Shimla: With winter mean temperatures through January, February and the first fortnight of March recorded at 2 to 4 degrees Celsius above normal, it has been one of the hottest winters in recent years.
Being a transition period from winter to summer, the weather over low hills of the state is generally cold during the first fortnight of March. However, this year the temperatures during winter season were higher than the normal as the mean maximum and minimum temperatures were above normal at many stations, said Manmohan Singh, director meteorology.
Shimla was where the most temperature variation from normal means was recorded.
In January the mean maximum temperature at Shimla was 5.2 degrees Celsius above normal while the it lows were 3 degrees above normal. This was followed by Bhuntar Kullu where it the high was 4.1 degree above normal and for lows it was Mandi, which in January recorded 2.6 degrees above normal.
In February, Shimla recorded 6.5 degree above normal for mean maximum temperature and 4.5 degrees above normal for mean minimum temperature, said the met official. So far in March against a normal mean high of 8.8 degrees the temperatures recorded are 14.4 degrees, a good 5.6 degrees above normal.
The possible causes for high temperature various atmospheric circulation features which have led to the rise in temperatures over various parts of the country, said Manmohan Singh.
Western disturbances affected only North-western Himalayan region and did not cause any significant rainfall activity over central and southern parts of the state.
Due to persistent presence of strong anti cyclonic circulation over the Arabian Sea, there was warm air advection which led to the temperatures above normal. Clear sky conditions due to lack of rainfall activity also contributed to high day temperatures.