What makes this December colder than ever?

Ankit Kumar
What makes this December colder than ever?
Chilling winters in North India

Finding the possible reasons of chilling winter in North India

Why is it so cold this year? North India continues to shiver as the temperature dipped to 1.2 degrees. Well, we are here to tell you possible reasons for what makes this December colder than ever. It’s not new for North Indians to come across intense fog, rainfall, and extremely cold temperature yet, this December North India is feeling the cold much more than the past year.

What changed in December 2019

The temperature in the second half of December and the first half of January routinely drops to 2 to 4 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature doesn’t dip below 16-18 degrees Celsius in most parts of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and western Uttar Pradesh in December. And in northern Rajasthan and Delhi, it usually doesn’t go below 20 to 22 degrees Celsius.

But this winter, in many parts of the region, the maximum temperature on some days has been nearly 10 degrees Celsius below normal.

The average maximum temperature in December 2019 until 27th December has been less than 20 degrees Celsius. This has happened only four times in the last 118 years. IMD (Indian Meteorological Department) has said that this month would be the second coldest December for Delhi since December 1901.

Delhi has clocked 14 consecutive “cold days” at a stretch from December 14 to 27. This is already the longest cold-spell for the Capital city.

What are scientists saying?

Scientists believe that there is nothing unusual about the current climate condition that influences the temperature in these regions at this time of the year. The cold wave usually arrives from the west via the Western Disturbance wind system. This system is also accounted for causing rains in northern and northeastern parts as it picks up moisture on its way from the Mediterranean Sea. The intensity of cold also depends upon the amount of snowfall in the Ladakh, Jammu, and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and other nearby areas.

Read more: Brace yourselves for Coldest New Year’s Eve as Delhi Temperature dips to 2.4! 

What makes this December colder than ever, Possible reasons

Chilling winters in North India

Climate Change: One of the possible reasons for climate change could be the extreme climate becoming more and more frequent across the world. The frequency and intensity of both the cold waves and heat waves have been increased in the last few years, and are predicted to increase further. The same is with the rainfall and drought. In India, we have seen an unusually wet August and September. The amount of rainfall in September 2019 across India was a once-in-a-century event. Scientists also believe that climate change is also bringing uncertainty in weather patterns, which makes it difficult to predict.

Low Clouds:  The 14 day extended cold-spell has been triggered due to low stratus clouds that are blanketed over a big geographical area- between Pakistan, cutting across India and running up to Bangladesh. Similarly, it is prevailing over a stretch of 500 km to 800 km north-south affecting the whole North India.

Western Disturbances: Frequent western disturbances varying from intense and moderate have heavily contributed to the severe cold over all of north India this year. Additionally, the northwesterly winds over northeast India at lower levels fuelled the chill factor, making the days colder than normal during December.

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