Even before the formal onset of summers, the Queen of Hills has registered a rise of up to 10 degree Celsius in the maximum temperature this March – an unprecedented phenomenon that has bothered environmentalists as well as tourists.
Even the minimum temperature is rising at a fast clip in the hill station registering an increase of five to seven degree Celsius above normal, according to the Met office.
Last week, the maximum temperature touched 25.7 degree Celsius, unprecedented in the month of March.
Situated at an altitude of 2130 metres above the sea level, the denizens of Shimla are now getting accustomed to air conditioners and coolers as the mean temperature in the hill capital of Himachal Pradesh has shown a rise of one degree Celsius in the past decade.
Last year, the administration had to order closure of schools in May-June due to consistently high temperatures in the city- an unheard of phenomenon in the hill city.
Scientists predict that the mean temperature of Shimla could rise by up to six degree Celsius in the next seven years.
Old timers recall that the maximum temperature seldom rose above 25 degree Celsius in summers. However, the mercury now shoots up to 30 degree Celsius and above during summers in the hill city.
The city that attracts tourists from across the country and abroad owing to its famed charms and cool climes and also for its legacy as the summer capital of the British Raj had witnessed an unusually warm winter this time with the mercury recording five degree Celsius higher than the average temperature in winters.
The snowfall is getting lesser every year. Ironically, the state tourism department which earlier used to exhort tourists to come to Shimla to witness snowfall during the winters, now advertises for enjoying sunny days in the hills during the winter.