This year’s unusually warm winter is partially because of a 90 per cent deficit in rains since October, said officials at the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
According to data, while the city was supposed to receive 34.7 mm of rain between October 1 and December 31, it received only 3.5 mm. “Active western disturbances and resultant rains are responsible for bringing temperatures down in the city. The last three months saw none of that,” said a senior IMD official.
“We can clearly see the effect of this in an unusually warm winter,” the official added.
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December 2016 was the warmest in eight years, as per records.
Since January 1, the day temperature has been markedly above normal.
On Wednesday, it was 25.2 degrees Celsius and on Thursday, it was 25.4 degrees Celsius — both six degrees above normal.
Meanwhile, the minimum temperature has not dipped below 7.6 degrees Celsius a single day in the past week, which is the average minimum temperature for January.
A little rain over the weekend, however, could bring in a chill.
According to the IMD forecast, light rain and an overcast sky is expected in the city on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The maximum temperature is expected to drop to 16 degrees Celsius on Tuesday and the minimum is expected to be 4 degrees Celsius on Wednesday.
The average maximum temperature for January is 20.5 degrees Celsius and the average minimum temperature is 7.6 degrees Celsius.
“The first week of January is usually the coldest in the entire year, with the minimum temperature usually dropping to 4 degrees Celsius,” said the IMD official.
“The maximum temperature usually drops below 15 degrees Celsius. We have not seen anything of that sort yet but it will get colder next week,” the official added.
The winter of 2015-16 was also a warm and dry one, with an 80 per cent rain deficit being recorded between October and December 2015.
IMD officials also released data that showed how the minimum temperature, recorded early in the morning, spiked since 1990.
In January 2016, the average minimum temperature was 9.2 degree Celsius — higher than the 70-year average of 7.6 degrees.
It was only higher in 1990 when the city recorded an average minimum temperature of 9.6 degrees.