Yakutsk, minus 50 degree celsius
With no signs of this long winter coming to an end, residents are fearing that it may impact the energy infrastructure in the city | Representational photo

Brrrrr! Brace for a punishing winter in north India early next year

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Take out your warmest woollens, dust out that room heater, and buy an extra pair of socks – it’s going to be a freezing cold winter north of India early next year.

The signs are already there, with the La Nina weather pattern – which causes frigid winters in the northern hemisphere – emerging in the Pacific Ocean and showing its effect in the form of extreme weather events over the past few weeks, along with heavy rain and delayed withdrawal of monsoon from India.

Early snowfall has started in the north of India, with temperatures dropping to below zero in some areas of Himachal Pradesh, such as Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur. Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti recorded minus 5 degrees Celsius temperature, the India Meteorological Department said, while Shimla saw minimum temperature of 6.4 degrees Celsius in the last 24 hours.

A Bloomberg report said January and February will be particularly cold in some northern states of India with temperatures set to fall as low as 3 degrees Celsius, and that a colder winter meant energy crises in several Asian nations, particularly top energy consumer China.

Many weather agencies across the world have also issued warnings of below-normal temperatures, while the IMD reported national capital Delhi as recording minimum temperature of 19 degrees Celsius on Sunday.

Heavy rains, meanwhile, have been lashing Uttarakhand in the north and Kerala in the south. According to the IMD, the country received 41 per cent more rainfall than normal from October 1 to 21 with Uttarakhand alone recording more than five times its normal precipitation.

Last year too, the winter was colder than usual. Uttar Pradesh and Punjab in the north saw minimum temperatures hovering below the five-degrees Celsius mark, with cold wave conditions and dense fog. Delhi witnessed a colder than usual November with the mean minimum temperature hovering around 10 degrees Celsius.

Also read: Severe cold in north India: IMD issues warning, suggests action

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