Heatwave warnings were issued for Wednesday in as many as 16 of the 36 meteorological subdivisions in the country, while 15 subdivisions were alerted for possible heatwave on Thursday. This heatwave spell is among the strongest this summer and is expected to continue till June 2 in several parts of the country, including Vidarbha, the worst hit region.
Chandrapur in Vidarbha recorded this summer’s highest temperature in India so far, with the mercury touching a blistering 48°C on Wednesday. According to India Meteorological Department data, the highest ever 2 ay temperature in Chandrapur is 48.3°C, recorded on May 16, 1912.
Anupam Kashyapi, head of weather, IMD, Pune, termed the ongoing heatwave one of the strongest so far this season. “The country witnessed the last strong heatwave this summer during late April. The current spell is almost similar in its magnitude and spread, though only slightly less severe,” he said.
Temperatures are rising in most of north India as well, with more several places expected under the heatwave spell in the next couple of days. “Dry loo winds from the deserts of west Rajasthan and Sindh (Pakistan) are raising temperatures in north India, including Delhi-NCR. Mayend and early June anyway correspond to the hottest period of the year in this region due to the sun being directly overhead,” said a met official.
Banda in Uttar Pradesh’s Bundelkhand region was the hottest town in north India, recording 47.2 degrees C on Wednesday.
Apart from the current weather conditions, IMD officials said that the ongoing weak El Nino conditions may also be playing their part in ensuring higher than normal temperatures.
Kashyapi said, “One of the main factors causing the heat build-up is the sky conditions. Clear skies cause the solar radiation to hit the earth directly, without hindrance, causing higher temperatures.”
D S Pai, head, Climate Research and Services, IMD, said, “Presence (or absence) of clouds can be influenced by several factors outside the country like an El Nino, La Nina or cyclones, as well as local conditions. Local factors like the wind direction also matters. For instance, northwesterly winds are blowing in Pune. These winds are coming from the warmer regions of northwest India. Temperatures here have been higher due to the influence of these winds,” said Pai.
Pai said a general warming had been noticed across the globe, which was also being exacerbated by the ongoing week El Nino conditions.
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