Cooler days experienced over Maharashtra, including Pune, since the start of this week are on their way out. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has indicated that heatwave conditions are set to return soon over the state.
Pune recorded a maximum temperature of 35 degrees Celsius on Friday, 2.7 degrees below normal, a relatively cooler day in the last fortnight. Similarly, day temperatures on Friday over many areas in Madhya Maharashtra were in the 30-plus degrees range: Mahabaleshwar (30.1 degrees Celsius), Kolhapur (34 degrees Celsius) and Nashik (34.7 degrees Celsius).
This was in complete contrast to the temperatures recorded during the last week of April. Many areas in Maharashtra faced extremely hot days that week when maximum temperatures touched 47 degrees Celsius in parts of Vidarbha and 43 degrees Celsius in Pune, making it an abnormally warm summer season. What made the first spell of heatwave so significant was the geographical extent, intensity and prolonged duration, Met officials said.
“The weather models now indicate that the temperatures will gradually begin to rise after this weekend over Maharashtra. The return of heatwave to extreme heatwave conditions is strongly possible. Vidarbha though continues to reel under severe hot conditions,” said Anupam Kashyapi, head, weather department, IMD, Pune.
In Vidarbha, the day temperatures on Friday were as follows: Brahmapuri (45 degrees Celsius), Chandrapur (44 degrees Celsius), Wardha (43 degrees Celsius) and Nagpur (43.6 degrees Celsius), making them the hottest cities in the state.
The rise in temperatures will be more pronounced after the effects of Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Fani, which hit the Odisha coast on Friday, dissipates from parts of Maharashtra and nearby regions.
May is usually the hottest month in Maharashtra, where peak summer temperatures mostly range over 40 degrees Celsius. However, this year, summer has been harsh since the beginning of March.
“There could be at least two more events of heatwave over Maharashtra during May,” Kashyapi said.
Meanwhile, over next two days, Pune and neighbourhood areas are most likely to experience cloudy conditions but chances of rainfall are unlikely. However, Konkan and Goa may record light rainfall during May 4 and 5.
Effect of Fani to last till May 7
Cyclone Fani will weaken before heading to West Bengal and further northeast. But, its remnant effects will linger over neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and adjoining parts of east Maharashtra till May 6.
As on the evening of May 3, the storm weakened to a Severe Cyclonic Storm as it headed to Midnapur district along the Gangetic West Bengal. Fani is expected to cause widespread rainfall over Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh before it recurves upon hitting the Himayalas. During its final stages, Fani will move towards Bihar and parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh, triggering convective activities around May 7, Kashyapi said.