New Delhi, Dec 6 (IANS): The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted a milder winter for the country from December 2023 to February 2024.
The forecast indicates that the intensity and frequency of cold waves are expected to be lower than usual in the majority of north, northwest, central, east, and northeast India.
Scientists attribute this deviation from normal winter conditions to below-average western disturbances, reducing the influx of colder winds from snowclad regions to parts of northwest and central India.
This weather pattern, responsible for cooler temperatures, is anticipated to persist throughout the season.
The Meteorological Department had similarly projected warmer winters in 2022, and maximum and minimum temperatures across most parts of the country remained slightly higher.
Over the past few months, several regions in the country have experienced temperatures above the normal range. In a statement, the IMD said that during the upcoming winter season (December 2023 to February 2024), above normal maximum temperatures are likely over most parts of the country except some areas over central and northwest India where normal to below normal maximum temperatures are likely.
"Monthly maximum temperatures for December 2023 are likely to be above normal over most parts of the country except some areas of central India and north India where normal maximum temperatures are likely," it said.
The IMD also predicted that below-normal cold wave days are expected over most parts of northwest, central, east, and northeast India during the winter season.
"Currently, the moderate to strong El Nino conditions are prevailing over the equatorial Pacific Ocean and the sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are above average over most parts of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean," it said.
"The latest MMCFS forecast indicates that moderate to strong El Nino conditions are likely to continue during the upcoming winter season. In addition to El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions over the Pacific, other factors such as the Indian Ocean SSTs also influence the Indian climate. At present, strong positive IOD conditions are observed over the Indian Ocean and the latest MMCFS forecast indicates that positive IOD conditions are likely to weaken and turn to neutral by the end of this year," said an IMD official.