Heat wave conditions in India to persist till April 27

Mudcracks
IMD declares a heat wave when the maximum temperature exceeds 40 degree C in the plains. – Photo: UNEP

Several parts of India reeled under severe heat wave conditions on Saturday, with the maximum temperature exceeding 47 degrees Celsius at Titlagarh in Odisha and above 45 degrees in several other parts of the country.

No respite is in sight till April 27, as India Meteorological Department issued severe heat wave or heat wave warnings for parts of Odisha, Jharkhand, Telangana and Rayalaseema in Andhra Pradesh.

Vidarbha in Maharashtra, Bihar and the Gangetic West Bengal also recorded above normal temperatures. Even minimum temperatures were above normal by 3.1 to 5 degrees Celsius at many places in east Madhya Pradesh and Rayalaseema, at a few places in Telangana, coastal Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and at isolated places in west Madhya Pradesh and the Gangetic West Bengal.

However, at a few places in Odisha, Telangana, Bihar and Jharkhand, the minimum temperature was above normal by only 1.6 to 3 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature in Hyderabad was the highest in a decade on two days in April.

IMD declares a heat wave when the maximum temperature exceeds 40 degrees Celsius in the plains. If the normal maximum temperature of a place is less than or equal to 40 degrees Celsius, an increase by 5-6 degrees Celsius is needed for heat wave to be declared. If the temperature goes up 7 degrees Celsius above normal, it is considered a severe heat wave.

Several parts of India reeled under severe heat wave conditions on Saturday, with the maximum temperature exceeding 47 degree Celsius in Titlagarh in Odisha and above 45 degrees in several other parts of the country. No respite is in sight for at least the next three days, as the Indian Meteorological Department issued severe heat wave or heat wave warnings for parts of Odisha, Jharkhand, Telangana and the Rayalaseema region in Andhra Pradesh.

Vidarbha in Maharashtra, Bihar and the Gangetic West Bengal also suffered under a scorching sun with temperatures consistently above normal. Even the minimum temperatures were above normal by 3.1 to 5 degree C at many places over East Madhya Pradesh and Rayalaseema; at a few places over Telangana, Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu; at isolated places over West Madhya Pradesh and Gangetic West Bengal.

However, at a few places in Odisha, Telangana, Bihar and Jharkhand the minimum temperature was above normal by only 1.6 to 3 degree C. Hyderabad exceeded maximum recorded in a decade on two days in April.

As per the warning issued by IMD, heat wave conditions are very likely to continue at a few places over Jharkhand for the next four days, while heat wave conditions are very likely at a few places over Telangana and Rajalaseema during the next three days.

In Odisha severe heat wave conditions are very likely to continue till April 26, with only heat wave conditions very likely at a few places in Odisha on April 27.

Heat wave across several places has already claimed over 160 deaths. Heat wave during the third and fourth week of May last year led to over 2,200 deaths in various parts of India.
Last year, the averaged daily maximum temperatures were high over northwest India, central India and along the southeast coast of India during the period of the heat wave

This year, heat wave conditions have been persisting over east India while northwest India has been largely spared. According to Skymet, northwest India may come under the “grip of intense heat wave conditions by April 27”.

Due to cyclonic circulation over East Assam and Meghalaya, northeast India has been receiving heavy rainfall for the last few days.

Published in The Hindu on April 24, 2016

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