As several parts of India experiencing a cold spell, here’s more: expect the rest of the winter to be colder than usual. Experts on global climate models say there’s a good chance that February and March too will see below normal temperatures.
What seems to causing this phenomenal change is La Nina – a phenomenon better known in India for aiding good monsoon rains.La Nina, which in Spanish means ‘the girl’, is a condition when surface temperatures in the south Pacific Ocean fall below normal.
It is the opposite of the notorious El Nino usually associated with failure of the monsoon in India. But like its counterpart, La Nina leads to changes in global air circulation patterns which drive weather extremes across the world.
After a mild December, temperatures across India decreased rapidly in the second week of January. Since then, the west Himalayas have experienced heavy and unusually widespread snowfall, the northern plains have been chilly while central and parts of south India have had record-breaking cold spells.
The sudden cold is being partly attributed to an Arctic wind pattern that changed in January, sending spells of snow downwards into Europe and Asia. “Depending on its intensity, Eurasian snow can lead to snowfall in the Himalayas,” said S K Dash, a climate scientist at IIT Delhi.
Links and Sources:
- La Nina (getyourironyhere.wordpress.com)
- U.S. forecaster warns La Nina may linger to spring (reuters.com)
- Weather: There’s more to it than La Niña (summitcountyvoice.com)
- La Nina whips unseasonal weather into a wet frenzy (smh.com.au)
- Baby It’s Cold Outside: Winter Running Beanies (fitsugar.com)
- La Niña to Continue Into Spring (livescience.com)