Heat wave to continue across northern, central India for four days, temperatures likely to touch 45 degrees Celsius
Temperatures rose across northwest and central India on Wednesday and the weather office issued extreme heat wave alerts for west Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi and Chandigarh.india Updated: May 24, 2018 11:19 IST
The current heat wave condition is expected to continue across northwest and central India over the next four days and temperatures could soar to 45 degrees Celsius in Delhi by Sunday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned.
The Met department declares a heat wave when the temperature during the day shoots up by at least five degrees above the normal. It says the temperature shoots beyond 40 degrees in the plains and 30 degrees in the hills.
Temperatures rose across northwest and central India on Wednesday and the weather office issued extreme heat wave alerts for west Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi and Chandigarh.
Heat wave conditions were also experienced in Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha in Maharashtra, east Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh.
Palam experienced the first heat wave of the season on Wednesday as the mercury level touched 45.2 degrees Celsius. The rest of Delhi reeled under near-heat wave conditions, missing the benchmark by just one degree.
“Hot winds from the west, a clear sky and scarcity of moisture in the air are helping the mercury shoot up. It could touch 45 degrees by the weekend,” said a scientist with the regional weather forecasting centre in New Delhi.
IMD scientists, however, said that the intense heat is paving the way for thunderstorms in the Capital on Thursday. This would help bring down the mercury marginally. The relief, however, would be short-lived.
“There is a possibility of a dust storm or thunderstorm on Thursday. This could bring down the temperature to around 42 degrees on Thursday. There are no chances of rain though as there is hardly any moisture left in the air. The temperature would, however, start shooting up again from Friday and could reach 45 by Sunday,” said an official.
Data shows that the average length of heatwaves in India increased by 0.8 days between 2000-2016 as compared to 1986-2008. A draft Met department report noted that 2017 was India’s fourth hottest year and the fourth consecutive record-breaking year in terms of temperature.
In 2015, the largest number of fatalities, 2,081, from extreme weather were heat-related.
Heat-related deaths do not necessarily reflect average temperatures but rather exposure to extreme heat. Workers, homeless and the elderly are at the greatest risk of being affected by heat-related effects like dehydration, heat and sunstrokes.
Exposure to heat is also linked to a rise in cardiovascular and respiratory problems.
Heat waves in India occur between mid-March and June and sometimes in July.
In India, the core heat wave zone spreads over Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana and parts of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.