You are here: Home » Current Affairs » News
Business Standard

India to get respite from heat that sent mercury to 49 degrees: IMD

Heat waves could ease further, before the mercury starts rising again next week, says an IMD official

Topics
Heatwave | Heatwave in India | IMD

Bloomberg 

People cover themselves with clothes to avoid the scorching heat on a hot summer day in New Delhi (Photo: PTI)
People cover themselves with clothes to avoid the scorching heat on a hot summer day in New Delhi (Photo: PTI)

India may get a reprieve this week from a sweltering heat wave that has been hitting several parts of the country for the past few days and putting lives, crops, and power supply at risk.

Temperatures in north India, one of the regions severely affected by the extreme weather, fell as much as 3 degrees Celsius (37.4 degrees Fahrenheit) on Monday, said R. K. Jenamani, a senior scientist at the India Meteorological Department. Heat waves could ease further, before the mercury starts rising again next week, he said.

The northern region was the warmest in 122 years in both March and April this year, Jenamani said at a media briefing on Monday. The extreme weather has exacerbated the country’s power crisis as demand for air conditioners soars at a time when power plants are facing acute coal shortages.

It has also impacted farm output as some crops have shriveled.

The withering heat, which sent temperatures to as high as 49 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit) at Banda in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, has raised the risk of loss of lives, a delay in wheat harvesting, some damage to fruit and vegetable crops, and a slowdown in industrial activities. Some states have been cutting off power supplies for as long as eight hours in a day to manage demand.

India may face more frequent and intense heat waves, extreme rains and erratic monsoons in the coming decades as the planet warms, according to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. McKinsey estimates work hours lost to heat wave could cause losses of as much as $250 billion, or 4.5% of the gross domestic product, by the end of the decade.

An early onset of the monsoon, as predicted by the weather office, could bring further relief. Some places in India, the world’s second-most populous nation, are already receiving pre-monsoon showers.

The monsoon, which waters more than half of the country’s fields, is likely to arrive in the southern state of Kerala on May 27, compared with its normal start date of June 1, according to the weather office. The nation is forecast to receive normal showers for a fourth year. Good and timely rainfall is vital for India’s agricultural sector, the main source of livelihood for about 60% of its population and which accounts for 18% of the economy.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Mon, May 16 2022. 16:07 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU