February witnesses extreme weather

Namrata Devikar
Friday, 1 March 2019

“Usually, the WD is responsible for cooler winds that dictate what is the intensity in winter. This season, we can see that the effect of WD was felt in the northern part of the plateau as well." added Srivastava.

PUNE: The day temperature in Pune was as high as 37.5 degrees Celsius last week, whereas on the last day of February  (Thursday), it was reported to be 31.1 degrees Celsius. Similarly, extreme weather conditions with the record high, day and night temperatures were reported in February in the state. 

Weather experts said it is due to a high frequency of western disturbance (WD) and its effect, which was felt as far as northern part of the plateau. The western disturbance moving southward is also indirectly due to brewing El Nino conditions, said the weather experts from the India Meteorological Department (IMD). 

IMD, Pune head of Climate Research Division AK Srivastava said there has been a significant increase in the frequency of WDs this time.

On an average, three to four WDs are witnessed in a month. However, we witnessed more than the average number of WDs this time in February alone. The frequency and intensity has certainly increased, said Srivastava. He added that along with the frequency, the WD is moving southward.

“Usually, the WD is responsible for cooler winds that dictate what is the intensity in winter. This season, we can see that the effect of WD was felt in the northern part of the plateau as well. As a result, in the beginning of February, there was a cold wave in Maharashtra. This also shows that the WD is shifting southward,” added Srivastava.

He highlighted that on February 20, Pune particularly recorded 37.5 degrees Celsius as the day temperature. But now, the day temperature had reduced to 31.1 degrees Celsius on Thursday. The decrease in temperature is due to westerlies’ waves. This major fluctuation in temperature is due to the impact felt by the ongoing WD, said Srivastava.

BREWING EL NINO
Srivastava said this southern shift of the WD may be due to the brewing El Nino conditions.

The southern shift of WD is an indirect indication of the El Nino formation. The WD is characteristic extra tropical weather features. These extra tropical weather patterns are very dominating leading the WD to come southwards. The El Nino may persist during the monsoon season. However, it is still very early to say anything definitive about how the monsoon will be this year. El Nino has a negative impact on the southwest monsoon, said Srivastava. 

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