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The maximum temperature in Dehradun was 31.8 degrees Celsius on Friday, almost eight notches above normal and the highest ever on a day in February in recorded history. This was just a day after Thursday’s maximum temperature, 31.3 degrees Celsius, was recorded as the warmest ever in Doon during this time of the year. Before these two days, February 25, 2006, when the maximum temperature soared to 31.2 degrees Celsius in Doon, was the hottest day in February ever. Officials of the regional meteorological centre said that a prolonged dry spell and lack of moisture had resulted in rising temperatures and the onset of summer as early as February.

In fact, Dehradun had started seeing higher than normal temperatures around the third week of February. It breached the 30-degree Celsius mark on February 24, which usually happens in the first week of March.

“On Friday, the maximum temperature in Dehradun was recorded at 31.8 degrees Celsius, which is the hottest day ever recorded in the month of February. On Thursday, the maximum temperature had settled at 31.3 degrees Celsius, the second-highest yet,” said Rohit Thapliyal, senior meteorologist, IMD.

He added that a dry winter may be the reason behind the unusual heat. “Three feeble western disturbances were witnessed in the month of February in Uttarakhand, which hardly made any difference on the weather conditions of the state. As a result, dry conditions prevailed and temperatures continued to soar. Usually, at this time of the year, snow and rainfall activity keep the temperature in check,” Thapliyal said.

Meanwhile on Friday, Pantnagar in Udham Singh Nagar district also witnessed the highest maximum temperature ever on a day in February at 31.3 degrees Celsius, the Met office said.