Parts of India record hottest April as heatwave kills nine

Searing heat has been cited by political analysts as one of the reasons for low voter turnout in the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections that began on April 19, with results due on June 4.
Last Updated : 01 May 2024, 14:11 IST
Last Updated : 01 May 2024, 14:11 IST

Follow Us :


New Delhi: Eastern India experienced its hottest April on record as heatwaves scorched parts of the country amid the Lok Sabha elections, killing at least nine people, with the weather office on Wednesday forecasting above normal temperatures for May too.

Searing heat has been cited by political analysts as one of the reasons for low voter turnout in the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections that began on April 19, with results due on June 4.

Heatwave conditions are, however, forecast to abate gradually in the coming days.

The mean temperature in eastern India was 28.12 degrees Celsius in April, the warmest since records began in 1901, with experts blaming a combination of factors.

"In an El Nino year, you get more heating," said Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, chief of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), referring to a climate pattern that typically leads to hot and dry weather in Asia and heavier rains in parts of the Americas.

He said fewer thunderstorms and an anti-cyclonic circulation near the southeastern coast were causing heatwaves. "Wind blows from land towards the sea during an anti-cyclone.., so land becomes warmer and temperature rises".

In April, West Bengal recorded the most number of heatwave days for the month in the last 15 years, followed by neighbouring Odisha where heat conditions were the worst in nine years.

Authorities have also declared a rare heatwave in Kerala, where at least 2 deaths have been recorded due to soaring temperatures.

Central and northwestern parts of the country, which includes major wheat producing states that typically witness heatwaves this time of the year, have been largely spared due to intermittent thundershowers last month, Mohapatra said.

The weather office said rainfall in May is likely to be normal and that it expects more showers during the second half of the monsoon season in August and September as compared to June and July due to the La Nina climate pattern, which typically brings higher rainfall.

Monsoon is the lifeblood of our economy, delivering 70% of the rain needed to water crops and recharge reservoirs, and the MET department has predicted that India will receive above normal monsoon rainfall in 2024.

Published 01 May 2024, 14:11 IST

Deccan Herald is on WhatsApp Channels | Join now for Breaking News & Editor's Picks

Follow us on :

Follow Us