Mercury breaches 45°C in parts as heat spreads | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Mercury breaches 45°C in parts as heat spreads

ByJayashree Nandi, New Delhi
Apr 22, 2024 04:31 AM IST

Heat wave in east India, including Gangetic West Bengal and Odisha, continues for a week with temperatures exceeding 40°C, raising concerns about voter turnout.

Parts of east India, especially Gangetic West Bengal and Odisha, have recorded heat wave to severe heat wave conditions at a stretch for a week now in April, with day temperatures exceeding 40°C in several areas, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), a punishing summer that comes at a time of elections, with concerns that the weather may dissuade people from voting.

Visitors brave the heat wave in the city on Sunday afternoon at Kartavaya Path in New Delhi.(Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
Visitors brave the heat wave in the city on Sunday afternoon at Kartavaya Path in New Delhi.(Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)

These states are also experiencing warm night conditions and high relative humidity of around 50% to 75% in the afternoon, creating a deadly mix of extremely hot, humid days and nights. The peak heat in summer is normally recorded in May and June.

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“As predicted by us, abnormally high heat conditions are being experienced over parts of east and west India, especially along the coast,” said M Mohapatra, director general of IMD. “Over eastern India, there was some relief on Saturday evening due to marginal thunderstorm activity, but a second heat wave spell is expected now.”

Average maximum temperature till April 18.
Average maximum temperature till April 18.

Mohapatra warned the conditions will be particularly concerning due to the high humidity. “The impact is definitely higher in coastal areas where moisture aggravates heat wave conditions. We assume that there are already a lot of heat stress cases there. This is because of land heating up and moisture incursion from the ocean along the east coast,” added Mohapatra.

On Saturday, maximum temperatures in several parts of east India breached the 98th percentile. Heat wave conditions prevailed in many parts of Odisha, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, with severe heat wave conditions in some parts of Gangetic West Bengal.

Also Read | Weather updates: Light rain likely in Delhi; heatwave alert in these states

According to IMD bulletin, the maximum temperatures on Sunday were in the range of 42-45°C over most parts of Odisha and Rayalaseema; some parts of Gangetic West Bengal, Jharkhand and Vidarbha and in isolated pockets over Chhattisgarh, southwest Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam.

In many parts of Bihar, some parts of East Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal, and in isolated pockets over East Uttar Pradesh the maximum temperatures were in the range of 40-42°C.

The maximum temperatures were 4-6°C above normal over many parts of the Gangetic West Bengal and in isolated pockets over Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha; 2-4°C above normal over many parts of Sub-Himalayan West Bengal & Sikkim, Coastal Andhra Pradesh & Yanam, Rayalaseema and Tamil Nadu, Puducherry & Karaikal and in isolated pockets of Chhattisgarh, south Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha and Telangana.

According to the bulletin, Bahargora in Jharkhand recorded the highest temperature of 46°C on Sunday.

Also Read | 44°C-plus: Andhra, Telangana, Odisha reel under heatwaves

IMD expects heat wave conditions to continue in many parts of Gangetic West Bengal for the next five days and in Odisha on Monday. Isolated pockets of East Uttar Pradesh and Bihar may also experience heat waves during this period.

Odisha has been reeling under heat wave conditions since April 15, and the Gangetic West Bengal since April 17. “Heat wave conditions in this spell entered into its 7th Day over ODISHA and into its 5th day over Gangetic West Bengal,” the Met department said.

In view of the prevailing conditions, the Odisha government on Sunday announced summer vacation for school students from April 25. In a press statement, the state government said all schools, including those run by government, government-aided and private, will remain closed from April 25. The government has also announced morning classes from 6.30am to 10.30am in schools for three days from April 22 to April 24.

Heat wave conditions are considered when the maximum is over 40°C over the plains; over 37°C over coastal areas and over 30°C over hilly regions and the deviation from normal is between 4.5 and 6.4°C above the average maximum. If these conditions persist for two consecutive days, a heat wave is declared on the second day. Heat wave conditions are considered when the maximum is over 40°C over the plains; over 37°C over coastal areas and over 30°C over hilly regions and the deviation from normal is between 4.5 and 6.4°C above the average maximum. If these conditions persist for two consecutive days, a heat wave is declared on the second day.

Earlier this month, the Met department said four to eight heatwave days are expected in different parts of the country in April against the normal of one to three days. Ten to 20 days of heatwave are expected against the normal of four to eight days in the entire April-June period.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has issued guidelines on strengthening health systems preparedness for heat-related illnesses and advised the health ministry to start daily submission of data on heatstroke cases and deaths.

“Higher daily peak temperatures and longer, more intense heat waves are becoming increasingly frequent globally due to climate change,” NDMA said. “India too is feeling the impact of climate change in terms of increased instances of heat waves which are more intense in nature with each passing year.”

The health impacts of heat waves typically involve dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke, with symptoms ranging from fatigue and dizziness to body temperatures of 104°F or more along with delirium, seizures or coma.

According to reports, a 55-year-old man died of a heat stroke in Nagpur city of Maharashtra, police said on Sunday. The man was found lying unconscious under the metro bridge at Agrasen Square on Saturday afternoon. He was rushed to a hospital where he was declared dead. Nagpur recorded the maximum temperature of 40.6 degrees Celsius in the 24 hours ended on Sunday.

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