IMD warns of heatwave spells

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IMD warns of heatwave spells Blog Image

What’s in today’s article?

● Why in News?

● What is India Meteorological Department (IMD)?

● What are Heat waves?

● Prediction by IMD

Why in News?

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts that many parts of the country will have a hot and dry summer from April to June. There is a strong chance of heatwaves lasting for 10 to 20 days during this time.

What is India Meteorological Department (IMD)?


  • The IMD is a government agency that is responsible for weather forecasting, seismology, and meteorological observations.
  • It was established in 1875 and is headquartered in New Delhi.
  • The IMD has hundreds of observation stations across India and is the country's National Meteorological Service.


The IMD's mandate includes:

  • Observations: Taking meteorological observations
  • Forecasting: Providing current and forecast information for weather-dependent activities
  • Warnings: Giving warnings against severe weather phenomena
  • Statistics: Providing met-related statistics
  • Research: Engaging in research

Nodal Ministry

Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Indian Government

What are Heat waves?

A Heat Wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature.

  • In India, Heat waves typically occur from March to June, and in some rare cases, even extend till July.
  • On an average, five-six heat wave events occur every year over the northern parts of the country.

Heat wave is considered if maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C or more for Plains and at least 30°C or more for Hilly regions.

  • Based on Departure from Normal Heat Wave: Departure from normal is 4.50°C to 6.40°C; Severe Heat Wave: Departure from normal is >6.40degree C
  • Based on Actual Maximum Temperature Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥ 45°C; Severe Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥47

Rapid rises in heat gain compromises the body’s ability to regulate temperature.

  • It can result in a cascade of illnesses, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and hyperthermia.

Prediction by IMD

Extreme heat during the April to June period

  • India is set to experience extreme heat during the April to June period, with the central and western peninsular parts expected to be worst-hit.

10 to 20 days of heatwave are expected

  • At least 10 to 20 days of heatwave are expected in different parts of the country against a normal of four to eight days.
  • Gujarat, central Maharashtra, north Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, north Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh are likely in for the worst of heatwaves during the month of April.

Performance of the pre-monsoon rainfall

  • This month, performance of the pre-monsoon rainfall shall be below average, mainly over coastal India, eastern and south peninsular India.

On El Nino conditions

  • The El Nino conditions — the abnormal warming of the sea surface recorded along the equatorial Pacific Ocean — had commenced last June.
    • El Nino conditions are known to suppress rainfall over India and increase temperatures, globally.
  • After peaking in December last year, El Nino conditions had begun to ease.
  • But warm conditions continued to prevail and significantly drove up the global temperatures.

Conditions during February and March

  • During February and March, the southern peninsular India had experienced hotter than normal weather conditions.
  • Heatwave conditions were reported from Maharashtra, northern Karnataka, Saurashtra-Kutch and parts of Rajasthan during late March.
    • The maximum temperatures recorded during the past week reached 42.6 degrees Celsius in pockets of Akola in Maharashtra and Phalodi in Rajasthan.

Q.1. What are Meteorological services?

Meteorological services are the facilities and services that provide weather information and forecasts to support safe and efficient navigation of aircrafts. They also provide warnings, reports of weather conditions, and general weather forecasts.

Q.2. What is El Niño?

El Niño is a climate pattern that occurs when unusually warm ocean water builds up along the equatorial west coast of South America. It's the warm phase of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, which is a recurring climate pattern that shifts every two to seven years.

Source: IMD warns of heatwave spells lasting 10-20 days in April-June


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