With rising global temperatures and keeping with forecasts of past three years, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday this year's winter season -- from December to February -- will be warmer than average.
In its winter forecast released on Friday, the IMD said, "DJF (December, January, February) season average minimum temperatures are likely to be warmer than average over most parts of the country except over northernmost parts of India."
The IMD has been issuing seasonal forecast for winter since 2016, and every forecast has predicted a warmer winter. Even 2018 was the warmest year globally.
The weatherman also said there is relatively "higher probability" for above-normal minimum temperatures in the core cold wave (CW) zone during December 2019 to February 2020.
The core cold wave zone covers Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana, and meteorological subdivisions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, Marathawada, Vidharbha, Saurashtra (Gujarat) and central Maharashtra.
M Rajeevan, the Secretary in the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said the warmer winters are due to global warming.
The IMD forecast said minimum temperatures over most parts of central and peninsular India are likely to be warmer than normal by less than one per cent.
The season averaged mean temperatures are likely to be warmer than normal by 0.50 degree Celsius over peninsular India and some part of east and central India, it said.
However, the season average maximum temperatures are likely to be colder than normal over some part of central Indian region and warmer than normal over few subdivisions in the peninsular region.