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Severe heatwave sweeps India; temperatures to rise further over next 5 days

Large parts of India have been recording higher than normal temperatures since the last week of March, with weather experts attributing it to the absence of periodic light rainfall and thundershowers, typical for this time of the year, due to the lack of active western disturbances.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 30, 2022 7:56:36 am
"A rise of about two degrees Celsius in the maximum temperature (is) very likely over most parts of northwest India during the next two days," the IMD said. (Express Photo by Gurmeet Singh)

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned that the current spell of heatwave may further intensify over the next five days, with temperatures touching 45 degrees Celsius in some parts of the country. The forecast shows that heatwave conditions are very likely over northwest and central India during the next five days, and over east India in the next two days. According to experts quoted by news agency PTI, temperatures may even scale to 47 degrees Celsius in parts of northwest India.

“A rise of about two degrees Celsius in the maximum temperature (is) very likely over most parts of northwest India during the next two days,” the IMD said.

The blistering heatwave sweeping through vast swathes of the country intensified on Thursday with the mercury crossing the 45-degree mark at several places.

Delhi power minister raises alarm: Some plants have coal to last just one day

Delhi Power Minister Satyendar Jain reiterated on Friday that there is a shortage of coal at some power plants. “There is a major shortage of coal across the country and the major reason is the shortage of rakes for trains that transport coal,” he said. “The power plants need to have a stock of coal. In some plants, there is stock for only a day today.”

Jain wrote to the Centre on Thursday asking them to ensure that sufficient coal is available at power plants that supply electricity to Delhi.

A statement from the government on Thursday had pointed to disruption of power supply from Dadri-II and Unchahar power stations that could lead to a problem in 24-hour power supply to essential institutions, including the Delhi Metro and hospitals.

Power crisis due to coal distribution mismanagement by BJP govt: Congress

As the country is amidst a power crisis, Congress said, on Friday, that the “artificial” crisis persists due to the mismanagement and misgovernance of the central government.

“This power crisis is artificial and is due to the poor governance and poor management in coal distribution. This is purely misgovernance.”

Gourav Vallabh, the Congress spokesperson, said that the BJP government was not providing support regarding coal distribution to power plants, which was leading to the crisis. Vallabh added that the Modi government could not run away from every crisis and responsibility and blame states for the same.

He said that power, coal and railways ministries should come together and work towards solving the current power crisis in the country.

All you need to know about the heatwave, how to protect yourself

Since the beginning of March there have been at least 26 heatwave days, and as many as four spells of heatwaves in a little over a month and a half. The last of these heat waves remains ongoing.

When does India declare a heatwave?

According to the Health Ministry, a heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C or more for plains, 37°C or more for coastal stations, and at least 30°C or more for hilly regions.

Delhi, Gurugram  reel under intense heat

Delhi saw the hottest April day in 12 years at 43.5 degrees Celsius on Thursday. The IMD has issued an orange alert for the national capital on Friday, indicating heatwave conditions at many places and severe heatwave at isolated places.

Its neighbour Gurugram in Haryana logged an all-time high of 45.6 degrees Celsius on the same day, breaking the previous record of 44.8 degrees Celsius on April 28, 1979.

IMD issues ‘orange’ alert in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Vidarbha

An orange alert has been issued for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra for the next four days. Vidarbha in Maharashtra and west Rajasthan have consistently reported maximum temperatures in the range of 40 degrees Celsius to 45 degrees Celsius for the past two months.

A man quenches his thirst at a roadside vendor outside a metro station in New Delhi, Thursday, April 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Shonal Ganguly)

In Maharashtra, the orange alert has been issued indicating severe heat for the Wardha, Akola, Chandrapur, and Yavatmal districts for Saturday and Sunday.

Meanwhile, west Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and Rajasthan are likely to experience heatwave conditions during the next five days, and east Uttar Pradesh between April 29 to May 1.

Bihar, Jharkhand, interior Odisha, Chhattisgarh & Gangetic West Bengal are likely to go through a heatwave on April 29 and 30, and Telangana on April 29.

The IMD uses four colour codes for weather warnings. Green means no action needed, yellow refers to watch and stay updated, orange means be prepared while red alert means take action.

As April temperature increases, Maharashtra experiences heat waves. Local fishermen dry their fresh catch (shrimps) on the scorching asphalt at the back roads of Nerul in Navi Mumbai on Thursday afternoon. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

Heatwave impacts peoples’ health, power supply

IMD has said the impact of severe heat includes high temperature, increased likelihood of heat-related illness in people who are exposed to sun for a prolonged period doing heavy work, and vulnerable population like infants, senior citizens and people suffering from chronic illness. “Hence people should avoid heat exposure, wear lightweight and light-coloured cotton clothes and cover the head with a hat or umbrella,” the weather body said.

Amid the heatwave, India’s peak power demand in a day touched an all-time high of 204.65 GW on Thursday.

A heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature is over 40 degrees Celsius and at least 4.5 notches above normal. A severe heatwave is declared if the departure from normal temperature is more than 6.4 notches, according to the IMD.

Large parts of India have been recording higher than normal temperatures since the last week of March, with weather experts attributing it to the absence of periodic light rainfall and thundershowers, typical for this time of the year, due to the lack of active western disturbances.

Northwest India saw at least four western disturbances in March and April, but they were not strong enough to cause a significant change in weather, said Mahesh Palawat, Vice President (Meteorology and Climate Change), Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency.

India saw its warmest March since the IMD began keeping records 122 years ago amid a 71 per cent rain deficit.

Rainfall likely over northeast states

Fairly widespread/widespread rainfall with thunderstorm, lightning or gusty winds, with a speed reaching 40-50 kmph, is very likely over Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya. Whereas scattered or fairly widespread rainfall is very likely over Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Sikkim during next five days. Isolated heavy rainfall is very likely over Arunachal Pradesh on 30th and over Assam and Meghalaya between April 30 to May 2.

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(With PTI inputs)

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