Intense heatwave across India leaves people sweltering

Well over a billion people are longing for monsoon season, which is still weeks away, after the warmest March on record was followed by more waves of unbearable heat in April

In east, central, and northwest India in mid and late April 2022, a strong heatwave produced temperatures 4.5 to 8.5°C (8 to 15°F) above normal—just weeks after the nation had the warmest March since the country’s meteorological department started compiling records more than 120 years ago.

The country’s maximum temperature, 45.9°C (114.6°F), was recorded at Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, on April 27, 2022. According to the India Meteorological Department, a high of 45.1°C (113.2°F) was recorded at Barmer in West Rajasthan in the northwest the day before. Temperatures of 42-44°C (108-111°F) were observed in several additional locations.

Temperatures recorded across the various States of India on April 27, 2022

Heatwave multiplies problems for people

Heat-related diseases, poor air quality, insufficient rainfall, and lower crop yields are all consequences of the heatwave. Furthermore, power consumption has increased, while coal supplies have decreased, resulting in the country’s biggest electricity crisis in almost six years.

Mountain snow has been fast melting in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh’s northern areas.

More than 300 big wildfires were raging across the country while as Uttarakhand accounted for nearly a third of the total, according to the Forest Survey of India.

According to India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences, the number of spring heat waves has been growing, with 12 of the country’s 15 hottest years on record occurring since 2006.

Pertinently, a heatwave in June 2015 claimed the lives of almost 2,000 people in the country.

Heatwave forecast to worsen further, experts say

According to meteorologists, a bulge in the jet stream and a dome of high pressure have kept an exceptionally warm, dry air mass parked over the country.

The heat wave was forecast to worsen over the next few days and last for at least another week.

Throughout India, heat waves are widespread in the spring and early summer, especially in May, which is the warmest month of the year.

People wish for the monsoon to bring them relief

However, the arrival of the monsoon season, which lasts from late May to September, typically brings relief.

People in the country are now hoping against hope for the heatwave to become less intense and waiting for the monsoon to bring much-needed respite from the raging temperatures.

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