The IMD predicts a cold wave for central and northwest India in January.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday predicted cold wave conditions for this month in parts of Central and Northwest regions and parts of Northwest and East India may experience dense foggy days for the next three days. IMD Director General Mrutynjay Mohapatra told the media about January-March weather forecast that there may be normal rainfall which can help farmers to get better rabi crops. El Nino is expected to pass through the Northern Hemisphere in the winter of 2023-2024 and transition to ENSO-neutral in April-June 2024 with a 60 percent probability. “Most models indicate that El Nino conditions are likely to weaken in early 2024”. Moreover, many models indicate that the positive conditions in the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) may weaken in the coming months.

2023 hottest year on record

2023 was the hottest year since 1901, with the country’s annual average temperature 0.65°C above normal. The hottest year since 1901 was 2016, when the country’s annual average temperature was 0.710 degrees above normal.Mohapatra said the southern peninsula and northeast India could see warmer days as the region is expected to see above normal maximum monthly temperatures in January. But elsewhere in the country, mornings are expected to be warmer, while days will be cooler in the central and northwestern parts. The Finnish Meteorological Institute has predicted normal maximum temperatures for the region for the month. Dense to very dense fog extending to parts of Bangladesh is expected over Northwest Indian plains and East Indian plains for a few days, according to IMD. Cold days to severe frost are likely to continue in some parts of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and North Rajasthan for the next two days.

60% excess rain in December

Mohapatra said the entire country received 60% excess rain of 25.5 mm in December compared to the month’s normal 15.9 mm. The southern peninsula received 72.2 mm of rain in December, which was 126 percent more than the month’s normal 32 mm. Central India saw a 191 percent increase in rainfall to 14.8 mm from December’s normal of 5.1 mm. But in major wheat-growing northwest India, rainfall was 65 percent short at 18.9 mm. The IMD said the January-March (JFM) 2024 rainfall in North India is most likely to be normal at 86-114 percent of the Long Period Average (LPA) of 184.3 mm. But during JFM, total rainfall in the country is very likely to be above normal (> 112 percent of LPA 69.7 mm). Mohapatra said normal or above normal rainfall is likely over most of the country except parts of extreme south peninsular India, from extreme NW and NW India where rainfall is likely to be below normal °C. This condition must be met for three days in a row to be considered one cold wave.

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