The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday that maximum temperatures are likely to be above the normal range by 0.5 to 1 degree Celsius in most parts of central and some parts of northwest India.
“Many meteorological conditions influence heatwaves; one of the conditions is El Nino. Our forecast says that weak El Nino conditions have set in. So temperatures are likely to be slightly above normal over most parts of the country according to our models. We have already seen heatwaves over Rajasthan and parts of central India in the last couple of weeks,” said M Mohapatra, the director general of meteorology at IMD.
El Nino is a weather phenomenon characterised by warm ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific ocean. The persistence of the phenomenon could negatively impact the June to September southwest monsoon season which delivers 70% of the country’s annual rainfall.
DS Pai, senior scientist at IMD, Pune, said, “When heating is there, it can help thunderstorm activity, it can cause cloud formation. Soil will get dry if heating is not compensated by pre-monsoon showers. Central India, including parts of Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and MP, can become dry. Some parts of northwest and western India like Rajasthan can also have dry soil.”
A heat wave occurs when the temperature is above 40 degrees or about 4.5 to 6.4 degrees above normal.
Above normal heatwave conditions are also likely over the core heatwave zone, which includes Delhi, Haryana Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Telangana, and Marathawada, Vidarbha, Madhya Maharashtra and coastal Andhra Pradesh.
The seasonal average minimum and mean temperatures over West Rajasthan are likely to be above normal by over 1 degree Celsius.