No winter chill in December: Cloudy skies, moisture-laden wind keep Maharashtra warmer than usual

Anjali Marar
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The minimum temperatures in Pune and its neighbouring areas have, so far, hovered between 17 degrees Celsius and 19 degrees Celsius since the onset of winter, making it a relatively warm winter season for Maharashtra. (File photo)

Cold weather conditions are expected to remain largely absent from most parts of Maharashtra during the rest of December. For the second consecutive month this season, winter-like conditions have eluded the state, which is experiencing prolonged warm days and nights, said officials of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

“There will not be a very significant fall in minimum temperatures over the state till December 18. Even during the later days of December, the temperature dropping too much is unlikely,” said Anupam Kashyapi, head of the weather department at IMD, Pune.

The minimum temperatures in Pune and its neighbouring areas have, so far, hovered between 17 degrees Celsius and 19 degrees Celsius since the onset of winter, making it a relatively warm winter season for Maharashtra.

On Thursday, the minimum temperature recorded in the city was 17.6 degrees Celsius, 6.4 degrees Celsius above normal for this time of the year.

For the next two days, cloudy skies will dominate the city’s weather, continuing the warm trend.

Similarly, Kolhapur and Solapur (minimum temperature 19 degrees Celsius each) and Sangli (17.9 degrees Celsius) experienced a warm Thursday. Nagpur (14.4 degrees Celsius) and Mahabaleshwar (15 degrees Celsius) were among the colder cities in the state.

While December is usually fairly cold for Vidarbha, Marathwada and north central Maharashtra, where the minimum temperatures slip below 10 degrees Celsius, the mercury has remained several notches above normal this season.

Temperatures over central India and Maharashtra regions are influenced by the cold winds blowing from northern plains.

As a result, the night temperatures drop and cold conditions are created. This year, these northerly winds have remained absent over central India and Maharashtra.

“This is mainly because of the presence of an anti-cyclone system over central India that is blocking the cold northerly winds from penetrating and reaching southern latitudes, such as areas like Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra,” said Kashyapi.

The life of one anti-cyclone system can run up to 10 days or more. Since late November, the organised formation of such consecutive systems over this region has nearly cut off cold winds over the state.

The constant inflow of warm and moisture-laden easterly winds has also prevented cold conditions from forming over Maharashtra, said IMD officials.