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Brace Yourselves: It’s Going To Be A Long Hot Summer In Delhi, Other Parts Of North India

Brace yourselves as it is going to be a long hot summer in Delhi and other parts of north India as heatwave conditions is likely to intensify in the region, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned.

Updated: April 29, 2022 10:41 AM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Snigdha Choudhury

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An Unforgiving May In Store As Heatwave Back In Delhi From Today, IMD Says It May Get Worse

New Delhi: Summer arrived early this year as most parts of the country witnessed excruciatingly warm temperatures. The heatwave arrived early and grown particularly intense in the past decade, killing hundreds every year. The main summer months — April, May and June — are always hot in most parts of India before monsoon rains bring cooler temperatures. It is a long way to go before monsoon arrives and the heatwave conditions is likely to intensify in the coming days. India had already witnessed its “hottest summer ever” with large parts of the country reporting temperatures around 45 degrees Celsius.

An unusually early heat wave brought more extreme temperatures to a large swath of India’s northwest, raising concerns that such weather conditions could become typical. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued an “orange” alert, warning the city residents of a severe heatwave on Friday. The IMD has also issued an “orange” alert for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and parts of Maharashtra, and predicting a rise of another two degrees Celsius in northwest region.

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Heatwave in India – Top points

  • The mercury at the Safdarjung observatory in Delhi is expected to breach the 44-degree mark on Friday, the IMD said. Delhi may also see a partly cloudy sky, light rain and a dust storm with winds gusting up to 50 kilometres per hour on Friday and Sunday, which may provide temporary respite.
  • Delhi has recorded nine heatwave days in April, the highest since 11 such days witnessed in the month in 2010. Delhi falls in the Core Heatwave Zone (CHZ), comprising the most heatwave-prone areas of the country, along with Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal.
  • Northwest India has been recording higher-than-normal temperatures since the last week of March, with weather experts attributing it to the absence of periodic light rainfall and thundershowers, which typify this time of the year, due to the lack of active western disturbances.
  • The region had got some respite last week owing to cloudy weather due to the influence of a western disturbance over Afghanistan. The IMD said the heatwave could lead to “moderate” health concerns for vulnerable people — infants, elderly people and those with chronic diseases.
  • “Hence, people of these regions should avoid heat exposure, wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose cotton clothes and cover the head with a piece of cloth, a hat or an umbrella,” the IMD 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.
  • For the plains, a heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature is over 40 degrees Celsius and at least four-and-a-half notches above normal. A severe heatwave is declared if the departure from normal temperature is by more than 6.4 notches, according to the IMD.
  • Based on the 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.
  • Northwest India saw at least four western disturbances in March and April, but they were not strong enough to cause a significant change in weather, said Mahesh Palawat, Vice President (Meteorology and Climate Change), Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency.
  • The region did not see any significant pre-monsoon activity from March 1 to April 20 which compounded the severity of successive heatwave spells, he said, adding it had a ripple effect on central India, too.
  • Vidarbha in Maharashtra and west Rajasthan have consistently reported maximum temperatures in the range of 40 degrees Celsius to 45 degree Celsius for the past two months. India saw its warmest March since the IMD began keeping records 122 years ago amid a 71 per cent rain deficit.

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