Northwest, central India's April average temperature highest in 122yrs: IMD
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Saturday said the average maximum temperature in the northwest and central India in April was the highest in the last 122 years. Notably, the IMD has been recording weather data since 1901. Meanwhile, the temperatures in north India may exceed 50 °C in May since it has conventionally been the hottest month as per data, the IMD stated.
- Several states across the country have been witnessing high maximum temperatures amid the heatwave conditions in recent weeks. A further rise in temperatures has also been predicted in many parts.
- This year, Delhi recorded its second warmest April in 72 years.
- The situation has also increased power demand across India, resulting in coal shortages and power blackouts in several states of the country.
The maximum average temperature in northwest India in April was 35.9 °C. It is 3.35 °C higher than the long-term average, which is regarded as normal. This also broke the previous record of 35.4 °C set in April 2010. Meanwhile, the maximum average temperature recorded in central India in April was 37.78 °C, which was higher than the 37.75 °C registered in 1973.
In April, the minimum temperatures in several parts of the country also reportedly remained above normal. The minimum average temperature in northwest India in April was 19.44 °C, which was 1.75 °C higher than the long-term average.
As per Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director-General of the IMD, northwest and central India experienced "continuously scanty rainfall activity" in March and April. Northwest India experienced a rainfall deficit of around 89% and 83% in March and April, respectively. The western disturbances were weak and dry, which resulted in a shortfall in pre-monsoon rainfall in the northwest and central India, Mohapatra stated.
In April 2022, 146 instances of heatwave to extreme heatwave conditions were reported across India, which is the most since 2010, when 404 such cases were reported. Mohapatra said northwest India is expected to continuously witness higher-than-normal maximum temperatures throughout May. Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Rajasthan are likely to be the worst affected, as per Mohapatra.
Last month, Abinash Mohanty, Programme Lead at the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water (CEEW), said IMD's heatwave alerts reflect the effects of climate extremes in recent years. This also aligned with projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. "Increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme events...is a result of human-caused landscape disruptions...which causes temperature and precipitation anomalies," he had said.
According to CEEW's Climate Vulnerability Index, Indian districts' landscape attributes (tree cover, forest coves, wetlands, and mangroves, among others) have changed by 45%, causing such extreme weather conditions. "Rapid deployment of nature-based solutions can mitigate the impact of climatic extremities. They also pay a double dividend of enhancing resilience by generating socio-economic and environmental benefits that can climate-proof lives and livelihoods," Mohanty had asserted.