Heat Wave In India Kills 9, Temperature Soars 46 Degrees

by | May 4, 2024 | Climate Crisis, Environmental News

Home » Environmental News » Heat Wave In India Kills 9, Temperature Soars 46 Degrees

In May, India is experiencing its hottest temperatures on record, with the mean temperature soaring to 46 degrees Celsius. This extreme heat wave in India marked the highest temperature recorded since data collection began in 1901. The relentless heatwave claimed the lives of at least nine individuals, highlighting the severity of the situation.

Heat wave in India

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) data reveals that the heatwaves in April were far more intense than in 2023, which was previously the warmest year on record. April saw record-breaking high temperatures in eastern, northeastern, and southern peninsular India, leading to health warnings from government agencies and causing some states to cancel in-person classes in schools. Several weather stations recorded their highest-ever daytime temperatures for April.

The scorching temperatures coincided with a crucial phase of the parliamentary election, raising concerns about its impact on voter turnout. Analysts noted a significant decrease in participation, attributing it partly to the oppressive heat. The ongoing seven-phase election, which commenced on April 19, witnessed lower voter engagement, possibly influenced by the extreme weather conditions.

Factors Contributing to the Heatwave

Experts have identified various factors contributing to the intensity of the heatwave. The El Niño climate pattern, known for causing hot and dry conditions in Asia, plays a significant role in exacerbating temperatures. Additionally, a reduction in thunderstorm activity and the presence of an anti-cyclonic circulation near India’s south-eastern coast further intensified the heatwave. During an anti-cyclone, warm winds flow from the land towards the sea, leading to elevated land temperatures.

Forecast and Outlook

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) announced that the current heatwave affecting eastern and southern peninsular India is expected to persist until May 5-6 before easing. On Wednesday, the Met Office indicated that higher-than-normal maximum temperatures are likely across much of the country in May, with a significant number of heatwave days anticipated in the northern plains, central region, and adjoining areas of peninsular India.

While the extreme heat wave in India remains a concern, weather forecasts provide some hope for relief in the coming days. Meteorological projections suggest a gradual abatement of heatwave conditions, offering a respite from the oppressive temperatures. However, the consequences of this unprecedented event are likely to linger, prompting authorities to take proactive measures to mitigate its effects.

Also Read: Southern Brazil Rains Leave 29 Dead

Author

  • Sarah Tancredi

    Sarah Tancredi is an experienced journalist and news reporter specializing in environmental and climate crisis issues. With a deep passion for the planet and a commitment to raising awareness about pressing environmental challenges, Sarah has dedicated her career to informing the public and promoting sustainable solutions. She strives to inspire individuals, communities, and policymakers to take action to safeguard our planet for future generations.

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