Northeast India reeling under intense heat spell, says IMD data
Long heat spells are unusual in the region which usually records frequent thunderstorm activity in April and May. But this year, there have been fewer thunderstorms
Parts of northeast India are recording maximum temperatures near their historical highs for the month, but rarely have hot spells lasted as long as they have gone on this year, data from the India Meteorological Department shows.
Long heat spells are unusual in the region which usually records frequent thunderstorm activity in April and May. But this year, there have been fewer thunderstorms.
Tripura’s capital Agartala recorded maximum temperatures in the range of 38 to 39.3 degrees C from April 15 to 19. The record for Agartala is 41.5 degree C recorded on April 30, 1960. Agartala’s mean daily temperature for April is 33.3 degrees C.
Shillong in Meghalaya recorded maximum temperatures in the range of 27 degrees C to 29.1 degrees C. The record for Shillong is 30.2 degrees C, recorded on April 5, 1973 and the mean daily temperature for Shillong in April (CHECK) is only 23.4 degrees C. Imphal in Manipur recorded maximum temperatures in the range of 32.8 degrees C to 38 degrees C. The highest temperature recorded in Imphal is 36.1 degrees C, on April 9, 1999. Imphal’s daily maximum mean temperature is only 29 degrees C as per IMD’s Climate Data Portal.
East India also recorded brutal temperatures that are likely to top records. Kolkata’s maximum temperatures were in the range of 40 degrees C to 41.6 degrees C between April 15 to 19. Kolkata’s highest temperature in the month is 42.8 degrees C on April 25, 1954.
Patna recorded maximum temperatures in the range of 41.6 degrees C to 44.1 degrees C between April 15 and 19. The highest temperature recorded in Patna is 44.6 degrees C on April 29, 1980.
“There is no heat wave condition in the Northeast but the maximums are very high and they are being experienced continuously for past few days. Normally, northeast India gets frequent thunderstorm activity during this time of the year so the temperature doesn’t spike . But this time the thunderstorm activity is less and soil is dry which is also leading to a steep rise in temperatures. Definitely, the span of high temperatures is for several days in many areas. Eastern states like West Bengal and Bihar are recording heat wave and high temperatures for many days. But, in 2015 and 1998 Odisha and Andhra Pradesh recorded extreme heat for weeks so this is not the first time. West Bengal, particularly, is experiencing a prolonged spell this time -- of over 9 days,” said M Mohapatra, director general, IMD.
“We are seeing extremely high temperatures over the Northeast. It’s very rare for these regions to record heat waves or extremely high temperature conditions. Some areas in the plains in this region do record high temperatures during some years but this year it is prolonged and more importantly the region has not received adequate rainfall so the land surface is very warm and dry. The region may start recording some pre-monsoon showers in a couple of days,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice president, climate and meteorology, Skymet Weather.
Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura have a 34% rain deficiency in the pre-monsoon season that starts March 1; Arunachal Pradesh has 52%; and Assam and Meghalaya have 16% rain deficiency.
Heat Wave conditions are prevailing in isolated pockets over Gangetic West Bengal for the past nine days, coastal Andhra Pradesh for seven days, Bihar for six days and Odisha for four days.