The India Meteorological Department has said that day temperatures are likely to be above normal in most of the subdivisions of north, northeast, northwest and parts of east and west India from March to May. However, it has forecast a likelihood of below normal temperatures in south and adjoining central India.
“During the upcoming hot weather season (March to May), above normal seasonal maximum (day) temperatures are likely over most of the subdivisions of north, northwest and northeast India, few subdivisions from eastern and western parts of central India and few coastal subdivisions of north peninsular India,” the forecast said.
There is a probability forecast for above maximum temperatures in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Gujarat, coastal Maharashtra, Goa and coastal Andhra Pradesh.
IMD Director General Mrutunjay Mohapatra said over the Indo-Gangetic plains — from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, east UP, west UP, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand to Odisha — the temperature is expected to be above normal by more than 0.5 degree Celsius during March to May.
There is a high probability with more than 75 per cent of above normal temperature over Chhattisgarh and Odisha where mercury will be above normal. He said in these two states, temperature is likely to be above normal by 0.86 degree Celsius and 0.66 degree Celsius respectively.
“There is also a 60 per cent probability of above normal temperature over Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi by 0.5 degree Celsius,” he said.
There is likely to be some relief in parts of south India.
“Below normal seasonal maximum temperatures are likely over most of the subdivisions of south peninsula and adjoining central India,” the summer forecast added.
It said above normal seasonal minimum (night) temperatures are likely over most of the of north India along the foot hills of Himalayas, northeast India, western part of central India and southern part of peninsular India.
“However, below normal season minimum temperatures are likely over most of the subdivisions of eastern part of the central India and few subdivisions of extreme northern part of the country,” the IMD added.
The IMD added that moderate La Niña conditions are prevailing over the equatorial Pacific and sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are below normal over the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean.
The latest model forecast indicates that La Niña conditions are likely to sustain during the upcoming hot weather season (March to May), it added.
La Nina is associated with the cooling of the Pacific waters and El Nino is its anthesis. The phenomenon has a impact on the weather of the Indian sub-continent.
The IMD said it will release the second summer forecast for April to June in April.
The IMD last month had said the minimum temperature recorded in the country in January was the warmest for the month in 62 years. South India was particularly warm. The month was the warmest in 121 years, with 22.33 degrees Celsius in south India, followed by 22.14 degrees Celsius in 1919 and 21.93 degrees Celsius in 2020 as the second and third warmest months.
Central India was also the warmest (14.82 degrees Celsius) in the last 38 years after 1982 (14.92 degrees Celsius), while 1958 with 15.06 degrees Celsius was the warmest in the 1901-2021 period.
O P Sreejith, a scientist in the Climate Monitoring and Prediction group at IMD, Pune, told that the global warming signature has been apparent in the last few years.
“It is one of the reasons why some regions are likely to have higher temperatures during summer. Some regions of Maharashtra and peninsular India are likely to see cooler day temperatures as per model forecasts probably because of clouding and rain,” he added.