Heatwave to Hit Parts of Central India in First Week of April

A heatwave occurs when the temperature is above 40 degrees or 4.5 to 6.4 degrees above normal.

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Heatwaves and downpours forecast for parts of Central India in the first week of April.

On Sunday, 31 March, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued an alert for a heatwave to severe heatwave condition that will affect parts of central India in the next week.

According to a report by Hindustan Times, IMD scientists said that severe heatwave conditions in March and the first week of April is not common but they could occur in isolated cases.

Screenshot of the warning bulletin issued by the IMD
Screenshot of the warning bulletin issued by the IMD
(Photo: Screenshot from the IWD website)

‘Orange’ Level Alert Issued For Central India

A heatwave occurs when the temperature is above 40 degrees or 4.5 to 6.4 degrees above normal. A severe heatwave is when the maximum temperature is over 6.5 degrees above normal, reported Hindustan Times. The regions mentioned by IMD have already started recording high temperatures ranging from 40 to 43 degree Celsius.

According to an IWD press release on 29 March, “these conditions are likely to persist in early part of the summer season and likely to weaken thereafter.”

The warning reads, “Heatwave to severe heatwave conditions very likely to prevail at many places over West Rajasthan and West Madhya Pradesh; heatwave conditions at isolated pockets over East Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya [middle] Maharasthra, Marathwada and Vidarbha.”

IMD has issued colour schemed warnings for different warning levels, where red is a warning that means take action, orange is an alert to be prepared, yellow is a watch to keep an eye on the situation and green means no warning where no action is needed.

So far, an orange warning has been issued for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and parts of Maharashtra between 31 March and 3 April.

Delhi recorded its highest temperature in nine years on 30 March – at 39 degrees. Temperatures in Delhi will stay around 38-39 degrees this week.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, M Mohapatra, director general of meteorology at IMD, said, “Heatwave conditions will be experienced mainly in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Severe heatwaves will affect only some parts of these states. Heatwaves are mainly a result of subsidence which warms the air through compression. Subsidence is a result of atmospheric circulation. Heatwave conditions are not likely in Delhi until next week. There may be some thunderstorm activity in Delhi on 5 April”.

El Nino Connection

Heatwaves could take place in parts of northern and central India in April because of a forecast for borderline El Nino conditions, reported the Hindustan Times.

El Nino disrupts global wind patterns affecting climatic conditions in tropical areas like Africa, sub-tropical areas like India as well as the extra-tropical areas like North America, reported Down To Earth.

For India, El Nino events usually mean hotter summers and lesser rainfall in the monsoons. IMD forecast weak El Nino conditions between March and May.

(With inputs from Hindustan Times and Down To Earth)

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