The year 2020 was the eighth warmest in India in 120 years, since 1901, the India Meteorological Department said in a report on Monday.

The annual mean land surface air temperature average remained 0.29 degrees Celsius above normal, the weather department said. However, it was significantly lower than the data recorded in 2016, when the highest warming was recorded in the country, with average temperature staying 0.71 degrees Celsius above normal.

In 2020, the average temperature in the country remained above normal in all months of the year except March and June. The month of September was the warmest since 1901, while August and October were the second and third warmest ever.

Signalling towards a trend, the IMD report said that 12 out of the 15 warmest years since the department started maintaining records in 1901, have been inside the last fifteen-year period (2006-2020). Further, the last two decades – 2001-2010 and 2011-2020 – were also the warmest ones on record, with average temperatures 0.23 degrees Celsius and 0.34 degrees Celsius above normal, respectively.

The IMD report said that the country received 109% of the long period average of rainfall, during 2020. Long period average is calculated by working out the mean rainfall between 1961 to 2010.

It said that extreme weather conditions led to the death of more than 1,565 people last year with thunderstorm and lightning claiming the lives of 815 of them. Cyclones killed 115 people and more than 17,000 livestock in the country in 2020.