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Current Affairs

Heat conditions in India

Date: 29 April 2022 Tags: Climate Change

Issue

India is witnessing extreme hot conditions throughout the country since the beginning of summer in March.

 

Background

In many parts, the temperature has hovered around 40-45 degree Celsius. Rajasthan and Vidarbha are the most affected regions.

 

Details

  • The first heatwave spell this year started in March and affected Konkan, Rajasthan Punjab, Odisha, Saurashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

  • The second spell was longer and covered Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rayalaseema and East Madhya Pradesh apart from the regions in first spell.

  • The third heatwave spell was the shortest of all and was largely restricted to areas of Delhi, Rajasthan, East Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Vidarbha.

  • The latest fourth spell has already started and is expanding towards all parts of the country.

 

Heatwave

  • A heatwave is declared by Meteorological department if the maximum temperature reaches at least 40 degrees Celsius in the plains, at least 37 degrees Celsius in the coast, and at least 30 degrees Celsius in hilly regions.

  • If the maximum temperature rises by between 4.5 degrees Celsius and 6.4 degrees Celsius above normal, heatwave can be declared.

  • If an area records a maximum temperature of more than 45 degrees Celsius and up to 47 degrees Celsius on any given day, heatwave can be declared.

 

Heatwave prone zones

  • Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, West Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Vidarbha, parts of Gangetic West Bengal, Coastal Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana are prone to heatwaves.

  • Regions in the extreme north (Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir, Ladakh), northeast, and southwest (Karnataka, Kerala, Goa) are less prone to heatwaves.

 

Reasons for heatwaves

  • Heatwaves in these months are kept in check by thunderstorm-induced rainfall. Thunderstorms are caused due to interaction of western disturbances and moist southern winds.

  • This year, the western disturbances have not been strong enough to cause thunderstorms and subsequent rains.

 

Way ahead

The temperatures are not expected to fall anytime soon. In some parts, there may be marginal fall but in major parts the conditions are expected to persist.