Starting March 12, maximum temperatures have increased over central India resulting in a heat wave to severe heat wave conditions in some parts of Saurashtra-Kutch, Konkan and west Rajasthan and heat wave conditions over eest Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, east Rajasthan, and Odisha.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday predicted continuation of the heat wave and severe heat wave over these regions.
Heat wave conditions to severe heat wave conditions are very likely to prevail in some parts of west Rajasthan till March 17 and heat wave conditions in isolated pockets are likely over the region on March 18.
The IMD also predicted heat wave conditions to heat wave conditions are very likely to prevail in isolated pockets over Konkan and Saurashtra-Kutch on March 16 while heat wave conditions is very likely to prevail in isolated pockets over Gujarat region, west Madhya Pradesh till March 17, over east Rajasthan on March 16 and 17, and over Odisha during March 16-18.
As the sun marches northwards and according to the climatology, the month of March is when the region extending from Maharashtra to Odisha is a heat zone. In its March to May seasonal forecast issued on March 1, the IMD had already predicted that it was expecting above normal maximum temperatures most likely over many parts of western and central India and hence a heat wave can be expected extending from south Gujarat to Maharashtra to Odisha.
On the reasons for the heat wave, IMD Director General, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra told IANS: “The higher than normal temperatures are because of the wind flow pattern in these areas. The lower level winds in these areas are from south towards north and that brings hotter air from land (as against when north to south winds bring colder air).
The winds are southeasterly over southern peninsular area, mainly Karnataka, Telangana with some feeble circulation which is favouring the advent of heat from south to north Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka and up to Vidarbha area of Maharashtra.
Mohapatra said, even for Saurashtra, Kutch and Rajasthan, the reason for heat wave conditions is southerly winds.
The IMD records show that the maximum temperatures recorded on March 14 were around 39-41 degrees Celsius over many parts of Gujarat and west Rajasthan, and 38-40 degrees Celsius over some parts of southeast Rajasthan, Vidarbha, Konkan, and Goa.
Heat wave conditions in some pockets with severe heat wave conditions in isolated pockets was observed over Saurashtra-Kutch, heat wave to severe heat wave conditions was observed in some pockets over Konkan-Goa and west Rajasthan and heat wave conditions in isolated pockets over Gujarat region.
The maximum temperatures were above normal by 3-6 degrees Celsius at most places over Punjab and Uttarakhand, at many places over Jammu-Kashmir-Ladakh-Gilgit-Baltistan-Muzaffarabad, at a few places over Himachal Pradesh, west Rajasthan and Saurashtra and Kutch, at isolated places over east Rajasthan and Gujarat region, IMD data showed.