At 46.5°C, Nagpur is second-hottest location in India

Published on May 24, 2020 12:59 AM IST
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By, Mumbai

Nagpur was the hottest location in the state and the second-hottest in India on Saturday as heatwave conditions gripped the city and surrounding areas of the Vidarbha subdivision.

Nagpur’s maximum temperature on Saturday was 46.5 degrees Celsius, 3.7 degree Celsius above normal, which is the season’s highest maximum temperature so far, the weather bureau said. The second-highest maximum temperature in the state was recorded at Akola at 46 degrees Celsius.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD’s) bulletin issued at 9pm, Churu in west Rajasthan was the hottest at 46.6 degrees Celsius.

An orange alert (be prepared) for heatwave conditions has been issued for all districts in Vidarbha till May 27, while a yellow alert (be alert) has been issued for Marathwada for Sunday and Monday.

Severe heatwaves are likely to impact parts of northwest, central and peninsular India in the next four to five days, while many parts of northeast India will experience very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall during the same period, 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 across 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.

“Extremely hot conditions are expected to continue and for this reason we have escalated the level of alert for isolated areas in Vidarbha. Nagpur and Akola were the hottest in the state on Saturday, and could very well be the hottest over the next couple of days. During this period, hot and dry northwesterly winds come from Rajasthan and Gujarat over this region leading to this heat wave. This is the normal weather synoptic feature during this time of the year,” said ML Sahu, deputy director general of meteorology, IMD Nagpur.

Although Nagpur’s maximum temperature was the highest this season, it did not beat any records. Last year, the weather station recorded 47.5 degrees Celsius on May 28 while the all-time high was recorded on 47.9 degrees Celsius on May 23, 2013. Nagpur had recorded 47.8 degrees Celsius in 1954, 47.7 degrees Celsius in 2003 and 47.6 degrees Celsius in 2005, according to IMD’s historical data.

Other weather stations in the Vidarbha sub division that recorded high day temperatures included Chandrapur and Amravati at 45.6 degrees Celsius, Wardha 45.5 degrees Celsius, Gondia 45.4 degrees Celsius, and Yavatmal 45.2 degrees Celsius.

Sahu added that heat wave conditions were declared across Nagpur, Akola and Chandrapur on Friday itself but four other districts (with maximum temperatures above 45 degrees Celsius) were added on Saturday. “We declared heat wave conditions when actual maximum temperature remains 45 degrees Celsius or more irrespective of normal maximum temperature or if the maximum temperature is 4.6 degrees Celsius above normal,” he said.

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.


    Badri Chatterjee is an environment correspondent at Hindustan Times, Mumbai. He writes about environment issues - air, water and noise pollution, climate change - weather, wildlife - forests, marine and mangrove conservation

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