Heatwave in India occurs mostly in patches and in few states at a time. However, this time around heatwave conditions have not only occurred early but also simultaneously in a large chunk of the country.
Yes, it is true that heatwave conditions are being witnessed only in few pockets of a particular state but almost in all the states of East, Central and Peninsular India.
At present, heatwave conditions are prevailing in pockets of Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka. Temperatures continue to break records at several places and accordingly, the death toll has touched at least 130.
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The inbuilt characteristic of heatwave is that it only occurs in pockets and not in an entire region or state.
Here’s a look at the temperatures in several cities:
All about Heatwave in India
April, May and June are the hottest months in India with summer season peaking in May, in most parts of the country. June is the onset month of Southwest Monsoon when summer-like conditions leave Peninsular and Central India but remains in North India.
Heatwave is all pervasive and a major phenomenon in India, claiming hundreds of lives every year. Heat comes in spurts and lasts for not more than 5 to 7 days as it is also the season for thundershowers. Heatwave per say is more prominent in the interiors of the country. Hilly regions, Northeast India and coastal stations generally do not witness heatwave conditions.
In plains, temperatures should exceed 40°C for declaring heatwave but in the coastal stations 40°C would amount to tremendously hot weather if maximum touches the 40-degree mark. Even this criteria has been overruled this year as Chandbali, a coastal station in Odisha exceeded 40°C. Few coastal stations in Andhra Pradesh have also seen the mercury rise above 40°C. All in all, we can say that 2016 is turning out to be exceptionally hot and oppressive.
For coastal stations and other places, if the day temperature rises 5°C above normal irrespective of reaching 40°C, we call it a hot day. Therefore on a general note, heatwave prevails in the interiors and hot days in the coastal areas.
Heatwave Forecast for India
In Delhi-NCR temperatures have been a little above normal for the last few days. For now, temperatures will continue showing a gradual rise, amounting to heatwave in pockets. However, some relief will come by Sunday onwards. No relief likely in other parts of the country. In fact, heatwave conditions will accentuate in Maharashtra and Karnataka and continue as it is in Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand.