No respite from heatwave in India; mercury to rise further for 5 days

India saw its warmest March this year since the IMD began keeping records 122 years ago amid a 71% rain deficit. Parts of the country are also seeing wheat yields drop by up to 35% due to the unseasonal heat.

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The highest temperature ever recorded in Britain is 38.7 C (101.7 F), a record set in 2019

There will be no respite from the ongoing heatwave in the country as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned that the conditions will continue for the next five days.

In a forecast, the IMD said that the heatwave conditions will prevail over northwest and central India during the next five days and over east India during the next three days and abate thereafter.

Also read: Massive power cuts in several states due to heatwave, coal shortage

The heatwave conditions will remain in some parts over west Rajasthan during 29-30 April with severe heatwave conditions on 1 May and gradually decrease into heatwave conditions in isolated pockets on 2 May, IMD said on Friday (April 29).

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The heatwave conditions in some/isolated parts over Vidarbha, west Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana-Chandigarh-Delhi and East Rajasthan during the next five days.

Temperatures to rise by 2-degree Celsius

“A rise by about 2°C in maximum temperatures is very likely over most parts of northwest India during the next two days and no significant change thereafter,” according to IMD.

Also read: Extreme heatwave sears eastern India

India saw its warmest March this year since the IMD began keeping records 122 years ago amid a 71% rain deficit. Parts of the country are also seeing wheat yields drop by up to 35% due to the unseasonal heat.

On Thursday, an orange alert was issued for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra for the next four days. The IMD uses four colour codes for weather warnings — green (no action needed), yellow (watch and stay updated), orange (be prepared), and red (take action).

Also read: Heatwave in some parts, rainfall in others

There were several places in India that recorded temperatures between 43 and 45 degree Celsius.

Maximum temperatures (as of April 27) were 43-45° C over most parts of west Rajasthan, Vidarbha, Madhya Pradesh and east Uttar Pradesh; in some parts of east Rajasthan, Saurashtra-Kutch, interior Gangetic West Bengal and Madhya Maharashtra and in isolated pockets of Gujarat region, Bihar, Jharkhand, northern Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Marathwada and northern parts of Telangana and Rayalaseema.

It was 40-43° C over most parts of Haryana-Delhi, Punjab, West Uttar Pradesh, remaining parts of Gangetic West Bengal; in remaining parts of Telangana, remaining parts of East Rajasthan & remaining parts of Gujarat Region and in isolated pockets of remaining parts of Rayalaseema, the met department said.

Maximum temperatures were 3.1 degrees Celsius to 5 degrees Celsius above normal in Jharkhand, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, and Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday; with the mercury hitting 45.6 degrees Celsius at Rajgarh in Madhya Pradesh.

Health concerns

Temperatures may even leap to 47 degrees Celsius in parts of northwest India, weather experts said.

“A maximum temperature of 45 degrees Celsius is normal at places like Churu, Barmer, Bikaner, and Sri Ganganagar, but 45-46 degrees Celsius in the plains of north India by April end is quite unusual,” independent meteorologist Navdeep Dahiya told PTI.

The IMD said the heatwave could lead to “moderate” health concerns for vulnerable people — infants, the elderly, and people with chronic diseases — in affected areas.

“Hence people of these regions should avoid heat exposure, wear lightweight and light-coloured cotton clothes and cover the head by a hat, umbrella, etc.,” it said.

There is an “increased likelihood of heat illness symptoms in people who are either exposed to the sun for a prolonged period or doing heavy work”, an IMD advisory read.

A heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature is over 40 degrees Celsius and at least 4.5 notches above normal. A severe heatwave is declared if the departure from normal temperature is more than 6.4 notches, according to the IMD.

Based on absolute recorded temperatures, a heatwave is declared when an area logs a maximum temperature of 45 degrees Celsius. A severe heatwave is declared if the temperature crosses the 47-degree mark.

In the forecast for April 28-May 4, the IMD said that there would be no significant change in maximum temperatures very likely in most parts of east India during the first half of the week and fall by about 2-3°C thereafter. Also, there will be no significant change in maximum temperatures very likely in rest of the country.

The heatwave conditions in isolated pockets over west Rajasthan will remain from April 28-30 with severe heatwave conditions on May 1-2.

In the forecast for May 5-11, the IMD said, that there won’t be significant change in maximum temperatures in most parts of the country. However, it is likely to be above normal by 2-4°C in many parts of northwest India and along the East Coast. It is likely to be below normal to near normal in rest of India. The heatwave conditions will remain at isolated pockets in northwest and adjoining central India and over Odisha, Coastal Andhra Pradesh during some days of the week.

Mercury to touch 46-degree Celsius in Delhi

Meanwhile, a few places in Delhi are likely to see the mercury touch the 46-degree Celsius mark on Friday, the IMD said.

The Safdarjung observatory – Delhi’s base station – had recorded a maximum temperature of 43.5 degrees Celsius on Thursday, the highest in April in 12 years.

The national capital had recorded a maximum temperature of 43.7 degrees Celsius on April 18, 2010. The all-time high temperature for the month is 45.6 degrees Celsius, which was recorded on April 29, 1941.

“The temperature at the Safdarjung observatory is likely to go up by 0.5 degree Celsius to 1 degree Celsius on Friday. It may even touch 46 degrees Celsius at some places,” senior scientist R K Jenamani said.

Forecast for rain

According to the IMD, fairly widespread/widespread rainfall with thunderstorm / lightning / gusty winds (speed reaching 40-50 kmph) is very likely over Arunachal Pradesh, Assam-Meghalaya and scattered/fairly widespread rainfall over Nagaland-Manipur-Mizoram-Tripura and SubHimalayan West Bengal-Sikkim during most days of the week. Isolated heavy rainfall very likely over Arunachal Pradesh on 30th and over Assam, Meghalaya from April 30-May 2.

There are chances of light / moderate isolated rainfall accompanied with thunderstorm / lightning/ gusty winds (speed reaching 30-40 kmph) very likely over Jammu-Kashmir-Ladakh-Gilgit-Baltistan-Muzaffarabad from April 28-30 and Himachal Pradesh during the next five days and over Uttarakhand from April 29-May 1. Isolated hailstorms are also likely over Uttarakhand from April 29-May 2, and duststorms are very likely over Punjab, Haryana-Chandigarh-Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan on April 30, the IMD said.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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