Tahlka News Desk
New Delhi: It's just end of March but the temperature of India is already rising its racing peak of summer levels.
Bhira town in Maharashtra recorded a searing 46.5 degrees on Tuesday quite unheard of in March as the Met office warned of heatwave conditions in parts of central, west and north India.
While IMD officials cautioned that the temperature reading in Bhira may not be very accurate, other places in Maharashtra were blazing as well. Akola recorded 44.1 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, as officials said a set of meteorological conditions had come together to cause the heat.
"Hot conditions, including heat waves, are likely to continue till Saturday (April 1), after which temperatures may drop by a degree or two," said M Mohapatra, DGM of IMD's National Weather Forecasting Centre.
Heat wave warnings have been issued for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, madhya Maharashtra, south UP, south Haryana, Chandigarh and interior Odisha.
Mohapatra said wind patterns, clear skies and a low pressure pulse set to hit north India were contributing to the heat. "Clear skies over central India have been raising temperatures due to solar heating.
Then, an approaching western disturbance has led to a change in wind direction, which is bringing in heat. An anti-cyclonic wind pattern over central India is also pumping in heat," he said.
Mohapatra, DGM of IMD's National Weather Forecasting Centre, said the freakishly hot conditions would abate slightly after the western disturbance passes, leading to northerly wind flows. "That should happen after April 1. However, the drop in temperatures would be only of a degree or two," he added. According to IMD's classification, heat wave conditions set in when the maximum temperatures touch 40 degrees C and are at least five degrees above normal.
Although south and central India get hot earlier than the north and temperatures peak around April-May, such high heat in March is rare and could be pointing to global warming signals. The IMD's seasonal forecast for March-April this year has predicted higher than normal average temperatures in the country. It said northwest India could be around one degree hotter than normal. These forecasts are generated by climate models that take into account the impact of global weather features such as warming of the oceans and changes in wind flows.