2021 fifth warmest year in India since 1901: IMD

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New Delhi: The year 2021 was the fifth warmest in India since 1901, with the country recording its annual mean surface air temperature at 0.44 degree Celsius above normal, the India Meteorological Department said on Friday.

The country also reported 1,750 deaths due to extreme weather events such as floods, cyclonic storms, heavy rain, landslides and lightning during the year, it said.

“The year 2021 was the fifth warmest year after 2016, 2009, 2017 and 2010 since 1901. The annual mean air temperature for the country was recorded at 0.44 degree Celsius above normal,” the MeT department’s annual climate statement stated.

“The winter (January to February) and post-monsoon (October to December) seasons with all India mean temperature anomalies of 0.78 degree Celsius and 0.42 degree Celsius respectively mainly contributed to this warming,” it said.

In 2016, the annual mean surface air temperature for the country was 0.710 degree Celsius above normal. It was 0.550 degree Celsius and 0.541 degree Celsius above the average temperature in 2009 and 2017, respectively.

In 2010, the mean annual air temperature stood 0.539 degree Celsius above normal, it said.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said thunderstorms and lightning reportedly claimed 787 lives in India in 2021, while 759 people died in heavy rainfall and flood-related incidents last year, it said.

Five cyclonic storms claimed 172 lives and 32 others died due to other extreme weather events, the statement added.

Maharashtra was the worst-hit state with 350 fatalities, followed by Odisha (223) and Madhya Pradesh (191).

The Met office said the annual rainfall in the country in 2021 was 105 per cent of its long-period average (based on 1961-2010 period).

The southwest monsoon season rainfall over the country as a whole was 99 per cent of its LPA, it said.

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