With the southwest monsoon expected to arrive later than usual in Kerala, on June 6, the excruciating wait for rains in Maharashtra’s parched districts is also bound to stretch on for longer.
Under normal conditions, monsoon arrives over Maharashtra around June 10 and covers the state within seven to 10 days, depending on local weather conditions. But this year, the first showers in the state are, at the earliest, expected only in the third week of June.
Scientists at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) have maintained that till the monsoon arrives, temperature will remain high across the state, particularly over Vidarbha, which has been reeling under heatwave conditions for most of the summer. IMD officials have also warned that the heatwave conditions are only going to get harsher in the coming days.
“More severe heatwave conditions will prevail over a larger geographical area including Vidarbha, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Rayalseema, Tamil Nadu and north-interior Karnataka from May 20 to May 25,” said Anupam Kashyapi, head of the weather department, IMD, Pune.
While the temperatures over the remaining sub-divisions — Konkan, Madhya Maharashtra and some parts of Marathwada — have remained within the normal range since the beginning of this month, nights have become warmer in recent days.
Some of the cities that experienced severe heat on Friday are Chandrapur (45.8 degrees Celsius), Nagpur (45.4 degrees Celsius), Akola (43.8 degrees Celsius). Day tempeatures were also marginally above normal over Parbhani (43.8 degrees Celsius), Nanded (42.5 degrees Celsius), Solapur (42.5 degrees Celsius) and Pune (39.4 degrees Celsius).
IMD officials on Friday said the conditions were becoming favourable for the onset of monsoon over the Andaman sea within the next 48 hours. In its onset forecast, IMD had indicated that the monsoon would reach the island around May 18, though the normal date for its arrival is May 20.