The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned that severe to very severe heatwave conditions would prevail all through the week over Vidarbha and parts of Marathwada, with the day temperature likely to hover around 46 degrees Celsius. Last week, Chandrapur had recorded the highest temperatures in the state with mercury soaring to 48 degrees.
Absence of any pre-monsoon rainfall activity this year, officials said, has led to prolonged spells of heatwave across the state, with Vidarbha reeling under repeated and long spells of heatwave through summer. While heatwaves are common in Maharashtra’s Vidarbha, Marathwada and parts of Madhya Maharashtra in May, but this year the state experienced heatwave conditions even in March and April. Such conditions are witnessed in June when onset of monsoon over the mainland is delayed, Anupam Kashyapi, head of IMD Pune’s weather department said.
“Below normal pre-monsoon activity coupled with a delay in the rains can be attributed to the heatwaves over Maharashtra in early June this year,” he said.
According to the IMD, heatwave conditions would prevail at isolated pockets till June 4, after which the intense heatwave would be experienced at isolated pockets till June 6 in Vidarbha. The ongoing spell of heatwave will prevail over Marathwada till June 4. IMD officials, however, confirmed that monsoon was making a slow, yet steady progress and would progress further in next 24 hours.
With the monsoon winds yet to gain its full strength needed to progress landward from Bay of Bengal, the onset of monsoon over Kerala is unlikely before June 6. This indicates that monsoon will arrive in Maharashtra after mid-June or even later. “The westerly winds continue to overpower the monsoon winds, thereby obstructing its progress from Bay of Bengal. There has been fairly widespread rainfall over Andaman and Nicobar islands,” Kashyapi said.
According to IMD officials, monsoon is most likely to make a weak onset over the Indian mainland and will take sometime to strengthen in order to push the westerlies over the northern latitudes. “As a result, the progress will be slow till monsoon reaches Maharashtra and central India. Thereafter, monsoon will progress normally to rest parts of the country. But our forecasts indicate that these regions will receive normal rainfall during the season,” Rao said.
The Met department officials, meanwhile, indicated that there was a possibility of light rain over Vidarbha and Marathwada in the coming week.