Heatwave here till next week, IMD issues alert
Severe heatwaves are likely to impact parts of northwest, central and peninsular India in next four to five days, while many parts of northeast India will experience very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall during the same period, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a statement on Saturday.Updated: May 24, 2020 00:57 IST
After a hot Friday, Delhi continued to bake on Saturday — the Safdarjung weather station recorded 44.7°C, a full five degrees above normal — and scientists at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned that the Capital could see the heatwave continue in the first half of next week.
If anything, it will only become hotter.
“Till May 27, there will be no respite. The maximum temperature can go up to 46- 47 degree Celsius in the Capital because of dry, hot winds blowing. From May 28 night, a western disturbance will affect us which may cause dust storm or thunderstorms. Low level easterly winds may also bring some relief after May 28,” said Kuldeep Shrivastava, head, regional weather forecasting centre, Delhi.
Severe heatwaves are likely to impact parts of northwest, central and peninsular India in next four to five days, while many parts of northeast India will experience very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall during the same period, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a statement on Saturday.
The heatwave is likely to affect relief and rehabilitation work related to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic that is ongoing in many parts of the country. However, with a lockdown still in effect across India, albeit with considerable relaxation of restrictions, there is not likely to be as much movement of people or vehicles as there might have been otherwise.
Still, the heatwave is likely to affect normal life — and also be felt very hard. April and much of May have been milder than they usually are, especially in Delhi and parts of the northern plains.The region was hit by frequent thunderstorms after nearly double the usual number of western disturbances — a weather pattern that triggers storms and rain — affected the region in this period.
IMD has issued an orange alert in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, and Chandigarh from May 24 to 27 for heatwave; in west and east Rajasthan for heatwave and severe heatwave; and in Vidarbha for heat wave. An orange alert is issued when a heatwave is likely to persist for more than four days or a severe heatwave for more than two days. There is a high risk of heat-related illnesses such as a heat stroke for people exposed to the sun for prolonged hours or doing heavy work; children, elderly and people with chronic diseases are also vulnerable. IMD has suggested people avoid heat exposure and stay hydrated.
“Dry and hot north-westerly are blowing from the land. There are also clear skies. A western disturbance is affecting the Western Himalayan region now but it’s very feeble and is affecting only the hills. Heatwave conditions will intensify and continue till May 28,” said K Sathi Devi, head, national weather forecasting centre.
There are two criteria for a heatwave — when the maximum temperature is at least 40°C and between 4.5°C and 6.4°C higher than the normal; or when maximum temperature is over 45°C for two stations in a sub-division for two consecutive days. A severe heatwave is declared when maximum temperature is at least 40°C and more than 6.4°C higher than the normal; or when the maximum temperature is more than 47°C.
On Friday, heatwave conditions were recorded in some parts of west Rajasthan and in pockets of Haryana, Delhi, east Rajasthan and Vidarbha. The highest maximum temperature of 46.6°C was reported at Churu in west Rajasthan, about 250km from Delhi.
Meanwhile extremely heavy rainfall (more than 20 cm) was reported in parts of Meghalaya for the past two days. Sohra or Cherrapunji recorded 33 cm rain on Friday.
Under the influence of converging strong south-westerly winds from the Bay of Bengal, Northeast India is likely to experience heavy to very heavy rainfall with extremely heavy falls from May 25 to 27. There is an orange alert for heavy rain in Arunachal Pradesh from May 24 to 27 and red alert for Assam and Meghalaya on May 26 and 27. A red alert implies that authorities should take action to prevent any disaster due to extremely heavy rains.
“There is a very strong wind convergence in the northeast. Winds from Bay of Bengal are also bringing in a lot of moisture there. Meghalaya, particularly, has been receiving a lot of rain. On Saturday also Sohra or Cherrapunji received more than 20 cm rain,” said Devi.