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IMD issues heatwave alert for several states during next 5 days; check list

Delhi braces for sweltering temperatures, with the mercury expected to peak at 45 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday

heatwave in India

Nandini Singh New Delhi

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The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a concerning forecast, anticipating a severe heatwave to grip Delhi, Punjab, and Haryana persistently for the next five days, offering no respite from the scorching temperatures engulfing various regions of the nation. Monday is poised to witness Delhi's mercury rising to 44 degrees Celsius, following a record-setting high of 44.4 degrees the previous day.

In its latest bulletin, IMD highlights the emergence of severe heatwave conditions slated to prevail in Rajasthan from Tuesday to Friday and in specific areas of Uttar Pradesh on Monday and Tuesday.

Furthermore, IMD projections indicate heatwave conditions looming over parts of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, and the hill states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh throughout the week.

Delhi braces for sweltering temperatures, with the mercury expected to peak at 45 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday.

Meanwhile, Sunday witnessed temperatures surging to or surpassing 47 degrees Celsius in at least eight locations nationwide, with Delhi's Najafgarh district recording a blistering 47.8 degrees, securing its position as the country's hottest spot for the second time in three days.

Rajasthan registered its highest temperature at 46.7 degrees Celsius in Sriganganagar and Anta, while Nuh in Haryana reached a scorching high of 47.2 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, Chandigarh, the capital shared by Punjab and Haryana, experienced a peak of 44.2 degrees Celsius.

In Punjab, Faridkot sizzled at 44 degrees Celsius, closely followed by Amritsar at 43.9 degrees.

Datia in Madhya Pradesh saw temperatures soar to 47.5 degrees, while Agra in Uttar Pradesh recorded 47.7 degrees and Jhansi reached 47.2 degrees.

Expressing grave concerns amidst the blistering heat, IMD urged residents in affected areas to exercise caution, recommending the adoption of preventive measures such as wearing lightweight cotton attire, using hats and umbrellas for sun protection, and minimising outdoor exposure.

IMD forecasts heavy rainfall in South India

In a contrasting weather projection, the IMD anticipates heavy rainfall across regions of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry in this week.

Lakshadweep is poised to experience substantial rainfall on Monday and Tuesday, while the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are expected to witness light to moderate showers over the next seven days, said the IMD.

The extreme heatwave this year

This May, the northern plains, central India, and surrounding peninsular regions brace for an anticipated three-day heatwave onslaught, a common occurrence for this time of year.

However, April defied norms, as the eastern, northeastern, and southern peninsulas of India experienced unprecedented high temperatures. Such scorching conditions prompted governmental health advisories and the suspension of regular classroom activities in various areas.

Record-breaking temperatures soared to 47 degrees Celsius in several locations, marking the highest-ever April day highs. Kerala reported heatstroke-related fatalities, claiming the lives of at least two individuals.

According to data from the IMD, April witnessed the highest number of heatwave days in nine years for Odisha and fifteen years for Gangetic West Bengal. Additionally, Odisha endured its longest heatwave spell (spanning 16 days) since 2016.

What's behind the severe heatwave?

Leading climate scientists have warned that similar heatwaves may occur approximately once every three decades. Alarming data indicates that climate change has made such occurrences a staggering 45 times more likely.
The World Weather Attribution (WWA) group underscored the exacerbating impact of climate change on heatwaves, particularly in worsening living conditions for impoverished populations across Asia.

Against the backdrop of the ongoing, albeit waning, El Nino, the IMD had forewarned about extreme temperatures in India during April and May. This forecast coincided with the final stages of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections, slated to conclude on June 4th.

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First Published: May 20 2024 | 12:05 PM IST

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