Shimla weather station needs to relocate higher up

Ever wondered why in recent years the Shimla weather office has been breaking summer heat records, the reason is simple,this is happening only after the station was moved to the CPRI campus.

Earlier the Indian Metrological Department station was located on the Mall in the Central Telegraph Office(CTO) building.While the current IMD station at CPRI is 750 feet to 1000 feet lower.

Experts say this drop in altitutde usually means a difference of a couple of celcius degrees and so the station has been recording higher temperatures round the year,which gives an impression that Shimla has warmed up unusually in the last decade or so.

When the IMD office compares temperatures in the last decade or so to the previous weather data of Shimla which goes back over a hundred years you get the impression that recent temperatures are much higher round the year,summers are warmer,winters are milder.

But we forget that the previous data was mostly recorded at the CTO building which is located at 7200 feet above seas level. While the current station is around 1000 feet below the Mall.

Now I am not saying that temperatures in recent years haven’t gone up,in all likelihood due to factors like global warming, temperatures in an around Shimla seem to have gone up,but not to the extent the weather office seems to suggest.

Experts and old timers agree that the CTO building or any other location on the Mall area is a good place to record the average temperature of the queen of the hills.Besides this is also the heart of old Shimla.

Going higher up towards Jakhu means the mercury will drop and moving lower down towards New Shimla means the mercury will rise.

The IMD officials must wake up and provide the correct temperatures to locals and also to so many tourists who visit this hill station from across the country and round the globe !

In a 20 year career published widely. He has worked for the BBC, AFP, The Statesman, IANS and the Business Standard . Known for his hard hitting writing and occasional off-beat stories. He lives in Shimla.

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3 Comments

  1. says: M.L.Verma

    You have pin pointed a very valid point which I have been pondering over for long. But respect your wit sense you have compared it with abnormal departure of mercury which has also struck me but it was because of the reason you have cited in the article.
    You have also rightly recorded that now Met office considers Shimla at height of 750 to 1000ft lower otherwise the height of Ridge rather should be the exact height of Shimla. No doubt height is making difference in temperature of Shimla,besides Bemole is also slightly hotter due to climatic conditions due to closed and the Shimla town in general is open and its temperature also keep low due to snow wind puffs from all side.
    It is not the temperature during summer but Shimla often remains below freezing point in the winter but thermometer fixed at CPRI shows two to three degrees variation towards high side.

    Not only this when Shimla has light and medium spell of snow it never gets recorded in Met record. Meanwhile if there is little snow it always converted down into rain. I was told by a Met office that SASE at Manali keeps data of snow which got converted into rain by Shimla Met office.
    I welcome your argument and hope Shimla Met office should learn some thing out of it.

  2. says: Avantika

    The context is truly valid . i being a resident of shimla have noticed it lately . Few days ago i read shimla avg minimum temperature to be around 6 – 8 degree Celsius, while driving around lakarbazzar towards sanjauli i noticed water had frozen in various shaded localities and as we all know water freezes at 0 degree Celsius the Avg temperature appeared utter blunder to me.

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