More than 1,600 people died due to extreme weather conditions across the country last year, with severe heat wave claiming the largest chunk of the total deaths at 40 per cent, followed by flooding and lightning.
The IMD said 2016 was the warmest year ever recorded, globally as well as in India. Phalodi in Rajasthan recorded 51 degrees Celsius, highest ever recorded in the country.
January and February were the warmest winter months ever, according to IMD, which records weather patterns since 1901.
Bihar, Gujarat and Maharashtra topped the casualty list with the states contributing 35 per cent of the total. They together recorded 552 deaths due to extreme weather patterns.
According to a report by India Meteorological Department (IMD), 40 per cent of the total deaths were due to severe heat wave, which claimed more than 700 lives in the country, with Telangana and Andhra Pradesh together recording the maximum deaths i.e more than 400.
Gujarat and Maharashtra registered 87 and 43 deaths due to heat waves respectively.
Cold wave claimed 53 lives in the country.
Lightning claimed more than 415 lives and the worst hit were the eastern states of Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Odisha alone recorded more than 132 deaths due to lightning while 43 deaths occurred in Maharashtra.
IMD last year started issuing summer and winter forecasts with heat wave and cold wave warnings.