Amidst the debates and denial surrounding the topic of climate change, the question of whether it is real or not seems to have been answered by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). According to a report published by the IMD, the 2010-19 decade is the warmest since on record since 1901. The temperature this decade was on average 0.36 degree Celsius above normal. This is a significant increase from 2000-09 when the average temperature was 0.23 degree Celcius above normal.
Apart from this, 2019 was the seventh warmest year on record. But, it was significantly lower than in 2016, which was the warmest year and had recorded an average of 0.71 degrees above normal. In terms of warmest years, 2016 was followed by 2009, which was on average 0.541 degrees warmer than normal, 2017, 0.539 degrees warmer, 2010, 0.54 degrees above normal, and 2015, 0.42 degrees warmer.
2019 also marked the 22nd consecutive year with temperatures hovering above average. The monsoon of 2019 was also the warmest since 1901, the IMD report stated.
The year also witnessed rainfall which was 109% of the average rainfall during the period spanning from 1961 to 2010.
The weather anomalies don't end here though.
As many as eight cyclones formed in India in 2019, out of which five were over the Arabian Sea. This equals the number of cyclones formed over the sea in 1902, the previous record for the highest frequency of cyclones. Usually, only one cyclone forms over the Arabian Sea in a year. The intensity of the cyclones over the Arabian Sea was also at the higher end, with two having been very severe, one extremely severe and one a super cyclone.
On the other hand, the cyclone formation over the Bay of Bengal has declined marginally. The eastern sea witnessed the formation of three cyclones against the usual four cyclones a year.
Apart from that, during the year, India witnessed high impact weather extremes like heat and cold waves, extremely heavy rainfall, snow, thunderstorms, dust storms, and floods.
Meanwhile, the IMD has predicted a western disturbance, which is likely to induce a cyclonic formation over southwest Rajasthan. This formation will likely cause light to moderate rains in the western Himalayan range and some areas of Punjab, Delhi, Chandigarh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh till January 8.