North India may witness the chilliest/ extremely cold winter due to the La Nina that has been emerging in the Pacific Ocean. The La Nina weather pattern causes frigid winters in the northern hemisphere. It is likely to hound parts of India with extremely cold winters. As per the Bloomberg report, January and February will be particularly cold in some northern states with temperatures set to fall as low as 3 degrees Celsius before recovering.
The report also highlighted that a colder winter may also result in an energy crisis in several Asian nations with China facing the most troubles as it is the top energy consumer. This is happening at a time when diesel and petrol prices are digging holes in consumer’s pockets. However, unlike other countries, there will be lower energy consumption in India as usage of air conditioning will decrease significantly.
The effect of La Nina has already been seen in India with extreme weather conditions over the past few weeks. Both heavy rainfall and delayed withdrawal of the monsoon is the sign of La Nina, associated with the cooling of the Pacific waters and usually results in a good rainfall activity.
Early winter arrival in Himachal Pradesh
As per the reports, temperatures have already dropped to sub-zero in some parts of the Himachal Pradesh such as Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur, due to fresh snowfall on Sunday. According to the data from the IMD centre in Shimla, winter has arrived early in the northern state with Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti recording minus 5 degrees Celsius.
Deaths due to extreme weather conditions
Three tourists from Mumbai died in Kinnaur district due to extremely bad weather conditions and snowfall. More than 50 roads were blocked in the upper regions of Himachal Pradesh, such as Lahaul-Spiti and Chamba.
India has already started witnessing unusually heavy rains in several parts of the country, the hill state of Uttarakhand in the North and coastal Kerala in the South in particular. As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the country had received 41 per cent more rainfall than normal from October 1 to 21 with Uttarakhand alone recording more than five times its normal precipitation.
Why extreme weather conditions in India?
IMD director general Mrutunjay Mohapatra said October saw the formation of two low pressure areas– cyclonic circulations that bring in rainfall and strong winds. The interaction between western disturbance and the low pressure area in Uttarakhand, resulted in heavy rains this week.
A look back at last year’s winter
Last year, several places in North India, including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, recorded a minimum temperature below the five-degrees Celsius mark, with cold wave conditions and dense fog. Delhi also witnessed a colder than usual November with the mean minimum temperature around 10 degrees Celsius. The average minimum temperature recorded last year was 12.9 degrees Celsius.