El Niño and La Niña Responsible for India’s Cold Winter, Writes Murtugudde

ESSIC/AOSC Professor Raghu Murtugudde recently wrote an article in Tech2 titled “El Niño and La Niña Tinker with Western Disturbances and India’s Winters Too”.

In the article, he discusses the unusually cold winter that India has experienced this year.  Though many point to the term “polar vortex” to explain these temperatures, Murtugudde points to El Niño, which affects India’s “Subtropical Westerly Jet” (SWJ), a jet stream that acts as a conduit to western disturbances; and La Niña, which pipes in cold air from Siberia and South China.

“We obviously need to pay more attention to the machinations of El Niño and La Niña during our summers as well as our winters.  Polar Vortex may not be a big player for Indian winters,” writes Murtugudde.

In addition to his work at ESSIC, Murtugudde is an Affiliate Professor for the Department of Geology currently serving as a Visiting Professor in Bombay, India.  He works primarily in climate studies, exploring the co-evolution of life and climate and what it means for sustainability.  He also writes a blog hosted on the ESSIC website.