Globally, winter is colder this year.
While India experienced abnormal drop in temperature and cold wave conditions, Bhutan is also experiencing drop in temperature by 2 degree Celsius.
Icy winds has struck most areas in Bhutan intensifying the prevailing cold conditions even as the Deputy Chief Meteorologist of National Center for hydrology and meteorology, Tayba B Tamang forecast similar conditions for the next few days. However, he said that weather changes from day to day with varying temperature, pressure, rainfall and other factors.
“As per analysis there is not much differences in observation compared to past year though the dip in temperature this winter is lower than in the past,” said the senior Meteorologist.
This year first week of January had lower minimum temperature compared to last year.
The temperature drop was studied in four stations like Sarpang, Samtse, Bumthang and Thimphu.
“Normally we experience drop in temperature from December and the coldest month is the January,” said Tayba B Tamang.
The temperature this year dropped low in most of the places since last week of December. There was a sharp drop over southern Bhutan on January 7 morning across the country. However, as of now, from the four station analyses, no station has broken the lowest temperature record.
Bhutan experienced its coldest winter in 2013. In 2013, Sarpang and Samtse saw drop of temperature of 6 Degree C in January and Bumthang saw a drop of -13.5 Degree C in December. In January 2005, Thimphu saw drop of -8.5 Degree C.
Tayba B Tamang explained that the winter weather and season depends on the western disturbance (WD) (moist warm air blowing from the Mediterranean and to some extent from Arabian sea). When there is weak WD, the wind normally blows from northerly direction bringing cold dry air over the Himalayan region.
According to him, since there is weak WD Bhutan is currently experiencing cold and dry weather condition across the country. This condition normally creates a cold wave condition over the Himalayan region until stronger WD dominates the weather condition. Foggy weather toward the morning is also expected over the southern Himalayan belt.
Although the prevailing cool and dry weather is expected to continue until there is strong western disturbance, the foggy conditions over the southern belt of Bhutan is expected to continue because of the cold wave conditions. However as of now there is no forecast of precipitation for Bhutan for next three to five days.
Tayba B Tamang said the temperature fluctuation depends on the weather system approaching the region. As of now, due to wind blowing from mountains most of the places in Bhutan is having cooler minimum temperature. “The temperature will rise once we have a western disturbance approaching Bhutan which brings moist warm air from the Mediterranean Sea.”
Pema Seldon from Thimphu