Though every year the summer season sets some new records in India, it looks like summer 2013 has been a peculiar case of weather extremes in India. Boiling temperatures in the supposedly cooler hills, sudden dust storms and unexpected heavy rainfall in the so called ‘driest month of year’, May, and frequent cases of very high number of deaths because of the soaring heat. These extreme and severe changes in the weather of India have left everyone wondering.
Here’s a look at how the month of May behaved all across India:
Delhi records the highest temperature in the last ten years at 45.7⁰C on the 24th of May.
Mercury levels reach an all-time high in Punjab as the temperatures go 7 to 9 degrees above normal. Amritsar goes hotter than Delhi and soars to a record 48⁰C on the 23rd and 24th of May. Heat wave claims the lives of at least 8 in the city.
Severe heat wave conditions and temperatures above 48 degrees (Churu - 48.2⁰C) lead to the highest power demand till date in Rajasthan at 1,701 units.
Jammu, H.P and Uttrakhand reel under extreme heat as the maximum temperatures go above normal by 5 to 6 degrees between 18th to the 24th of May.
Srinagar records 28mm of unexpected spot rainfall, claiming the lives of three, out of which two die in flash floods. Jammu and Leh highway breaks down for several hours.
As temperatures go beyond 43⁰C, several people die in Andhra Pradesh due to a sun stroke in the worst ever heat wave conditions. The government confirms 524 deaths since April 1st while approximately 800 fresh deaths are reported in the last one week and 200 alone on Sunday, May 26th, by the local media. Prakasham district is the worst affected. It is the first time since 1997 that the State has recorded such a large number of deaths due to heatstroke.
Normal life is thrown out of gear in Vidharbha, Marathwada in central India as it continually remains the hot bed of India with temperatures in the range of 45 to 47⁰C, touching 48⁰C many a times at Nagpur and Akola.
Tourist destination Khajuraho records the hottest in Madhya Pradesh at 46.7⁰C. The terrible heat doesn’t spare the animals. 35 peacocks die in Ruar Dohra village.
Several districts of Odisha witness severe heat conditions. Bhuvaneshwar records the season's highest temperature of 45.9 degree celsius, the highest ever in the last eight years.
Unbearable heat kills two in Hyderabad and power demands lead to an inevitable fallout in terms of more power cuts (two hours daily). Reports reveal that Hyderabad alone requires around 6,000 MW power every day.
In the supposed dry month of May, Bangalore and Gangetic West Bengal record 33% and 37% of excess rainfall respectively, in a week. A continued wind discontinuity and formation of Cyclone Mahasen in the Bay of Bengal lead to excess rainfall.
A time when most hit the beach, people restrict themselves indoors in Panaji, Goa, as the temperatures hit 38⁰C in the city. The normal for Goa in the summer months is around 32 to 33⁰C.
Photo by BBC