Heatwave Alert: India Gears Up for Increased Hot Days in 2024!

Heatwave Alert: Get ready for some serious heat! A report suggests that the humid heat wave we experienced in last year might become a regular thing. Brace yourself, because India and Bangladesh might be in for more heatwaves every year or so.

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And hold onto your hats, because the India Meteorological Department (IMD) is predicting even more scorching days this summer. Temperatures are already hitting 38°C in many cities, and it’s expected to climb past 40°C before you know it!

Get ready to turn up the fans and stay hydrated because according to Mrutyunjay Mahapatra, the director general of IMD, most states are going to feel the heat from April to June. Instead of the usual four to eight heatwave days we get every summer, we’re expecting more this time around in different states.

The hottest months are going to be May and June, especially in Central India. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any hotter, the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization recently warned that 2024 is going to be scorching. After last year’s record-breaking heat all over the world, including Asia and India, it looks like we’re in for another hot one!

Union minister Kiren Rijiju recently mentioned in a press conference that India is experiencing a lot of extreme weather events happening quickly. He pointed out that we’re expecting some seriously hot heat waves in the next three months. To tackle this, everyone involved, including state governments, is getting ready with detailed plans and preparations.

 

WHAT IS A HEAT WAVE?

When the temperature shoots up 4.5℃ above what’s normally expected, that’s when the IMD says we’ve got ourselves a heatwave.

Last year, a paper called ‘Heat and Cold Waves in India: Processes and Predictability,’ written by M Ravichandran, Secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, was released on April 26. It pointed out that heatwaves mainly hit two places: central and north-western India, and coastal Andhra Pradesh.

During El Niño years, we tend to experience more heatwave days compared to La Niña years. El Niño brings warmer weather because of a natural cycle called the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which affects both the ocean and the atmosphere. On the other hand, La Niña is the cooler phase of this cycle.

Between 1961 and 2021, India saw an increase of about 2.5 days of heatwaves due to global warming. The paper indicates that because heatwaves are becoming more common in central and north-western India, we can expect an increase of two heatwaves and up to 12-18 more days of heatwaves in those areas.

 

Heatwave Alert: How Do We Define and Declare Extreme Heat?

1. Heatwave Criteria:
– Plains: 40°C or higher.
– Coastal Areas: 37°C or higher.
– Hilly Regions: 30°C or higher.

2. When Heatwaves Are Declared:
– If the normal max temperature is 40°C or less:
– Increase of 5-6°C is a heatwave.
– Increase of 7°C or more is severe.
– If the normal max temperature is above 40°C:
– Increase of 4-5°C is a heatwave.
– Increase of 6°C or more is severe.
– If max temperature hits 45°C or higher, it’s a heatwave.

3. NDMA Guidelines (2016):
– Issued by National Disaster Management Authority for national-level heatwave strategies.

 

There are several things that can be done to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of heat waves. Some of these measures include:

  1. Cutting down on greenhouse gases: This is super important because it helps tackle the root cause of heat waves – climate change.
  2. Making our buildings and spaces stronger: We can do this by making buildings more energy-efficient and adding shade in parks and other public spots.
  3. Teaching people about heat wave dangers: By spreading awareness, we can help folks stay safe during hot spells and avoid heat-related illnesses.
  4. Creating cool spots: Setting up cooling centers in places like libraries and community centers gives people a cool place to hang out during heat waves.
  5. Watching air quality: During heat waves, air quality can take a hit, so it’s key to keep an eye on it and take precautions if needed.

Heatwave

Also Read-India Takes a Leap with its First-Ever Green Hydrogen Pilot Project!

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