Climate change hits Pune

Namrata Devikar
Sunday, 10 February 2019

City shivers at 5.1o Celsius, lowest in State after Nashik records 4o Celsius

PUNE: Maharashtra on Saturday witnessed cold wave conditions with many cities reporting a record lowest minimum temperature for February. Nashik reported the lowest minimum temperature of 4 degrees Celsius in the State while Pune reported the second lowest temperature at 5.1 degrees Celsius. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast that the northern part of central Maharashtra may witness thunderstorm and strong winds, along with hailstorm on February 12.

Weather experts said the frequency of western disturbances has increased due to climate change resulting in extreme weather conditions. Western Disturbance (WD) occurs in India, Pakistan and Nepal due to an extratropical storm originating in the Mediterranean that brings sudden winter to the northwestern parts of the Indian subcontinent.

Speaking to Sakal Times, Anupam Kashyapi, Head of Weather, IMD Pune, said that December, January and February are winter months and a dip in temperature is common.

“However, this time, the number of WDs has increased significantly. Usually, four to six WDs on an average occur in December, January and February. But this year, in January and February, there have been nine WDs each. In February alone, there were three major WDs, which has affected the weather,” said Kashyapi.

He added that scientists and weather experts across the globe are saying that this may be the result of climate change.

“In other parts of the world, there has been severe winter conditions due to the breaking of the northern Polar Vortex. Scientists and weather experts strongly believe that this increases the frequency of WDs,” said Kashyapi. He said that WDs penetration into southern parts is not normal.

According to IMD, Ahmednagar, Satara and Aurangabad in the State also reported minimum temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius on Saturday. 

The IMD also said that it is the second coldest February since 2009 in Nashik and Pune. In 2012, Nashik reported the lowest minimum temperature on February 9 at 2.7 degrees Celsius while Pune reported temperature of 4.6 degrees Celsius on the same day.

The all-time lowest minimum temperature for February for Pune was reported on February 1, 1934, at 3.9 degrees Celsius while for Nashik, it was on February 14, 1972, at 0.9 degrees Celsius.  Aurangabad reported minimum temperature of 6.5 degrees Celsius. This is also the lowest minimum temperature since 2009. 

The IMD has predicted that the cold wave conditions in the State will prevail on February 10 as well.  

The lowest minimum temperature recorded in the plains was 1.4 degrees Celsius in Churu, western Rajasthan. Moderate to dense fog was observed at isolated places over Odisha and Himachal Pradesh in the wee hours of Saturday.

The IMD has forecast that thunderstorm accompanied by hailstorm and gusty winds at isolated places are likely over Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and west Madhya Pradesh till February 13.

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