April temperature breaks heat records in many parts of India: IMD data | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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April temperature breaks heat records in many parts of India: IMD data

ByJayashree Nandi, New Delhi
May 01, 2024 06:48 AM IST

Record-breaking heatwave in eastern and peninsular India in April linked to climate crisis, affecting voters during elections; severe temperatures continue.

Temperatures in eastern and peninsular India has smashed records this April, exposing people to extreme heat for weeks together amid polling for the 2024 general elections. The harrowing heat in the month across large parts of the country was brought on in part due to the climate crisis, scientists said.

Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur reported 44.6 degrees, the highest ever recorded (AP)
Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur reported 44.6 degrees, the highest ever recorded (AP)

It was the warmest April in eastern and northeastern India in terms of night temperatures since records began in 1901 and the third warmest in mean temperatures. It was also the second warmest April in the peninsula in terms of maximum, minimum and mean temperatures, according to Met department data.

“One of the main reasons for such unusually high temperatures in pockets and certain states is El Nino and climate change,” said OP Sreejith, head of climate monitoring and prediction at the weather office. “Unfortunately, we have no data of heat deaths yet. Heat deaths are not recorded mainly because the person often dies of other complications such as organ failure. All we can say is that temperatures have been extreme.”

In contrast, April saw rather mild weather in the northwest, including capital Delhi, due to back-to-back western disturbances that kept temperatures in check. It was the ninth warmest April overall for the country, an analysis by the India Meteorological Department showed.

Read more: Mercury slides by six degrees in Chandigarh amid cloudy, windy weather

The warmest April for peninsular India since 1901 was recorded in 2016, which was an El Nino year. El Nino is a weather phenomenon in the tropical Pacific Ocean that leads to weaker monsoons and drier weather in India.

“This episode was well predicted by the models. It may prolong for the next 3-4 days,” said M Rajeevan, former secretary at the earth sciences ministry. “Then we may see such events over central and northwest India in May.”

On Tuesday, almost all stations in Gangetic West Bengal recorded severe heatwaves. Panagarh in West Bengal, for example, recorded 45.6 degrees Celsius, 10 degrees above normal, and Kalaikunda recorded 47.2 degrees, 10.4 above normal. In Jharkhand’s Baharagora in East Singhbhum district), maximum temperature soared to 47.1 degrees, 7.7 degree C above normal above normal.

Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur reported 44.6 degrees, the highest ever recorded. Arogyavaram reported 41 degrees, the second highest maximum temperature. Asansol in West Bengal reported 44.2 degrees. Udagamandalam reported 29.4 degrees, the highest maximum.

Read more: Weather updates: IMD issues red heatwave alerts for Bihar, Odisha, other states

“We witnessed an unusual event over West Bengal, Odisha, Rayalaseema, Kerala, south interior Karnataka and Jharkhand. These areas have recorded extreme heat for more than a week,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice-president of climate and meteorology at Skymet Weather Services, a private forecaster. “Parts of central India also recorded very high temperatures. This was mainly because the winds were blowing from the landward direction instead of the seaward direction. This was because of an anti-cyclone over the Bay of Bengal.”

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