In 108 years, India was hottest last year

In 108 years, India was hottest last year

In 108 years, India was hottest last year

In the past 108 years, India was the hottest in 2009.

With an average temperature of 24.64 degrees Celsius, 2009 has turned out to be the warmest year on record since 1901. In 2009, the country’s annual mean temperature was 0.913 degree Celsius, above the 1961-1990 average.

“The departure is also higher than the mean of the two previous 30-year periods – 1931-1960 and 1901-1930,” Ajit Tyagi, Director- General of  the Indian Meteorological Department  (IMD), told Deccan Herald.

India’s next 12 warmest years on record in descending order are 2002, 2006, 2003, 2007, 2004, 1998, 1941, 1999, 1958, 2001, 1987, and 2005.
The IMD carried out the trend analysis after collecting data from 500 temperature recording stations all over the country, Tyagi said.

A month-wise comparison for 2009 reveals for the country as a whole, average monthly temperature since 1901 was the highest since for January (1.43 degrees Celsius) and August (1 degree C) and the second highest for February, September and December.
The IMD has earlier shown that India’s annual average temperature has increased by 0.52 degrees between 1901 and 2008. This is in line with the patterns observed in other parts of the globe. On an average, the global temperature has gone up by 0.74 degrees in the last 100 years.

Tyagi admits that a part of the temperature rise could be due to “urban heat island” effect, which means an increase of the ambient temperature with rapid urbanisation. “But there is a definite contribution from the changing weather pattern,” he added.
While most of the country witnessed an increase in average temperature, there are three pockets in south Rajasthan, east Gujarat and north Bihar where the average temperature is on decline.

“We don’t know the reasons. There could be some local factors,” admits Tyagi.
In 2009, abnormally warm conditions prevailed over most of the country in winter. Temperature over hilly regions of the western Himalayas was 3 to 5 degrees above normal in the second fortnight of January and in February, temperature over almost the entire country was above normal.

However, there were cold wave conditions on a few occasions in Uttar Pradesh in January, causing approximately 80 deaths.

Heat wave conditions on many occasions (maximum temperature exceeding the normal by 5 degrees) prevailed over the peninsular and central parts during the first three weeks of March and over different parts of the country during April and second and third week of May.

There were approximately 150 deaths due to the heat wave in May, mainly in Andhra Pradesh.

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