A heatwave is scorching the state this summer, which has been drier than normal. Maharashtra, which is not among the states that receive a large amount of rainfall in the pre-monsoon season, received just one shower in the second week of April.
The pre-monsoon season is the period between March and May and is characterised by light to moderate rainfall caused due to a confluence of convective activity, thunderstorm and lightning caused by excessive heat.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Maharashtra receives between 51 mm and 100 mm rain from March to May. But this year, the state has been under a dry spell and no rainfall has been forecast for the coming days. So far, Maharashtra has received 6.6 mm rainfall, whereas the average of the four subdivisions is between 30 mm and 35 mm for the season.
According to IMD officials, thunderstorm activity accompanied by light to moderate showers usually occurs in the southern peninsula and the northeastern belt of the state. This year, too, these two regions have received adequate rainfall.
“There were always weather systems available for both the southern and northeastern regions that kept the pre-monsoon season active throughout. However, the weather systems from the south failed to reach Maharashtra or regions in central India, thereby leaving vast areas largely dry. Besides, Maharashtra, being a rainshadow belt, receives little rainfall during this season,” said Anupam Kashyapi, head, weather department, IMD, Pune.
As a result, heatwave conditions sustained over the state throughout the summer, making it drier than normal. “The absence of any strong weather system over central India or Maharashtra over the past two months is one of the main reasons why the state has received just one shower. This allowed heat to build up over the region,” said a Met official.
Interestingly, Jammu and Kashmir and parts of Rajasthan reported rainfall in these months.
“Rajasthan usually experiences heatwave conditions and day temperatures here even touch 50 degrees Celsius. But this season, Rajasthan has not reported significant heatwave incidents, so far,” said a Met official, adding that an otherwise arid Rajasthan’s rainfall was 13 mm till date.