Punjab had its coolest May in last 15 yrs

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Ludhiana, Jun 11 (UNI) This year, the month of May in Punjab was the coolest in the last 15 years with the lowest temperature 22.5 degrees Celsius recorded on May 20.

May is usually the hottest month for Punjab region with average maximum temperature around 38.5 degrees and minimum 24.7 degrees.

It is, however, not uncommon for the maximum temperature to touch 43 degrees C and even 44 degrees on some days in May in certain parts of the border state.

According to Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), agro meteorologist, Dr (Mrs) K K Gill ''during May this year, the duststorms/thunderstorms in association with eastward moving western disturbances gave respite to people from the oppressive heat.'' During the second fortnight of May, Ludhiana received 56.8 mm rain against the normal of 5.5 mm. Earlier, it was in 1997 that 100 mm rainfall was registered during this month, but even then the lowest temperature remained 26.4 degrees.

Dr Gill said the cool and squally weather in May was a sign of climate change. The rainfall in May and even in the first week of June is good for the soil as well as Kharif crops.

These conditions are also good for paddy transplantation, which commenced from June 10 in Punjab. The current downpour cannot be termed as pre-monsoon showers, as these are due to the influence of cyclonic circulations over Pakistan and adjoining Rajasthan, said the agro-meteorologist.

Elaborating the weather scenario during this period, the Head of Department of Agricultural Meteorology, Dr G S Bains said this year, the behaviour of pre-monsoon season is slightly different, as April was characterised by fluctuations in temperature.

The maximum temperature generally remained below normal during the first week of April and normal to slightly above normal during the middle of the month, Dr Bains added.

The maximum temperatures remained on the lower side in the beginning of April, because of the continuous rainfall in the first week, when 50.2 mm downpour was recorded in the city as compared to 2.9 mm during the same period of last year.

The maximum and minimum temperature for April in and around Ludhiana was 34.1 degrees and 17.7 degrees respectively. On April 30, the highest maximum temperature was recorded 41.5 degrees. The city received a total of 50.2 mm rainfall due to westerly disturbances that moved across the region during first week of April.

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