Updated May 1st, 2024 at 08:04 IST

India Heatwave: Why Are Temperatures Higher Than Usual This month In The Southern Indian States?

IMD issued a severe warning, stating that intense heatwave conditions would continue for the next five days in eastern and southern India.

Reported by: Pritam Saha
Heatwave In India | Image:X

For the most part of the country, the current weather is consistent with intense heatwave conditions. This week, several states in eastern and southern India have been on red alert, and the intense heat is killing more and more people—especially the weaker ones. Despite our natural tendency to write this off as summer's transient fever, rumors have it that the temperatures are far higher than normal.

Intense Heatwave Conditions 

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a severe warning on Sunday, stating that intense heatwave conditions would continue for the next five days in eastern and southern India. But despite the unrelenting heat, many parts of the nation—particularly the South Peninsula of India—are seeing far higher-than-average temperatures for this time of year.

Broken Records In South India 

In numerous places, the heatwave has broken temperature records. According to sources, Kottayam experienced 38.5°C, the second-highest temperature ever, and Palakkad recorded 41.6°C, the fourth-highest temperature ever. Kerala's Alappuzha reported 38°C, its highest April temperatures ever. Arogyavaram in Andhra reported 41.0°C, the second-highest temperature ever, while Kurnool recorded 45.2°C, the third-highest temperature ever. Bengaluru, in Karnataka, recorded its third and fourth-highest April temperatures ever, with a blistering 38.5°C. Additionally, Tamil Nadu's Dharmapuri district recorded 41.2°C, the second-highest temperature ever.

Midday Temperature Higher Than Average

Moreover, most districts in these states appear to have midday mercury levels that are three to five points higher than average. The region is expecting a prolonged heat wave that will last at least till May 4, with portions of Rayalaseema, inland Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana expected to face heatwave or severe heatwave conditions. It is anticipated that Kerala and Tamil Nadu will have hot and muggy weather in the coming days.

Change In Wind Direction

Experts believe that an anticyclonic flow and a change in wind direction are two of the meteorological phenomena responsible for the intense heat. Climate scientist M Rajeevan believes that by May, the heatwave will move into central and northwest India. Citing the ongoing El Niño year and the pre-monsoon season as significant causes, he warns that high heat is predicted to grip certain portions of India for at least the next four to five days. M Mohapatra, Director General of the IMD, agrees and explains that one of the main causes of the heatwave is the absence of sea breezes across eastern and peninsular India as a result of the anticyclonic flow.

In certain regions of the peninsular south and even east India, the heat index—which is calculated by summing air temperature and humidity—is predicted to soar to 40–50°C, with some places perhaps seeing as high as 60°C. Phase 3 of the Lok Sabha elections is expected to involve numerous constituencies, and voters and campaigners may find it difficult to cope with the current heatwave. To avoid heat strokes, it's critical to be aware of the heat and take appropriate measures. The first step in doing this would be to stay hydrated and cool.


Published May 1st, 2024 at 08:03 IST