With no major heat waves recorded in the core zones so far and “excess rainfall” across the country, this summer is turning out to be unusual, say meteorologists.
Summer sets in March in the core heat wave zones of the north, central and east India, and intensifies in April and May until the first week of June, when the monsoon winds arrive. Apart from the northern and eastern plains, central India’s Vidarbha-Marathwada region, Gujarat, and parts of southern India in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are known as core heat wave zones, where temperatures rise above 45 degrees Celsius.
The IMD predicted above normal temperatures in core heat wave zones this summer. However, the temperature has not peaked to that level yet.
Instead, India received 25 per cent excess rainfall between March 1 and May 11, according to the India Meteorological Department.
O P Sreejith, a senior scientist with the Long Range Forecast unit of IMD in Pune, said March recorded 47 per cent more rainfall than normal and April saw 8 per cent more.
“This is not a usual phenomenon,” said IMD Director-General Mrutunjay Mohapatra.
Mahesh Palawat, the vice president of private forecaster Skymet Weather, said there are usually two instances of heat waves in April.
The IMD declares a heat wave when temperatures rise 5-6 degrees Celsius above normal. If it is above 7 degrees Celsius than normal, the IMD declares a severe heat wave.
Sathi Devi, head of the National Weather Forecasting Centre of the IMD, said there was one heat wave in Gujarat in April but it was not widespread.