Several parts of India are reeling under an intense heat wave and the weather department has predicted that the extreme conditions will continue for at least 5 days. The temperature crossed the 46-degree Celsius today at a few places in Rajasthan, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, and Delhi.
Delhi recorded its second hottest April in 72 years, with the capital’s average monthly maximum temperature at 40.2 degrees Celsius. The last 6 weeks in New Delhi have averaged more than 4 degrees Celsius above normal.
Rajasthan broiled under severe heat on Friday with Dholpur being the hottest at 46.5 degrees Celsius. Jodhpur and Bikaner districts are predicted to record maximum temperatures between 45 and 47 degrees Celsius on May 1.
Long Heat Wave
A climate change expert says the duration of the severe heat wave is more worrying than the high temperatures.
“The significance of the current Indian/Pakistani heatwave is less about smashing records (though various records have fallen) and more about very long duration. The last 6 weeks have been repeatedly challenging the top of the historical range and baking this part of the world,” says Dr. Robert Rohde, the lead scientist at Berkeley Earth.
The significance of the current Indian/Pakistani heatwave is less about smashing records (though various records have fallen) and more about very long duration.
The last ~6 weeks have been repeatedly challenging the top of the historical range and baking this part of the world. pic.twitter.com/Md4SPi3udc
— Dr. Robert Rohde (@RARohde) April 29, 2022
The health problems triggered by the heatwave were now posing a bigger worry than the expected fourth wave of COVID-19, said doctors.
“We are getting many patients who have suffered heatstroke or other heat-related problems,” said Mona Desai, former president of Ahmedabad Medical Association.
The weather department has advised people in affected areas to avoid heat exposure, wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose, cotton clothes and cover the head by use of a cloth, hat or umbrella.