IMD forecasts heatwave, 'abnormal' temperatures for several Indian states

IMD has predicted a heat wave in parts of Gujarat till 21 Feb while states like Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand recorded highest maximum temperature in February

Representative Image
Representative Image

NH Digital

Immediately after many parts of India experienced a torrid cold wave, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday issued a warning for a heat wave in several parts of the country.

IMD warned of heatwave-like conditions in the isolated coastal region of Gujarat, specifically in Konkan and Kutch area for the next two days and the Maharashtra-Goa region for the till February 21.

"We have issued statements in the last few days about the temperature reaching between 37 and 39 degrees celsius in the west coast or Gujarat region, so isolated heat waves may prevail in the coastal region. We have issued a heatwave warning for the next two days in the Konkan and Kutch region except for the Western Himalayas where there is no significant variation," IMD Scientist Dr. Naresh told ANI.

IMD also alerted that temperatures are expected to rise in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand as well. Dr. Naresh further said that the Pathankot area in Northern Punjab is likely to get light isolated rainfall in two to three days.

"Presently, one Western Disturbance is likely to affect the western Himalayan region from today. It will impact the weather in the entire Jammu and Kashmir region today and eventually start affecting Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand from tomorrow, especially for the next two days," he said.

The doctor said that the minimum and maximum temperature in the country is already 'above normal' in most parts of the country.

He stated that February witnessed an 'abnormal' rise in temperature this year, with Shimla recording the highest ever maximum and minimum temperature.

"Shimla will continue experiencing the minimum and maximum temperature today, however, under the influence of western disturbance, we are expecting the temperature to slightly fall over these regions from tomorrow onwards," said Dr. Naresh.

On being asked if the weather in Shimla is an outcome of climate change, he said, "Generally this is an unusual temperature, but whenever there is dry or no weather then we can expect the temperature to rise above normal. However, we would need long-term data to say anything about climate change. We can call it climate change only if such conditions persist for long terms."

Addressing the issue of fog in the Southern part of the country, the IMD scientist said that the region is not witnessing 'dense fog' and termed it shallow with quite high visibility.

"The fog we are witnessing in the Southern region is not dense fog. It is a shallow fog and the visibility is quite high which prevails when there is humidity. If you talk about the Chennai region, there was about 80 per cent humidity which influenced this shallow fog. In Northwest India, one or two stations are experiencing dense fog in the morning, and this is also because the temperature here has been more than 10 degrees," he said.

"Since dense fog is prevailing in the Northwest, we have issued warnings in Punjab and Haryana for the next 24 hours. It may prevail till Monday," he added.

In Delhi, the minimum temperature is already above 10 degrees but due to western disturbances, it may fall by one degree, however, there may be no significant change in weather over Delhi-NCR, stated Dr. Naresh.

IMD also observed that isolated places over Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, and Sikkim and Coastal Andhra Pradesh will experience light rainfall; Punjab, Haryana, and West Uttar Pradesh will experience very dense fog in the morning hours.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, the United States Global Forecasting System data as visualised by the website showed a spike in maximum temperatures in the Northwest and some parts of Central, Eastern and Southern India starting from February 17.

In sync with IMD observations, this data revealed that day time temperatures will be in the range of 35-37 degrees celsius in these regions.

“We are already in the middle of all the extremes and so we just have to focus on the heatwave season and the monsoon deficit,” Akshay Deoras, a research scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science and Department of Meteorology told Down To Earth.

With inputs for ANI

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