Big traffic with TukTuks, buses and people in New-Delhi, Delhi, India

Media Ignore Delhi’s Coldest May Since 1901

By Vijay Jayaraj

On May 4, India’s capital of New Delhi recorded the third coldest May morning since 1901. At 16 degree Celsius (60 Fahrenheit), the region’s 32 million residents woke up to a relatively cold morning in what is usually the hottest month of the year.

So why is there a record low temperature when the dominant mainstream narrative tells us that climate change has made our environs warmer than before? Is this just an aberration?

While Western media obsessed with the warm weather in Spain, India’s capital recorded a very cold summer morning. In fact, most of the cold-weather records in Delhi have gone unreported in Western media, which are mainly interested in showcasing the city’s extreme summer temperatures.

Neatly concealed from the public’s eye are the record low winter temperatures that Delhi has been witnessing since 2017. In December 2018, Delhi recorded an average minimum temperature of 7°C (44°F), the third lowest in the last 50 years. On December 30, 2019, the maximum temperature settled at 9°C (49°F), making it the coldest December day in 122 years.

As is the case globally, winter cold in Delhi is a bigger killer than summer heat. According to studies, short-term exposure to extreme temperature accounts for 6.5 percent of all deaths in India, with 88 percent of that amount caused by cold weather and only 12 percent by hot weather.

This is an example of media bias towards advancing a narrative of apocalyptic warming when reporting weather events. Also, part of this slanted reporting is the media’s failure to acknowledge the real reason behind the recording of all-time high summer temperatures: the urban heat island (UHI).

Urban Heat Island, Not Climate, Sets Records

During my stint as a climate consultant in New Delhi, I lived close to the Safdarjung temperature-measurement station. As per the Indian Meteorological Department, the highest maximum temperature ever recorded at Safdarjung was 47°C (117°F) on May 29, 1944.

This high temperature recorded nearly 80 years ago for this station has yet to be toppled by the 21st century warming that supposedly threatens us with doom, and the reason is probably the station’s location.

Unlike the other temperature monitoring stations in Delhi, the Safdarjung station is in a relatively greener section of the city. Thus, it is less susceptible to the Urban Heat Island effect, and, therefore, has not been registering the insanely high temperatures of 49°C (120°F) witnessed in and around Delhi.

Mahesh Palawat, vice-president of Skymet Weather Services, says, “Safdarjung weather station is located in a fairly green area, as compared to the rest of Delhi, which has a lot of heavily concretised spaces without much green cover. Temperatures in these parts of the city will therefore, understandably, be higher.”

So, the reason thermometers record new all-time highs in Delhi is because of urbanization’s concrete structures and pavements and other landscape changes. Weather officials also note that some of the newer automatic weather instruments used in highly urbanized areas may be prone to error.

“Most observatories in Delhi have automatic systems, which have a scope for error because they use bimetals, which can contract and expand during different weather conditions,” says an official of the India Meteorological Department in the Hindustan Times. He added that abnormal temperature spikes of the error-prone stations should be compared to the readings of older stations like Safdarjung to obtain “a more precise idea of the temperature.”

It takes just a bit of common sense to understand the artificial urban heat island impact on thermometers in cities and airports. However, preconceived notions of catastrophic warming pose serious hurdles to grasping this reality.

Delhi’s case illustrates that warming is not a continuous and unprecedented phenomenon as some claim it to be. Instead, we see at play a chaotic climate system at work with unpredictable weather patterns. Additionally, we must be mindful of the urban heat island impact when reading news bulletins about record-high summer temperatures.

Vijay Jayaraj is a Research Associate at the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, Virginia. He holds a master’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of East Anglia, UK and resides in India.

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Ron Long
May 16, 2023 6:26 am

So, the theme continues: cold is weather and heat is climate change. Sorry for the cold weather in Delhi, and probably it produced some extra deaths. Here’s another example of “weather”: in the major wine-producing of Mendoza, Argentina, a late Spring (2022) frost destroyed 40% of the wine grape harvest. This weather versus climate change theme is being embedded in mainstream medias vocabulary.

Tom Abbott
May 16, 2023 6:44 am

It’s interesting to see what is considered cold in India.

The weather is a little cold over here in the United States, too.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 16, 2023 9:22 am

Himalaya’s glaciers are melting at the rate of knots ! !
That requires lot of heat, right !
Heat has to come from somewhere.
 New Delhi is having lot of it, so no surprise that some of it went ‘uphill’.

Reply to  vuk
May 16, 2023 11:12 am

The Himalayas will be ice-free by 2035, dontcha know? 😉

Krishna Gans
May 16, 2023 6:54 am

The heat and missing rain in Spain will be over these days, in Germany we are awaiting temps below 0°C this night.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
May 16, 2023 9:24 am

South of France had hose pipe ban for months.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  vuk
May 16, 2023 9:52 am

I think there was a ban on the sale of garden swimming pools there too

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
May 16, 2023 10:22 am

Water and temperature, not the same issue.

Reply to  vuk
May 16, 2023 10:17 am

Excuse my ignorance… what is a “hose pipe ban”?

Krishna Gans
Reply to  sturmudgeon
May 16, 2023 11:28 am

You know that ?
comment image

I too had to look for that 😀

Last edited 13 days ago by Krishna Gans
Rich Davis
Reply to  sturmudgeon
May 16, 2023 4:19 pm

Watering ban. No use of garden hoses.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  vuk
May 16, 2023 10:25 am

Thay may change the next days:
comment image

Reply to  Krishna Gans
May 16, 2023 10:16 am

Is that missing rain, occurring only in the ‘plain’?

Reply to  sturmudgeon
May 16, 2023 11:14 am

Mainly, not only

Rich Davis
Reply to  Redge
May 16, 2023 4:20 pm

By Jove! I think he’s got it.

May 16, 2023 7:03 am

How can this May be the coldest May since 1901 anywhere when the month is only about halfway done?

Curious George
Reply to  donklipstein
May 16, 2023 8:40 am

Let’s leave this handling of data to the IPCC and Dr. Mann.

Reply to  donklipstein
May 16, 2023 10:20 am

That leaves the possibility (though not the probability) that it could register a temp that is twice as cold by the end of May.

Reply to  donklipstein
May 16, 2023 11:04 am

“third coldest May morning since 1901.” i.e. just that particular day, not an average for the whole month.

Rich Davis
Reply to  donklipstein
May 16, 2023 4:27 pm

If you already hit a temperature that is lower than any other day in May in 122 years then you know that this May has been colder (not on average, but at its minimum temperature), than any other May in nearly a century and a quarter. At this point the low temperature for May 2023 can only go lower or stay where it is currently.

May 16, 2023 7:57 am

This is obviously incorrect because everything is getting warmer all the time. I guess the IPCC have read the data upside down but this is understandable since Delhi is, near enough, underneath several bits of the USA.
Do I need S/?

Peta of Newark
May 16, 2023 8:49 am

There’s a nice one to play with because there are quite a few Wunderground stations dotted around the city.
Nice. Another place I’ve never been.

Basically and after a *very* quick recce, ‘something happened’ on or around 19/20th April and carried on through until 7 or 8th May

Because if you look at the monthly sequences you can see the springtime temps ramping up thro April as normal then they crash to about 20°C and don’t recover their ‘ramp’ until after 1st week of May

If you go back a whole year, (and check other stations) all thro that period end-Apr thro early-May, temps run at about 30°C average

I’ve cobbled together a thing to show can sort-of make out where for that 3 week period things ran about 10°C colder than normal..

What happened further up the river aroundabout Mid April – it can only be that.

Something‘ set off a fairly major tsunami of very cold water down the river and that cooled the city. There are some sizable icesheets and glaciers not all that far away ‘oop north’

Not least as the coldest place (Safdarjung) is very close to the river.
The only places I can find only dropped to 20°C rather than 16C as reported there.
Is that what Safdarjung is = a riverside park?
fits perfectly

edit. My pic is damaged somehow for Firefox but it opens OK in a New Tab

Delhi Temp Crash April May 2023.PNG
Last edited 13 days ago by Peta of Newark
May 16, 2023 9:45 am

Selective (cherry picked) reporting is the new norm. I have been following MSM coverage of “catastrophic” cyclone Mocha, which hit Myanmar and Bangladesh last weekend. The coverage started with emphasis on many people would die. When it turned out that fewer than 10 people died, the emphasis shifted to property damage from the second strongest ever Bay of Bengal cyclone. What is left unsaid is that Cyclone Bhola, which hit Bangladesh in 1970, killed 300,000-500,000 people.

Reply to  mohatdebos
May 16, 2023 10:22 am

The “new norm” has certainly been around for a long time.

Reply to  mohatdebos
May 16, 2023 10:28 am

Death counts, longevity, property damage measured without inflation adjustment, public opinion surveys…

In 100 years, kids might ask “why didn’t they just put on their antigravity boots and walk above the storm?”

Reply to  KevinM
May 17, 2023 11:51 am

My favourite is “dead and injured”

May 16, 2023 10:19 am

Q: “So why is there a record low temperature when the dominant mainstream narrative tells us that climate change has made our environs warmer than before?”

A: Because a 60F morning deal is “no big deal”. Whether or not 60F is expected in that situation does not make it matter. As counter-example, 120F high or 32F low feels terrible whether expected or not.

Last edited 13 days ago by KevinM
Rich Davis
Reply to  KevinM
May 16, 2023 4:34 pm

A 32F low feels terrible? I guess it has come to pass, the kids won’t know what snow is? Where do you live, Singapore?

May 17, 2023 11:22 am

“…Delhi’s Coldest May Since 1901…” [story title]
On May 4, India’s capital of New Delhi recorded the third coldest May morning since 1901. At 16 degree Celsius (60 Fahrenheit), the region’s 32 million residents woke up to a relatively cold morning in what is usually the hottest month of the year.” [story text].
So what is it, the coldest May, the third coldest May, the coldest May 4th morning, or the third coldest May 4th morning since 1901?

Since the story is dated May 14th, the subject line would seem to a bit premature with half of May yet to arrive. The remaining contradictions are not so easy to resolve.

Is it that my command of Globish is faulty?

“…So why is there a record low temperature…?”

Good question, but what IS the PREVIOUS “record low temperature” referred to, and what happened to the “third”?

Does the poster mean to say that the 1901 May morning low temperature record for New Delhi, has been broken three times in the first four mornings of May 2023?

This is the only sense my lamentably antiquated grasp of English can make of the above. And then, only if each of these successive record breaking lows of May 2023 were lower than the preceding. Otherwise, the word ‘third” would not apply.

I’m also left wondering whether this 16C “relatively cold” New Delhi May 4th morning is also the lowest temperature EVER recorded there.

While interesting, this article is short on data and coherency, resulting in fatal lack of credibility. The sensational subject title appears to be nothing but a bait and switch tactic for the rant that constitutes almost all of the post’s substance.

Chris Norman
May 19, 2023 5:49 pm

We have just entered a grand solar minimum, The last one, the Maunder Minimum (1650 – 1715), resulted in great hardship as the planet’s temperature dropped and excessive precipitation in all its forms became normal. The resulting damage to or destruction of crops caused by this rain, hail, sleet and snow was at times catastrophic. Starvation was widespread and while records of death were not specifically recorded there are writings that show a vast number died of cold and hunger. Hail “killed the beasts in the fields”. Animals starved. Professor Valentina Zharkova who has worked on and written extensively on this subject of grand solar minimums, recently told us that this GSM started last June. Evidently great cold and hardship is coming. 
Here is the growth in Arctic ice, coincident with the reducing Solar Cycles, 
The annual maximum extent in millions of square kilometers. Year, area, date. Source: NSIDC. 
2017………………..…..14.43……..March 7    
2018……up to………14.48……..March 17.
2019……up to……… 14.78……..March 3.
2020……up to……… 15.05……..March 5 
2021…down to…….. 14.77……..March 21
2022….up to…………..14.88………Feb 25       

Last edited 10 days ago by Chris Norman
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