January 2021 remained Pune’s warmest ever in 41 years, making it a warm winter beginning for the decade.
Throughout last month, minimum temperatures recorded in Pune remained over 10 degrees Celsius, stated temperature data maintained by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
Last month, the lowest the mercury fell was 12.3 degrees Celsius on January 28. On the warmest day last month, the temperature recorded was 19.7 degrees Celsius (January 5).
Since 1980, Pune’s minimum temperatures in January surpassed 10 degrees Celsius only thrice – 1988 (10.2 degrees), 2007 (10.3 degrees) and in 2021 (12.3 degrees).
January normally remains a cold month for Pune and Maharashtra. There have been years when Pune’s minimum temperatures have dropped to as low as 4.4 degrees (1994), 4.7 degrees (1997 and 2006), 5.1 degrees (1984), 5.3 degrees (2011).
According to Met officials, easterly winds dominated the region and kept the mercury levels consistently above normal, not just over Pune, but across Maharashtra. This, despite a cold wave gripping northern India, which influences the weather over central and western India regions.
“The southerly-southeasterly winds were persistent over Maharashtra, which brought in excess moisture. At times, these moist winds interacted with cold northerly winds leading to cloudy sky conditions. As a result, minimum temperatures remained above normal,” said a senior official at IMD, Pune.
Such conducive weather gave way for light rainfall over Pune earlier this year. This was a complete departure to normal, the city recorded 3.4mm during January 4 to 6.
No cold wave conditions were reported over Maharashtra during the season by far. Though Pune does not directly come under the grip of cold wave, cold conditions from neighbouring regions influence the city’s weather.
The maximum temperatures over the city, however, largely remained within normal range and hovered around 30 degrees Celsius and cold day conditions were reported for a brief period.