IMD sees no relief from intense heat in east southern peninsular India for another two days

New Delhi, May 3 (PTI) The record-breaking heatwave spell affecting east India and parts of the southern peninsular region continued unabated on Friday, with temperatures settling above 44 degrees Celsius in at least 13 places.
    Intensely hot conditions prevailed in parts of Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
    Maximum temperatures settled in the range of 43-46 degrees Celsius in parts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Vidarbha, Madhya Maharashtra and 40-43 degrees in parts of Gangetic West Bengal, Marathwada and north interior Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
    Nandyal in Andhra Pradesh sizzled at 46.3 degrees Celsius, the highest maximum temperature in the country on Friday.
    The mercury settled at 44.6 degrees Celsius in Odisha's Boudh, 45 degrees in Khammam (Telangana), 46.2 degrees in Cuddapah (Andhra Pradesh), 43.4 degrees in Erode (Tamil Nadu), and 44.6 degrees in West Bengal's Kalaikunda.
    The IMD said the ongoing heatwave spell in east and south peninsular India will continue until May 5-6 and abate thereafter.
    The Met office on Wednesday said above-normal maximum temperatures are likely over most parts of the country in May and a significantly high number of heatwave days expected over the northern plains, central region and adjoining areas of peninsular India.
    April witnessed record-smashing maximum temperatures in east, northeast and southern peninsular India, prompting health warnings from government agencies and some states to suspend in-person classes in schools.
    A number of stations recorded their highest-ever April day temperatures.
    Five active western disturbances led to rainfall, thunderstorms and hail storms over north and central India at regular intervals in April, preventing heat waves.
    IMD data shows that heat waves this April were far worse than in 2023, the warmest year on record so far.
    This trend is likely to continue in May, with around eight to 11 heatwave days predicted over the south Rajasthan, west Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, Marathwada and the Gujarat regions.
    The remaining parts of Rajasthan, east Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and some parts of Chhattisgarh, interior Odisha, Gangetic West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, north interior Karnataka and Telangana may record five to seven heatwave days during the month.
    Normally, the northern plains, central India and adjoining areas of peninsular India experience around three days of heat waves in May.
    India witnessed two spells of heat waves in April -- from April 5 to 7 and April 15 to 30.
    The IMD attributed the prolonged heatwave spell over east, northeast and south peninsular India in April to the absence of thunderstorms and an anticyclone at lower levels over the west central Bay of Bengal and the adjoining eastern coasts of India.
    This caused the sea breeze to cut off over Odisha and West Bengal on most days.
    The weather office said south peninsular India recorded an average maximum temperature of 31 degrees Celsius in April, the second-highest since 1901.
    The mean temperature (28.12 degrees Celsius) in April in east and northeast India was the highest since 1901, it said.
    The IMD said above-normal maximum temperatures have become frequent over south peninsular India since the 1980s. The region recorded 12.6 mm rainfall in April -- the fifth lowest since 1901 and the second-lowest since 2001.
    According to IMD data, the number of heatwave days this April was the highest in 15 years in Gangetic West Bengal and nine years in Odisha.
    Odisha also experienced the longest heatwave spell (16 days) in April since 2016.
    Amid the prevailing but weakening El Nino conditions, the IMD had earlier warned of extreme heat during the April-June period, coinciding with the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections.
    Hundreds of thousands of voters had to cope with the searing heat when they stepped out to exercise their franchise in the second phase of the elections on April 26.
    Polling for 94 constituencies across 12 states will take place on May 7.
    The weather office had earlier expected four to eight heatwave days in different parts of the country in April against a normal of one to three days. Ten to 20 heatwave days are expected against a normal of four to eight in the entire April-June period.

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)