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Business News/ News / India/  IMD issues heatwave warning: AP, Bihar, Gujarat, parts of Maharashtra, MP and Odisha sizzle as max temperature soars 46C
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IMD issues heatwave warning: AP, Bihar, Gujarat, parts of Maharashtra, MP and Odisha sizzle as max temperature soars 46C

As per the IMD, a heatwave is officially recognised when temperatures reach at least 40 degrees Celsius in plains, 37 degrees in coastal areas, and 30 degrees in hilly regions, moving at least 4.5 notches off normal. For severe heatwave classification, it should 6.4 notches off normal.

Heatwave conditions will prevail in east Indian states this week (AFP)Premium
Heatwave conditions will prevail in east Indian states this week (AFP)

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts an increase in heatwave days across the country, with April expecting four to eight days against the normal one to three, PTI reported. Moreover, the entire April-June period may witness 10-20 heatwave days, with certain regions facing over 20 days of scorching conditions.

Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Marathwada, Odisha and Vidharba are predicted to record more heatwave days, some even more than 20 days of the month.

The intense heat poses risks to power grids and may lead to water shortages in various parts of the country, the weather department has warned, PTI reported. Furthermore, the agricultural sector, heavily reliant on the monsoon, faces uncertainties as La Nina conditions are anticipated later in the year.

Heatwave Conditions Prevail

A searing heatwave has enveloped parts of India, with temperatures soaring as high as 46 degrees Celsius in some areas on April 20. This relentless heatwave marks the second spell this month, affecting regions of Odisha, Jharkhand, and Gangetic West Bengal. Previously, the first spell had blistered Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Gujarat.

The IMD reports that intense heatwave to severe heatwave conditions have been observed in Chhattisgarh, Gangetic West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Odisha, throughout the day.

Record-breaking Temperatures

On April 20, temperatures soared seven to eight degrees above normal in various places. Baripada and Boudh in Odisha recorded a scorching 45.2 degrees Celsius, while Midnapore and Bankura in West Bengal sizzled at 44.5 and 44.6 degrees Celsius respectively. Similarly, Daltonganj and Jamshedpur in Jharkhand saw temperatures rise to 43.6 and 43.5 degrees Celsius respectively, with Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh hitting 43 degrees Celsius.

The IMD notes that a heatwave is officially recognised when temperatures reach at least 40 degrees Celsius in plains, 37 degrees in coastal areas, and 30 degrees in hilly regions, with a departure from normal of at least 4.5 notches. If the departure exceeds 6.4 notches, it's classified as a severe heatwave.

With ongoing but diminishing El Nino conditions, the IMD had flagged concerns about heatwave conditions in the April-June period, coinciding with India's general elections, particularly during the voting phases. Voting in the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections began on April 19 and is expected to continue in phases through April and May. Counting is on June 4.

IMD's Monsoon Watch

In its mid-April update, the IMD forecasts above-normal rainfall for India in the 2024 monsoon season, with La Nina conditions expected to dominate by August-September.

This rainfall is crucial for agricultural activities and for replenishing reservoirs vital for drinking water and power generation nationwide.

El Nino conditions occur due to the periodic warming of surface waters in the central Pacific Ocean. This is associated with weaker monsoon winds and drier conditions in India. Meanwhile, La Nina conditions are the opposite of El Nino and lead to plentiful rainfall in India during the monsoon season.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Published: 21 Apr 2024, 06:35 AM IST
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