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2016 Indian Heatwave: May smashes heat records in India  

May 25, 2016 3:43 PM |

Heatwave-GraphicIndian summer in May broached the subject that everyone was avoiding. Will May 2016 replicate the deadly heatwave that claimed almost 2500 lives in 2015? Leaving behind a scorching April that was one of the hottest in India, the summer season of India entered May and started to witness excruciatingly hot weather, which was taking no time to shatter weather records.

While unusually warmer winter followed by hot March had already given Indians a glimpse of blazing hot summer season, the sizzling April left no stone unturned in increasing the despair of people. Heatwave in India started to gradually tighten its grip around Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal with mercury soaring upto 46°C.

The trend of rising temperatures broke records when temperature elevated to 51°C in Phalodi in Rajasthan on May 18th, the highest for India till now.  It was the fifth consecutive month for India when extreme temperatures were settling higher than the normal.

Smashing all-time weather records, places in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan witnessed unprecedented high temperature in May. As per the table above, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Churu exceeded monthly average and set a new temperature record in May 2016. While Ahmedabad scorched under the blazing hot sun as maximum temperature settled at 48°C, beating average monthly temperature and all-time record, Churu was not behind that smashed all previous records by witnessing temperature of 50.2°C.

Since April, over 600 people have died in Telangana, Delhi, and Odisha due to the punishing heat wave out of which few have not been accounted by the government.

In India, the month of May is typically one of the hottest and driest. In the last four years, 4,204 people have died due to heat waves – 1,433 people died in 2013, the number fell to 549 a year later but went up again last year to 2,135, according to India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences.

However, heatwave is expected to abate as pre-Monsoon activity has picked up pace in India.  Though Kerala and parts of West Coast would begin to witness Monsoon showers from June 7 onwards, these rains will certainly take time to reach Northwest India where temperature may soar again close to 40°C.

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