No relief anytime soon, says IMD, as heatwaves grip India

  • In contrast, several parts of northwest India are likely to see rainfall from a cyclonic circulation over east Afghanistan and another over northwest Rajasthan.

Puja Das
First Published29 Apr 2024
Odisha has been experiencing heatwaves since 15 April and Gangetic West Bengal since 17 April. Photo: AFP
Odisha has been experiencing heatwaves since 15 April and Gangetic West Bengal since 17 April. Photo: AFP

Several states in India continue to sizzle under heatwaves, with many regions recording temperatures as high as 45.6°C. According to the weather department, no relief is expected anytime soon. In its latest bulletin, issued on Monday morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said eastern and south India are likely to experience heatwaves for another five days.

It added that heatwave to severe heatwave conditions are likely in many places over Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha and Bihar, in some parts over Jharkhand until 1 May and in parts of these areas on 2 May. Parts of Rayalaseema, interior Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh may also experience heatwaves until 3 May; Telangana from 29 April to 1 May; Konkan on 29 April; and East Uttar Pradesh from 29-30 April, IMD said.

On Monday, maximum temperatures could be in the range of 42-45°C in some parts of Odisha and Gangetic West Bengal; 40-42°C over many parts of East Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Yanam, Telangana; in some parts of Vidarbha, Marathwada, Madhya Maharashtra, north interior Karnataka; pockets of Chhattisgarh, and Saurashtra and Kutch, IMD said. Temperatures are 4-8°C above normal in many parts of Gangetic West Bengal; in some parts of Bihar, Jharkhand and sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, and in isolated pockets of north Odisha, it added.

Also read: Climate Change: 89% of glacial lakes in Indian Himalayas expanding at unprecedented rate, says ISRO. What are the risks?

On Sunday, heatwaves and severe heatwaves were observed in several parts of Gangetic West Bengal, some parts of Bihar and Odisha, and pockets of sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Konkan, Goa, Rayalaseema and Telangana. Odisha has been experiencing heatwaves since 15 April and Gangetic West Bengal since 17 April.

The weather office also forecast hot and humid weather over West Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura on 29 April; Kerala and Mahe, coastal Karnataka, for the next five day; Telangana on 2 May; and Konkan and Goa from 30 April to 1 May.

Urban heat islands

Higher night temperatures are becoming more common in cities because of the urban heat-island effect, in which metro areas are significantly hotter than their surroundings.

The threshold for a heatwave is met when the maximum temperature of a weather station touches 40°C in the plains, 37°C in coastal areas and 30°C in hilly regions, and the departure from normal is at least 4.5 degrees. A severe heatwave is declared if the temperature is at least 6.4 degrees above normal.

Also read: United Nations says world is ‘severely off track’ to limit global warming

IMD warned at the start of the month of a harsh and arid summer over most parts of the country in April-June, with a high probability of heatwaves lasting 10-20 days. The IMD, the disaster management authority and various ministries have prepared an action plan to ensure seamless polling for the seven-phase general elections that began on 19 April

Rainfall expected in northwest

In contrast, several parts of northwest India are likely to see rainfall from a cyclonic circulation over east Afghanistan and another over northwest Rajasthan. These may cause scattered rainfall, accompanied by thunderstorms, lightning and gusty winds (40-50 kmph) in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Uttar Pradesh on 29 April. There is also a possibility of hailstorm over Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, and heavy rainfall in Jammu, Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Muzaffarabad and Himachal Pradesh.

Parts of central India may also see light rainfall accompanied by thunderstorm, lightning and gusty winds on 29 April.

A cyclonic circulation over northeast Assam could also bring light to moderate rainfall or snowfall to Arunachal Pradesh. Fairly widespread rainfall is expected over Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura during 29 April-3 May, while light to moderate rainfall accompanied by thunderstorm, lightning & gusty winds (30-40 kmph) is likely over Sikkim until Wednesday and over Arunachal Pradesh for the next six days.

Also read: Through heat waves and rain fury, businesses navigate climate change

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