The people of India have to brace for a hot and harsh summer, as the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has released heatwave predictions for the upcoming months.
During the upcoming hot weather season, i.e March to May, the above normal maximum temperatures are likely over most parts of northeast India, east and central India and some parts of northwest India. Normal to below normal maximum temperatures are most likely over remaining parts of the country, says the report.
The average maximum temperature for February was the highest on an all India basis since 1971 this year. While the average maximum temperature for the whole country was 29.54 degree Celsius, it was 31.93 degree Celsius, second highest since 1901 over central India, reported IMD.
A heatwave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the hot weather season.
The normal minimum temperature during the peak summer season is very likely to be over the normal range in most parts of the country except south peninsular India where normal to below normal minimum temperatures are likely. Heat wave is considered if maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40 degree celsius or more for Plains and at least 30 degree celsius or more for hilly regions.
According to the report, below normal rainfall is most likely over many areas of northwest and west central India and some parts of northeast & east India. Normal to above normal rainfall is likely over most parts of peninsular India, parts of east central India and some isolated pockets of northeast India. The dotted areas in the map climatologically receive very less rainfall during March and the white-shaded areas within the land areas represent climatological probabilities.
Currently, La Niña conditions are prevailing over the equatorial Pacific region. The La Niña is likely to weaken and turn to El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral conditions during the pre-monsoon season. At present, the neutral conditions in the Indian Ocean are likely to continue during the pre-monsoon season.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also released a list of dos and don’ts to protect oneself against heatwave. The advisory suggests drinking water frequently, consuming salted drinks, like lemon water, buttermilk, lassi, fruit juices, or ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution). One must also consume fresh fruits such as watermelon, cucumber, orange and lemon. Noting that temperatures have touched “unusually high at some places in the country”, ministry has asked all states/union territories for daily surveillance on heat-related illnesses from March 1, 2023.