January and February were the third and second warmest winter months in 121 years in terms of mean and minimum temperatures respectively, an India Meteorological Department (IMD) report said on Tuesday. Both the minimum and mean temperatures in February for northwest India were warmest since 1901, the report added.
In terms of mean temperature in January-February, 2016 recorded 21.80 degree Celsius, followed by 21.58 degree Celsius in 2009 and 21.43 degree Celsius in 2021. The other two years with an all-India mean temperatures for the two months are 2006 (21.39 degree C) and 2017 (21.37 degree C).
In terms of minimum temperature, the two months in 2021 recorded 15.39 degrees Celsius. The other four years with warmest January-February since 1901 are: 2016 (15.53 degrees C), 2009 (15.30 degrees C), 1926 (15.29 degrees C), 1912 (15.28 degrees C).
In its report for January released last month, the IMD had said the minimum temperature recorded in the country during the month was the warmest for the month in 62 years.
Spatial temperature pattern over India shows average monthly maximum temperatures in January were below normal by 2-4 degree Celsius across the Indo-Gangetic plain and pockets over south Punjab and north Haryana at its west, and over Bihar at east had significantly below normal temperature with 3-4 degree Celsius lower than normal.
South India was particularly warm. The region was the warmest in January in 121 years, with 22.33 degrees Celsius in south India, followed by 22.14 degrees Celsius in 1919 and 21.93 degrees Celsius in 2020 as the second and third warmest months.
Central India was the warmest (14.82 degrees Celsius) in the last 38 years after 1982 (14.92 degrees Celsius), while 1958 with 15.06 degrees Celsius was the warmest in the 1901-2021 period.
However, the maximum temperatures in January were below normal, the IMD said.
An analysis for 1901-2021 shows that the all-India average minimum temperature in January 2021 was 14.78 degrees Celsius. The January of 1958 recorded a similar monthly minimum temperature.
The January of 1919 recorded 15 degrees Celsius and it remains the warmest January so far.
"So January 2021 has also become the warmest in 62 years after 1958," the IMD said.
In its summer forecast for March-May, day temperatures are likely to be above normal in north, northeast, parts of east and west India, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said Monday in its summer forecast for March to May.
However, it has forecast a likelihood of below normal temperatures in south and the adjoining central India.