North Indians, Brace Up For Coldest Winter

26 Oct, 2021 11:43 IST|Sakshi Post

In January and February, India's temperatures are projected to drop to as low as 3 degrees Celsius (37 degrees Fahrenheit) in certain northern places due to La Nina.

Impact of La Nina: La Nina might cause harsher winters in several of the world's most populous countries.

Japan's stocking capacity will be impacted by lower-than-normal temperatures next month.

La Nina: A meteorological phenomenon that is anticipated to exacerbate Asia's energy dilemma is on the horizon, bringing with it harsher winters.

In the Pacific, the La Nina pattern has evolved, which occurs when equatorial trade winds intensify, bringing colder, deep water up from the ocean's depths. This usually means colder-than-normal temperatures in the northern hemisphere, prompting regional weather forecasters to issue winter weather warnings.

Several countries, notably China, the world's largest energy consumer, are dealing with rising fuel prices and, in certain cases, power shortages or restrictions on heavy industrial supplies. Coal and gas costs are already high, and a harsh winter will increase heating demand, likely leading to more increases.

"We are expecting temperatures to be colder than normal this winter across northeastern Asia," said Renny Vandewege, a vice president of weather operations at data provider DTN. "Weather forecast data is a critical component of predicting how much energy load will be required."

Here's what the future holds for a few key countries:

China

According to the country's National Climate Center, temperatures dropped over most of eastern China early last week, and are already lower than typical in several northern places. Heilongjiang, Shaanxi, and Shanxi provinces started the winter heating season four to thirteen days earlier than in prior years. In many locations, local government-controlled systems are used to heat inhabitants' houses, which are generally fueled by coal or gas.

According to Zhi Xiefei, an atmospheric science professor at Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, extreme weather events may become more common as a result of global warming. "Cold waves could lead to greater temperature drops, but unusual warm events could also appear," Zhi added. The country is expected to experience La Nina conditions this month, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Japan

Temperatures in Japan are expected to be lower than average next month, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, which previously predicted a 60% chance of a La Nina during the autumn-winter season. After last year's extreme frost, which saw wholesale power costs skyrocket, the country, which has been comparatively sheltered from the energy crisis, is keeping a close eye on things.

Stocking Up

Last winter, utilities were caught short on fuel, requiring them to purchase expensive spot liquefied natural gas cargoes. To prepare for the winter months, the trade ministry has already met with key power, gas, and oil companies, and LNG inventories held by Japan's top energy suppliers are presently approximately 24% more than the four-year average.

South Korea

According to the country's meteorological service, South Korea will see colder weather in the first half of winter and will also be affected by the impacts of La Nina. During an abnormally frigid October, the country received its first snowfall of the season 15 days earlier than the previous year.

The administration of the country is already taking initiatives to increase gasoline supplies and reduce the impact of rising costs. Fuel taxes and LNG import tariffs will be temporarily reduced, Vice Finance Minister Lee Eog-weon said on Friday.

India

Temperatures in certain northern parts of India are likely to drop to as low as 3 degrees Celsius (37 degrees Fahrenheit) in January and February before rebounding. Cooler weather, in contrast to other countries, often results in decreased energy usage as demand for air conditioning decreases.

Most crucially, the nation anticipates a dry phase following the monsoon season's end. In recent months, flooding in key coal mining regions has caused a shortage of fuel required to generate nearly 70% of the country's power.

Other variables, besides La Nina episodes, can influence the region's winter weather, according to Todd Crawford, director of meteorology at Atmospheric G2. Climate change has resulted in a loss of sea ice in the Arctic's Kara Sea, which may be contributing to the region's high-pressure ridging. "like what happened last winter," he continued, this causes downstream colder weather in northeast Asia.

There are also signs that the polar vortex, a ring of winds that trap cold in the north, maybe weaker than usual at the start of winter, allowing freezing air to pour south, according to Crawford.

"Putting all that together, we think the best window for big cold in northeast Asia this winter is in the late November to mid-January window," he said. "That is where we think the greatest risk lies."

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