scorecardIndia in for brutal heatwave conditions from April to June; likely to have sizzling impact on Lok Sabha elections
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India in for brutal heatwave conditions from April to June; likely to have sizzling impact on Lok Sabha elections

India in for brutal heatwave conditions from April to June; likely to have sizzling impact on Lok Sabha elections
PoliticsPolitics2 min read
The onset of a strong El Niño event led to an unusual winter season, with summer-like conditions arriving prematurely as early as February this year. Although the El Niño phenomenon has now moderated and is transitioning towards a neutral phase, the country must prepare for an exceptionally harsh summer ahead.

If you've been struggling with the heat already, the news isn't comforting. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a stark warning for the upcoming summer season spanning from April to June, anticipating scorching temperatures and prolonged heatwaves across most regions of the country.

Expect both daytime and nighttime temperatures to remain higher than usual in many areas, except for parts of northeast and northwest India. Extended periods of intense heatwaves are forecasted to affect South, Central, and East India, as well as the northwestern plains, throughout April, May, and June.

Moreover, there's a significant likelihood of heatwaves lasting 10-20 days, surpassing the typical duration of 4-8 days. Central and western regions, including Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha, are anticipated to experience the brunt of these extreme heatwaves.

In terms of pre-monsoon rainfall, April is expected to see normal rains, with increased precipitation predicted for May and June in Northwest, Central, North Peninsular, East, and Northeast India. However, coastal areas in both the East and West, as well as West-central India, can expect below-normal rainfall, offering little relief from the sweltering conditions.

Heatwaves pose serious risks, particularly for vulnerable groups such as the elderly, young children, and individuals with health issues, who are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses like heatstroke, heat exhaustion, and dehydration. Additionally, extreme heat can strain power grids, transportation, and other infrastructure. To mitigate these risks, proactive measures such as establishing cooling centres, issuing heat advisories, and implementing strategies to reduce urban heat buildup are crucial.

Furthermore, this period of intense heat coincides with the Lok Sabha elections (April 19th - June 1st), where nearly a billion people are expected to participate. Union Earth Sciences Minister Kiren Rijiju emphasised the need for India to prepare adequately due to its large population and extreme weather conditions. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has issued a heatwave advisory for the elections, urging electoral bodies to work with states to prevent heat-related incidents during public gatherings.

In summary, India is bracing for a challenging summer characterised by above-normal temperatures and prolonged heatwaves. Remaining informed and taking necessary precautions will be vital for navigating this period safely.

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