India experiencing one of its longest and deadliest summers, shows IMD data | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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India experiencing one of its longest and deadliest summers, shows IMD data

ByJayashree Nandi
Jun 13, 2024 06:27 PM IST

The IMD has warned of severe heatwave conditions over northern parts of India at least for the next four to five.

New Delhi: In one of the longest and most severe summers, 14 of 36 subdivisions in the country have recorded over 15 heat wave days between March 1 to June 9, data compiled by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), has shown.

India is experiencing heatwave conditions since March 1
India is experiencing heatwave conditions since March 1

Only the northeastern states, coastal Karnataka and parts of Marathwada have been spared from heat wave conditions during this period as per subdivision-wise data with IMD. The highest heat wave days have been recorded over Odisha (27) followed by Rajasthan (23), Gangetic West Bengal (21), Haryana (20), Chandigarh (20), Delhi (20) and West Uttar Pradesh (20).

Even high-altitude areas have not been spared from heat waves with Jammu and Kashmir observing six days of heat wave, Himachal Pradesh (12), Uttarakhand (2). Coastal areas such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu have recorded five and fourteen heat wave days, respectively.

Moreover, the IMD has warned of severe heatwave conditions over northern parts of India at least for the next four to five.

Climate scientists are taken aback by the scale and expanse of extreme heat this year.

India is experiencing its longest ever heatwave
India is experiencing its longest ever heatwave

“This map (shown above) shows high number of heat waves over India. This was expected and predicted in advance. A year following an El Niño year we tend to get more heat waves. That is due to favourable atmospheric circulation for heat waves.Global warming is adding to this natural variability. We will tend to get more frequent,longer and stronger heat waves. We need to be well prepared,” said M Rajeevan, former secretary, ministry of Earth sciences and climate scientist.

Normally about 6-8 heat wave days averaged over central and NW India per year are expected according to Rajeevan.

Heat Waves are a period of unusually high temperatures as compared to what is normally expected over a region. Therefore, the temperatures at which Heat waves are declared differ from place to place based on the temperature climatology (historical temperatures) of that region. The impact of heat waves gets aggravated by supportive meteorological factors such as high humidity, high wind speed, duration of heat wave events, etc.

A heat wave is declared when the maximum is over 40 degrees C over the plains, over 37 degrees C over coastal areas, and over 30 degrees C o in the hills with the deviation from normal between 4.5 and 6.4 degrees C above the average maximum. If these conditions persist for two consecutive days, a heat wave is declared on the second day. A severe heat wave is declared when the deviation is more than 6.4 degrees C above normal.

Last month marked a full year of record-high global temperatures with May 2024 ranking as the warmest May on record, US's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Thursday. Earth’s ocean temperatures also set a record high for the 14th month in a row.

The March–May period — defined as the Northern Hemisphere's meteorological spring and the Southern Hemisphere's meteorological autumn was the warmest on record at 2.32 degrees F above average.

According to Global Annual Temperature Rankings Outlook, there is a 50% chance that 2024 will rank as the warmest year on record and a 100% chance that it will rank in the top five.

“This is one of the longest heatwave spells we are seeing over northwest India, possibly longer than the one recorded in 2016 which was also an El Nino year. There has been nearly a month-long heat spell heatwave conditions since the end of May except for a couple of days of respite. For other parts of the country, the heat spell started in April and then there was relief intermittently,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice president, climate and meteorology at Skymet Weather.

“We do not expect relief until at least June 18,” he added.

HT reported on Thursday that the progress of the monsoon is likely to weaken over the next week and consequently intensify heatwave conditions over northwest and eastern India, meteorologists said on Tuesday.

The northern limit of monsoon has been at the same place since June 11 as per IMD’s bulletins.

The Northern Limit of Monsoon continues to pass through Navsari, Jalgaon, Amravati, Chandrapur, Bijapur, Sukma, Malkangiri, Vizianagaram and Islampur. Conditions are favourable for further advance of the southwest monsoon into some more parts of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Coastal Andhra Pradesh & northwest Bay of Bengal during the next three to four days, IMD said. By June 15, the monsoon is normally expected to cover Odisha, West Bengal, parts of Jharkhand and Bihar.

On Wednesday, heat wave to severe heat wave conditions prevailed in most parts of West Uttar Pradesh, in many parts of Punjab, Haryana-Chandigarh-Delhi, East Uttar Pradesh, in isolated pockets of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Gangetic West Bengal, some parts of Uttarakhand, northwest Rajasthan, in isolated pockets of Jammu division, Himachal Pradesh, northeast Rajasthan, northeast Madhya Pradesh and north Chhattisgarh.

Warm night conditions were observed in isolated pockets of northwest Rajasthan and West Uttar Pradesh. Maximum temperatures were in the range of 45-47°C over some parts of west Jharkhand, south Uttar Pradesh, Haryana-Chandigarh-Delhi, Punjab, and north Rajasthan on Wednesday.

The highest maximum temperature of 47.5°C was reported at Kanpur (East Uttar Pradesh) on Wednesday.

M Mohapatra, director general, IMD, said on Monday that an anticyclone over western Pakistan was causing subsidence of hot air over the northwestern region.

“The subsidence of hot, dry air is still there. That is why we are seeing unusually high temperatures over east and northwest India,” said Palawat.

On the other extreme, Sikkim’s Mangan district reported landslides and flash floods triggered by incessant rainfall. Heavy to very heavy rainfall with extremely heavy rainfall was reported at some places over Sikkim, Meghalaya, sub-Himalayan West Bengal, isolated places in Assam, Konkan and Goa, Madhya Maharashtra, West Madhya Pradesh, North Interior Karnataka and Telangana.

According to the IMD, heat wave to severe heat wave conditions are likely in some parts of Uttar Pradesh till June 17, Gangetic West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand till June 15 and isolated heat wave over Jharkhand on June 16. Heat wave conditions are very likely in some pockets of Punjab and Haryana-Chandigarh-Delhi during the next five days with severe heatwave conditions in isolated pockets on June 16 and 17.

Heat wave conditions are very likely in some pockets of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu Division, northeast Madhya Pradesh till June 16, northwest Madhya Pradesh on June 14 and 15, Uttarakhand, north Chhattisgarh and Odisha on June 13 and 14 and northwest Rajasthan till June 17.

Warm night conditions are very likely in isolated pockets of northeast Madhya Pradesh and West Uttar Pradesh on June 14, the IMD said.

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