IMD on Climate of India during 2020: Year 2020 8th warmest on record since 1901

The past year was overall the eighth warmest year on record since nation-wide records were initiated in 1901. Twelve out of the 15 warmest years were during the recent fifteen years period between 2006 and 2020. 

Climate of India 2020
Climate of India 2020

The Climate Research and Services (CRS)of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a statement on the Climate of India during 2020 on January 5, 2020. 

As per the statement, the annual mean land surface air temperature averaged across India was +0.290 degrees Celsius above normal, based on the data of 1981-2010. 

The past year was also overall the eighth warmest year on record since nation-wide records were initiated in 1901. However, it was substantially lower than the highest warming observed over India during 2016, which was +0.710C.

What contributed to warming?

The monsoon and post-monsoon seasons with mean temperature anomalies of +0.430C and +0.530C respectively mainly contributed to this warming. 

Key Highlights 

•The mean temperature during the winter was also above normal with an anomaly of +0.140C. The pre-monsoon season temperature was, however, below normal at -0.030C. 

•The global mean surface temperature anomaly during 2020, between January and October, was +1.20C, as per WMO state of the global climate. 

•The annual rainfall as a whole across the country was 109% of its Long Period Average (LPA),  based on the data of 1961-2010, which is above normal.

•The monsoon season as a whole across the nation was above normal, 109 percent of its LPA. 

•All the five subdivisions of the core region except Kerala received excess or normal rainfall.

Year 2020 eighth warmest year since 1901

•The annual mean land surface air temperature across the country in 2020 was +0.290C above the 1981-2010 period average, making it the eighth warmed year on record since 1901. 

Five warmest years on record: 

1. 2016 (+0.710C)
2. 2009 (+0.550C)
3. 2017 (+0.5410C)
4. 2010 (+0.5390C)
5. 2015 (+0.420C). 

•Twelve out of the 15 warmest years were during the recent fifteen years period between 2006 and 2020. 

•The past decade from 2001-2010 and 2011-2020 was the warmest decade on record with anomalies of 0.230C and 0.340C.

•The country averaged seasonal mean temperatures were above the average during all seasons except pre-monsoon season. 

•The country averaged mean monthly temperatures were also warmer than the normal during all the months of the year except March and June.

•Besides this, the mean temperatures exceeded normal by 0.720C during September (warmest since 1901), by 0.580C in August (second warmest), by 0.940C in October (third warmest), by 0.560C in July (fifth warmest) and by 0.390C in December (seventh warmest). 

Tropical Storms

During 2020, five cyclones formed over the North Indian Ocean including: 

1. Super Cyclonic Storm AMPHAN
2. Very Severe Cyclonic Storm NIVAR
3. Very Severe Cyclonic Storm GATI
4. Severe Cyclonic Storm NISARGA
5. Cyclonic Storm BUREVI 

Among these, only two cyclonic storms NISARGA and GATI were formed over the Arabian Sea, while the remaining 3 cyclones including Amphan, Nivar and Burevi were formed over the Bay of Bengal. 

High Impact Weather Events

India experienced several high-impact weather events such as extremely heavy rainfall, floods, landslide, thunderstorm, lightning and cold waves during 2020. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were the most adversely affected states in terms of thunderstorms, lightning and cold wave events during the year. 

Apart from this, several parts of the nation witnessed heavy rainfall and flood-related incidents during pre-monsoon, monsoon & post-monsoon seasons including Kerala, Telangana, Bihar, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. 

The cold wave conditions had mainly prevailed over central parts of the country especially in January, causing the deaths of about 150 people. 

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