The Indian Meteorological Department has predicted a hotter than usual year in parts of India, at least up to June. The minimum, maximum and mean temperatures are likely to be higher in every meteorological subdivision in the country. All parts of the country are expected to be at least 1°C warmer, except north west India, which will be warmer than that.
The Met department’s announcement comes after 2016 followed a global trend, being the hottest year on record. The IMD said in 2016 the country’s average annual mean land surface air temperature was 0.91°C warmer than the 1961-1990 average. This January was the eight warmest since 1901, with a temperature 0.67°C higher than normal. Last year, January and February were 1.43°C warmer than usual (warmest since 1901), and March-May was 1.36°C warmer (second warmest since 1901).
Heat wave conditions are predicted over most of India. This includes Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Telangana, and Met subdivisions of coastal Andhra Pradesh, Marathwada, Vidarbha, and Madhya Maharashtra.
Last year, temperatures shot up to more than 50°C in some places in North India. Around 700 people died during the heatwave conditions across the country. The IMD had predicted a warmer than normal summer in 2016 too. Parts of northern India had experienced a cold wave in January too.
Temperatures the world over had hit a record high last year. The North Pole was 20°C warmer than usual last winter, and ice in the Antarctic has shrunk to a record low. Sea ice the size of India had also melted away from both polar regions, scientists had said.