Pune recorded the hottest April day in 36 years on Friday, as mercury soared to 42.6 degrees Celsius. According to the records maintained by India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune, the last time day temperatures came so close was in 1983, when they were recorded at 42.5 degrees Celsius.
Except Konkan, rest of Maharashtra has been reeling under heatwave conditions, with Vidarbha experiencing a longer, severe heatwave condition for nearly a week.
This is the second time this week that the country’s hottest regions were recorded from pockets of Vidarbha. On Friday, the second hottest city in the country, after Khargone (46.5 degrees) in West Madhya Pradesh, was Akola (46.4 degrees) in Vidarbha region.
“The day temperatures over Maharashtra are expected to remain in the similar manner for the next 48 hours. They would marginally drop thereafter. However, nights will continue to remain warmer as minimum temperatures will hover close to 24 degrees till April 30,” A K Srivastava, head, climate monitoring and analysis, IMD, said.
The IMD has warned that heatwave conditions would prevail over Madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha till April 29.
Along with high temperatures, what is making this year’s April hotter is the high levels of moisture in the atmosphere, which is uncommon for drier sub-divisions like Madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha regions for this time of the year, said IMD officials.
The heat conditions over Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat will be decided on the track taken by the depression, which on Friday evening, was approximately 1,440 km south of Chennai off the Tamil Nadu coast in the Bay of Bengal. IMD has predicted this depression will intensify into a cyclonic storm and hit the Tamil Nadu coast on April 30.
“Since this system is still developing, the conditions over central India will remain the same until it makes further progress. The strength of this system in the Bay of Bengal is also dependent on a similar system that is presently lying in the southern hemisphere along the same latitude,” explained an official of the IMD, which is closely monitoring the east coast.
As a result, the extreme southern peninsular regions and the north-east hilly regions are most likely to receive good rains during the week ahead.
On each of the last four days, Pune has registered maximum temperature in excess of 40 degrees Celsius. The average maximum temperature for the month of April so far has been 39.2 degrees. In fact, the maximum temperature has not gone below 35 degrees Celsius on any day in April so far. The minimum temperatures have ranged between 15 and 25 degrees, with the average so far being 20.7 degrees.
The water crisis over the state is also set to worsen further with dams soon drying up. The live water stocks in each of the five major dams supplying drinking water to Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad has fallen below 40 TMC. As on Friday (April 26), Khadakwasla Dam has 0.77 TMC water in stock, which is 38.78 per cent of the dam’s capacity. Similarly, Panshet Dam (3.74 TMC, 35.08 per cent), Varasgaon (2.43 TMC, 18.95 per cent) and Pavana Dam (2.69 TMC, 31.59 per cent) also are fast drying up.