Winter across the country will be warmer than usual this year, the India Meteorological Department said on Friday, reported PTI. Northern regions like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and neighbouring areas, which fall under the core cold wave zone, will not be experiencing any severe cold wave spell either.

In its statement for the Seasonal Temperature Outlook issued for the period December to February, the IMD said that the seasonal average minimum temperature would remain above normal by over one degree Celsius. “…Greater solar penetration due to lesser cloud cover that would prevail over the most parts of the country would also contribute towards keeping the minimum temperatures, especially during the night hours, above normal,” D Sivanand Pai, who heads the Climate Research and Services at IMD, Pune, told The Indian Express.

Earlier this week, Ministry of Earth Sciences secretary M Rajeevan had said that 2019 is set to be the second hottest calendar year recorded. Meteorologists have been attributing the overall warming to climate change. Overall, winter temperatures have been on the rise. Since 2016, the IMD had forecast warm winters for all years except 2017.