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Intense heatwaves in several parts of India

Why is it in the news?

  • April has been unusually hot in India, with heatwave conditions prevalent in various parts of the country.

 

More about the news

  • The Core Heatwave Zone (CHZ), spanning central, north, and peninsular India between Gujarat and West Bengal, is particularly susceptible to heatwaves.
·       IMD declares a heatwave when the maximum temperature exceeds 40 degrees Celsius or deviates by more than 4.5 degrees Celsius from normal.

 

 

  • Severe heatwaves are declared if the temperature deviation exceeds 6 degrees Celsius from normal.
  • Two main factors have contributed to the hot April:

1) The year 2024 began in an El Niño state, leading to extreme temperatures and prolonged heatwave spells.

2) The persistent presence of anticyclone systems over southern peninsular and southeastern coastal areas, which generate heat through air subsidence and prevent cooling sea breezes.

  • This April, except for four days, large parts of India experienced either heatwave or severe heatwave conditions.
  • Southern peninsular India and the southeastern coast, including Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, were among the worst affected regions.
  • Odisha and Gangetic West Bengal experienced heatwave to severe heatwave conditions since mid-April.
  • The inclusion of Kerala and Sikkim in the list of heatwave-affected areas suggests that heatwaves are extending beyond traditional regions prone to such conditions.

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