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India experiences warmest February in over 140 years: IMD

IMD warns of extreme weather conditions in April and May following warmest February since 1877

28-02-2023 : The India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced on Tuesday that India had recorded its warmest February in 144 years, with an average maximum temperature of 29.54 degrees Celsius. The IMD linked this to global warming and warned that most parts of the country were expected to experience above-normal temperatures, with extreme weather conditions expected in April and May. However, the southern peninsula and parts of Maharashtra were expected to be less affected by harsh weather conditions.

S C Bhan, the Head of the Hydromet and Agromet Advisory Services of IMD, addressed a virtual press conference where he explained that the monthly average maximum temperature for February was the highest since 1877. He attributed this trend to the phenomenon of global warming, which is causing the entire globe to live in a warming world. He also pointed out that the monthly average minimum temperature over the Indian region was the fifth highest during February since 1901.

Despite the high temperatures, Bhan said that there was little probability of heat waves in March. However, he warned that most parts of the country could experience extreme weather conditions in April and May. He further noted that rainfall over the country was expected to be normal in March. He said that below-normal rainfall was expected over most areas of northwest India, west-central India, and some parts of east and northeast India. Normal to above-normal rainfall was likely over most parts of peninsular India, east-central India, and some isolated pockets of northeast India.

Bhan also said that La Nina conditions were currently prevailing over the equatorial Pacific region, but these were expected to weaken and turn to El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral conditions during the pre-monsoon season. However, he cautioned that it was too early to forecast the impact of El Nino conditions on the monsoon season and that a forecast would be issued in mid-April.

In summary, the warmest February in 144 years is a concerning development that the IMD attributes to global warming. The IMD warns that most parts of India can expect above-normal temperatures and extreme weather conditions in April and May. However, the southern peninsula and parts of Maharashtra are likely to escape the brunt of harsh weather conditions.

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