Temperature across the country has dropped by 2-4 degree Celsius, according to National Centre for Hydrology and Meteorology (NCHM) official.
The lowest temperature recorded this winter stands at -11 degree Celsius. Haa and Gasa saw the drop in temperature to -11 degree Celsius in January and late December.
The coldest place on earth yesterday was Oymyakon, a settlement of some 500 people in Russia’s Yakutia region. The temperature there was -42 degree Celsius.
Winter season in Bhutan starts from December and runs until February.
Official from NCHM said that compared to last year the temperature this winter had dropped by 2-4 degree Celsius across the country. “A long spell cold wave condition has been prevailing over the region and there is a drop of 2-4 degree Celsius, which is below normal (1996-2018),” the official added
Thimphu recorded the lowest minimum temperature of -8.5 degree Celsius in January 2005 since 1996. This winter the temperature dropped to -8 degree Celsius on January 1 in Thimphu.
According to data with the NCHM from six stations—Bhur, Chamkhar, Damphu, Haa, Trashigang, and Simtokha the lowest temperature recorded since 1996 until today was -14.5 degree Celsius in January 2011 in Haa.
The second lowest temperature was recorded at -13.5 degree Celsius in 2013 in Chamkhar.
While the first snowfall last winter was in January 2018, the country experienced this winter’s first snowfall on December 18, 2018.
NCHM official said that the first snowfall on December 18 was due to the peripheral effect from the cyclonic storm named “PHETHAI” that developed over the Bay of Bengal. “There was good moisture incursion from Bay of Bengal that caused heavy snowfall over western and central Bhutan.”
Winter precipitation in the country occurs due to the western disturbance, which is moist warm air blowing from the Mediterranean and to some extent from the Arabian Sea.
“The second snowfall on January 3 this year was a light snow/rain over the country. This event occurred due to the western disturbance,” the official added.
The weather is expected to remain the same for the coming days as Bhutan is in the mid of winter season. “Feeble western disturbance is observed. Due to this system, partly to mostly cloudy weather is expected across the country with possibility of light snowfall at isolated places of northern and western parts of the country during next two days (Thursday and Friday).”
Temperature is likely to drop by 1-2 degree Celsius over the country during this period.