Parts of central India hit by heat
Heatwave to severe heatwave conditions will affect parts of central India the next week, according to an alert issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday. Severe heatwave conditions in March and in the first week of April is not common, but could happen in isolated cases, IMD scientists said.
Meteorologists have issued an “orange” warning for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and parts of Maharashtra between March 31 and April 3. IMD issues four levels of warnings: “green” is for no action; “yellow” suggests agencies need to keep an eye on the situation; ”orange” asks agencies to be prepared for heat-related emergencies; and “red” directs agencies to take action.
“Heatwave to severe heatwave conditions very likely to prevail at many places over West Rajasthan and West Madhya Pradesh; heatwave conditions at isolated pockets over East Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya [middle] Maharasthra, Marathwada and Vidarbha,” the alert by IMD said. These regions have already started recording maximum temperatures ranging from 40 to 43 degree Celsius.
A heatwave occurs when the temperature is above 40 degrees or about 4.5 to 6.4 degrees above normal. A severe heatwave condition is witnessed when the maximum temperature is over 6.5 degrees above normal.
M Mohapatra, director general of meteorology at IMD, said, “Heatwave conditions will be experienced mainly in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Severe heatwaves will affect only some parts of these states. Heatwaves are mainly a result of subsidence which warms the air through compression. Subsidence is a result of atmospheric circulation.” He added that “heatwave conditions are not likely in Delhi until next week. There may be some thunderstorm activity in Delhi on April 5”.
The national capital recorded a maximum temperature of 34 degree Celsius on March 31. On March 30, it recorded 39 degrees, the highest in nine years. The maximum temperature in Delhi will continue to hover around 38 to 39 degrees next week.
Scientists also said the maximum temperature may rise to 40 degrees as early as the first week of April here. Heatwaves could take place in parts of northern and central India in April because of a forecast for borderline El Nino conditions.
IMD forecast weak El Nino conditions between March and May.