Weather: High day temperatures may trend lower ahead of Mahashivratri

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on February 20, 2020

A western disturbance, expected to cross into the country by Thursday evening, would bring down temperatures in North-West and West India over the next 2-3 days

Day temperatures over many parts of the country may trend down just in time for Mahashivratri being celebrated tomorrow (Friday), and facilitate a 'soft landing' into spring. This would be most evident in North-West India, West India, and East India over the next two-three days, says the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

A cloud and rain-bearing western disturbance has pitched a tent over North Pakistan with an offspring cyclonic circulation in front, both of which are expected to cross into Indian territory by this (Thursday) evening to put a cap on the soaring day temperatures over North-West India and West India. Progressively, the east-bound weather system combo would extend its calming influence into East India and North-East India.

Thundershowers, lightning, high winds

Western disturbances are low-pressure waves in the atmosphere that periodically blow across Central and South Asia, influencing the weather by variously bringing in rain, snow, lightning, thunderstorms and high winds.

The latest in the series arrives just in time for Mahashivratri, following which weather conditions will undergo a distinct change from the cold winter to spring, marked by the flowering of trees and rejuvenation of the earth.

Unlike most other Hindu festivals, Mahashivratri is celebrated at night, under a moonless sky. The arrival of the western disturbance may lift night temperatures due to the warmth provided by the associated moisture and clouding. Since the festival also marks the beginning of spring, day temperatures in almost all parts of the country would start rising ahead of the sizzling summer that follows. The incoming western disturbance and its calming influence on weather represents a brief and customary interruption of the building trend.

Night temperatures to look up

The IMD has indicated a rise in night temperatures by 2-3 degrees Celsius in many parts of North-West India over the next two days and and a drop thereafter. There is no significant change in night temperatures forecast for East and Central India for the next three days and over West India for the next two days. Temperatures may gradually fall by 2-3 degrees Celsius thereafter over West India. However, day temperatures are expected to fall by two-three degrees Celsius over many parts of West India during the next three days, since the clouds would offer a shield from the scorching sun.

In the South, a trough (an elongated area of lower pressure) extending from South Tamil Nadu to Madhya Maharashtra across interior Karnataka raises the possibility of triggering spotty showers across the region. These would likely be an extension of the showers expected over East Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand from tomorrow (Friday) to Sunday, from a confluence of easterlies from the Bay of Bengal and westerlies from the western disturbance.

Outlook for today and tomorrow

According to the IMD, the forecast for today and tomorrow (Thursday and Friday) is as follows:

Today: Dense fog very likely in isolated parts over the hills of West Bengal and Sikkim. Thundersqualls (speeds reaching 50-60 km/hr) accompanied with lightning and hail over Uttarakhand. Thunderstorms accompanied with lightning and gusty winds (speeds reaching 30-40 km/hr) over Himachal Pradesh, West Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi.

Tomorrow: Thundersqualls (speeds reaching 50-60 km/hr) accompanied by lightning and hail over Uttarakhand. Thunderstorms accompanied by lightning and gusty winds (speeds reaching 30-40 km/hr) over Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, and with lightning over East Madhya Pradesh.

Strong winds (speeds reaching 45-55 km/hr) over the South Andaman Sea, Gulf of Mannar, the Comorin area and South Bay of Bengal. Fishermen are advised not to venture into these areas.

Published on February 20, 2020

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