Parts of India have hottest April in 122 years; no respite forecast in May

Northwest and central India had their hottest April in 122 years, when average high temperatures in the two regions reached 35.9 and 37.78 degrees Celsius, the weather bureau said on Saturday.

Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director-general of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), said parts of north-west and west-central India – Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana – will continue to experience normal temperatures in May.

Overall, temperatures across the country in April 2022 were the fourth highest in the last 122 years.

The heatwave could affect agriculture by reducing yields of several standing crops in Punjab, Haryana and West Uttar Pradesh. May nights would be warmer in most parts of the country except for some regions of India’s southern peninsula, Mohapatra said.

Meanwhile, he said a low pressure is also building up over the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal that could develop into a cyclone, a definitive picture of which will become clearer by May 5 (influenced by the Indian monsoon), Mohapatra said. that while increased heat waves are usually associated with El Nino, this year was not the case.

Temperatures rose abnormally in March and April this year, according to IMD, largely due to the lack of westerly disturbances that could bring rain and cool temperatures.

Rainfall in March and April of this year was 84 percent too little over north-west India, 54 percent too little over central India, but 40 percent too much over east and north-east India, and 38.5 percent too much over south India.

Average temperatures observed across India in April were 35.05 degrees, the fourth highest in 122 years, he said.

“The average rainfall for May 2022 across the country will most likely be above normal,” Mohapatra said.

However, parts of north-west and north-east India and the extreme south-east peninsula are expected to fall below normal rainfall in May, he said.

The high temperatures in March and April were due to “persistently low rainfall,” he said.

In March, north-west India recorded a rainfall deficit of around 89 percent, while April’s deficit was nearly 83 percent, mainly due to weak and dry western disturbances, Mohapatra said.

North India experienced six westerly disturbances, but they were mostly weak and moving across the higher parts of the Himalayas, he said, adding that the last three westerly disturbances in April caused strong winds in parts of Delhi and dust storms over Rajasthan.

India, particularly the northwestern, central and western parts of the country, has been suffering from intense heatwave conditions in recent weeks

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