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Cyclonic troughs set to bring rains for Holi


NEW DELHI: Holi may be wetter in northwest and eastern India as multiple cyclonic troughs are set to bring rains. Northwest India, including Delhi-NCR, has received pre-Holi cloudy weather and isolated events of light rain with gusty winds with speed of 30-40 km/hour under the influence of the ongoing western disturbance.

The Indian Meteorological Department has forecast that another spell of western disturbance will hit on March 26. It will cause light to moderate snowfall in higher reaches of Himalayas and scattered rain with thunderstorms in Punjab, Haryana, western UP and Rajasthan between March 26 and 29.

Experts say there has been a change in the western disturbance pattern, which mostly took place during the winter. But this time, most of these are taking place post-winter.

“The alterations in the western disturbance trend are mostly attributed to climate change. This year winter was a record dry and snowless, but the sudden frequency of western disturbance increased from late February,” said Mahesh Palawat of a private weather agency Skymet Weather Services.

Rain, accompanied with snowfall, will cause a fall in maximum temperatures by 3-4°C very likely over northwest India during the next 24 hours and then rise by 3-4°C during subsequent 3-4 days.

In the meantime, a cyclonic circulation lies over northeast Assam and neighbourhood, and a trough runs from northwest Bihar to southeast Assam across north Bangladesh in lower tropospheric levels. It will bring fairly widespread rainfall in Bihar, Jharkhand and northeast states and snowfall in the sub-Himalyan region such as West Bengal and Sikkim. Such unseasonal rain would impact standing wheat crops ready for harvest.

In this period, hot and humid weather is very likely to prevail over Rayalaseema, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal, and Kerala and Mahe. However, isolated pockets over Saurashtra and Kutch will see heat wave conditions on March 26-27.

An analysis from Climate Central, an independent group of scientists and communicators, shows that during Holi, temperatures have been rising in the past five decades.

Analysing the data from 1970, the study claims that during March, the northern and western regions have the fastest warming, with the largest change occurring in J&K (2.8°C). Wwarming in April has been more uniform and Mizoram stands out with the largest change since 1970 (1.9°C).

The study shows that only Maharashtra, Bihar and Chhattisgarh would have only a 5% probability of increasing temperature above 40°C in the early 1970s. However, in the past five decades, this probability has not only increased but expanded to more states.

The analysis states that the chance of reaching 40°C expands to Rajasthan, Gujarat, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.