2009 was warmest year in India since 1901: IMD

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, February 6, 2009

The year 2009 was the warmest year on record in India since 1901, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said today.

During the year, the annual mean temperature, averaged over the country as a whole, was +0.913 degrees Celsius above the 1961-1990 average. The annual average for the country is 24.64 degrees C, it said.

The other warmer years on record in order are 2002(0.708 degrees Celsius above average), 2006(0.6), 2003(0.560), 2007(0.553), 2004(0.515), 1998(0.514), 1941(0.448), 1999 (0.445), 1958(0.435), 2001(0.429), 1987(0.413) and 2005(0.410).

As far as monthly temperature is concerned, the mean monthly temperature over the country as a whole was the highest since 1901 for January (1.43 degrees above average) and August (1.00) and the second highest for February , September and December 2009.

The spatial pattern of trends in mean annual temperature anomalies showed significant positive (increasing) trend over most parts of the country except over some parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Bihar, where significant negative (decreasing) trends were observed, the IMD said in a statement.

The data showed that, during the past five years, 2005-09, the positive anamoly in both the maximum and minimum temperature was the highest for January, August and September, 2009.

The statement said abnormally warm conditions prevailed over major parts of the country during the winter season of 2009. The temperature over the hilly regions of the western Himalayas was 3 to 5 degrees C above normal in the second fortnight of January, while in February the mean temperature over almost throughout the country, was above normal. However, there were cold wave conditions on a few occasions in Uttar Pradesh In January, leading to the loss of about 80 lives, it said.

Heat wave conditions on many occasions (maximum temperature exceeding the normal by 5 degres C) prevailed over the peninsular/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, it added.