Winter this year is likely to be colder than last year but warmer than normal across the country, particularly in the northern region, the India Meteorological Department said on Thursday.
During the period between December, 2017 and February, 2018, warmer than normal maximum and minimum temperatures are likely across the country, the IMD said.
"However, the season's mean temperatures in most of the subdivisions are likely to be cooler than last year," IMD Director General K J Ramesh said.
The season's average maximum temperature is likely to be warmer by a degree Celsius in Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, eastern and western Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, central Maharashtra, Vidarbha, Marathwada, west and east Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur and Mizoram, the IMD said in its winter forecast.
The last winter season 2016-17 witnessed an anomaly of 1 degree Celsius, which was the fourth warmest recorded since 1901.
"There is moderate, that is 40 per cent, probability of minimum temperatures in the core cold wave zone during the season to be above normal," the IMD said.
The core cold wave zone covers Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana, Marathwada, Vidarbha, Saurashtra and central Maharashtra.
"This suggests occurrence of cold wave conditions in the core cold wave zone during the 2017/18 cold weather season is likely to be normal to less than normal," the forecast said.
The IMD also said that analysis of minimum temperature data over the country during the last four decades suggested a decreasing trend in the frequency and duration of cold waves in many parts of the country.
"This is in tune with the deceasing trends in cold waves observed over many parts of the world. One of the reasons behind the decreasing trend in the cold wave is global warming," the forecast said.
The IMD started issuing winter forecast last year after several deaths were reported due to cold waves. It said, on an average, 780 deaths, particularly of homeless people, take place due to cold wave each year.