Third warmest March in 121 years recorded over India: IMD

With the consecutive western disturbances, heat conditions over north India, particularly Delhi, Punjab and neighbouring regions, remained in check.

India recorded its third warmest March in 121 years, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has stated in its monthly report for March 2021 released on Monday.

The monthly maximum temperature recorded over the country last month was 32.65 degrees Celsius versus a normal of 31.24 degrees (reference with 1980-2010), making March 2021 also the warmest since 2011 over the country.

The minimum and mean temperatures recorded over India last month were also above normal, the IMD mentioned in its report.

“Both the day and night temperatures during the second half of March showcased an increasing trend, especially over parts of central India and Rajasthan. The overall increase in temperatures was observed on a day-to-day basis and was not due to any particular weather,” said R K Jenamani, senior scientist at the National Weather Forecasting Centre, New Delhi.

But what is worrying is the below normal rainfall reported in March, with the country clocking a deficiency of 45.2 per cent. Generally, convective activities begin in March and sporadic thunderstorms are reported from most parts of the country. Barring Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Karaikal, Assam, Meghalaya, Jammu and Kashmir, rainfall activity over the remaining regions remained below normal last month.

In all, seven western disturbances crossed the extreme northern regions of India. These eastward propagating wind systems, originating from the Mediterranean Sea, cause rain or snowfall along its path. Normally, there are four such systems recorded in March.

“Due to active western disturbances, the western Himalayan regions, mainly over Jammu and Kashmir, received widespread rain and snowfall, in March. Some of these systems also brought hail and thunderstorms over parts of central India,” added Jenamani.

With these consecutive western disturbances, heat conditions over north India, particularly Delhi, Punjab and neighbouring regions, remained in check. “No heat wave condition emerged till the fag end of the month, till it was reported in west Rajasthan from March 30 to 31,” said an IMD official.

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