delhi air is warm this winter

By: Mahesh Palawat

New Delhi, January 19 (G’nY News Service): Winter chill remained out of sight in most parts of North India, although the last few days have marked a slight dip in temperatures. States including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi-NCR have been recording temperatures way above normal. While the plains of North India usually observe chilly winters, this season has a different story to tell.

December and January are the peak winter months for almost the entire country. The chill factor is on the higher side during December and shows an increasing trend as we step into January.

Chilly winters continue till end January. However, during February, there is a significant improvement in the weather conditions. Around Basant Panchami, winter chill takes a backseat, and slightly warmer weather conditions take over.

However, this year, north India is warm as compared to other winter months. Both maximums and minimums have been well above the average. Reason for these above normal temperatures can be attributed to less number of strong western disturbances (WD). Due to absence of any strong WD, heavy to very snowfall did not occur over hills of western Himalaya.

Though the frequency of WD’s has been normal but their intensity was on lower side. Moreover, the path of these weather systems has also been confined to higher reaches of the western Himalaya. If they would have traveled in lower latitudes over Haryana and Delhi and had yielded rain then the winter would have been harsh. Due to absence of winter rains humidity level remained low and dense fog did not occur. During foggy days the sun remains obscured and chill factor becomes prominent.

Due to feeble WD, normal pattern of icy cold winds blowing from north is interrupted frequently. An anticyclone also persisted over Rajasthan for many days due to which warm and humid winds continued over northern plains.

Thus we can summarise the following factors for a relatively warm winter this year:
1.    Less number of strong WD and lesser snowfall.
2.    Absence of winter rains.
3.    No dense fog.
4.    Feeble WD interrupting normal flow of icy cold winds from snow clad mountains.


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