New Delhi, Northwest India and adjoining parts of central India are predicted to see “more intense and frequent heatwave” conditions in April, India Meteorological Department Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said on Wednesday.
“We are expecting that the temperature will be higher than normal in the entire northwest India and the adjoining central India, starting with Gujarat, Rajasthan and up to east Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh,” he said at a virtual event on “Building Climate Resilience for the Most Heat Vulnerable”.
The IMD had earlier predicted that April will be “more severe” than March and the temperatures will be higher than normal, Mohapatra said.
“The frequency of intense heatwave conditions will be higher in April as compared to March. And, we expect the heatwave conditions to continue till April 15 in some parts,” he added.
The IMD in a statement said the ongoing heatwave spell started mainly over west Rajasthan and the adjoining areas of Gujarat and west Madhya Pradesh from March 27. It extended to east Rajasthan, east Madhya Pradesh, south Haryana, Delhi and southern parts of Uttar Pradesh by March 29.
This spell has been continuing for a longer period and has already completed more than a week. Besides, a persistent heatwave is being observed over northern plains, central India and parts of the western Himalayan region with the maximum temperature in the range of 25 to 33 degrees Celsius at higher ridges. Heatwave data for April (2017-2021) shows this type of longer spell is not unusual,” it said.
Eight to 12 days long heatwave spells were observed over Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, Punjab and parts of Gujarat in April 2017 and 2019. Six to eight days long heatwave spells were observed over parts of the western Himalayan region covering Himachal Pradesh and Jammu in April 2017, the IMD said.
India recorded its warmest March in 122 years with a severe heatwave scorching large swathes of the country during the month.
The weather department attributed the heat to the lack of rainfall due to the absence of active western disturbances over north India and any major system over south India.
The country as a whole recorded a rainfall of 8.9 mm, which was 71 per cent less than its long period average rainfall of 30.4 mm. It was also the third lowest precipitation in March since 1901 after 7.2 mm in 1909 and 8.7 mm in 1908.
For the plains, a “heatwave” is declared when the maximum temperature is over 40 degrees Celsius and at least 4.5 notches above normal.
A severe heatwave is declared if the departure from normal temperature is more than 6.4 notches, according to the IMD. PTI