‘Climate of India during 2021’ report.

21 January 2022.


Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) published its “Climate of India during 2021” report on January 21, 2022.


  • As per report, year 2021 was the fifth warmest year in India since country-wide records started in India in 1901.
  • India reported a loss of 1,750 lives because of extreme weather events in 2021.
  • Maharashtra was the most adversely affected state, with 350 deaths.
  • Among extreme weather events, lightning & thunderstorms was responsible for highest 787 lives followed by floods, heavy rains, and landslides, causing deaths of 759 people.
  • Cyclones was responsible for 172 deaths in different states in 2021.

Findings on warming phenomena

  • On warming phenomena, report finds that, 11 out of 15 warmest years in the India were during last fifteen years that is, 2007 to 2021.
  • Highest warming was observed during 2016. The year reported warming of 0.71 degree Celsius above “long period average (LPA)” based on 1981-2010 period.

Mean temperature

  • In India, the annual mean land surface air temperature during 2021 was 0.44 degree C above the LPA. Winter (January to February) with mean temperature anomalies of +0.78 degree C and post-monsoon (October to December) with mean temperature anomalies of +0.42 degree C mainly contributed to this warming.
  • The all-India mean temperatures during other seasons like pre-monsoon (March to May) and monsoon (June to September) were also reported “above normal” with mean temperature anomalies of +0.35 degree C and +0.34 degree C, respectively.

Mean Temperature during 1901-2021

  • The annual mean temperature in India during 1901-2021 witnessed an increasing trend of 0.63 degree C per 100 years.
  •  India’s mean surface temperature seems to be in sync with increase in the global mean surface temperature.

Annual rainfall

  • 2021 annual rainfall over India as a whole was 105% of its LPA, based on 1961-2010 period.
  • The southwest monsoon season rainfall over India as a whole was ‘normal’ at 99% of its LPA while northeast or post monsoon season (October-December) rainfall was ‘above normal’ at 144% of LPA.

Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI)

  • The IMD also compiled the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) in its annual report. SPI is used to monitor drought conditions based on precipitation.
  • The index is negative for dry while positive for wet conditions.
  •  The cumulative SPI values in past twelve months of 2021 highlights “extremely wet – severely wet conditions” in parts of A & N Islands, West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, East Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Delhi etc. “Extremely dry – severely dry” conditions were observed across Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur etc.

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