Heatwave may hit India in March and May, El Nino likely to affect monsoon: IMD


India is likely to witness heat waves between March and May, especially over many regions of Central and adjoining Northwest India, barring the peninsular parts said IMD on Tuesday. 

“During the upcoming hot weather season March to May, above normal maximum temperatures are likely over most parts of northeast India, east and central India and some parts of northwest India” IMD said.

Holding a press conference on seasonal outlook for hot weather season (March to May) 2023 and monthly outlook for March 2023 for rainfall and temperature, IMD scientist SC Bhan said “Maximum temperature from March-May indicates above normal for many parts.

“Except peninsular parts, all parts are likely to have an above-normal temperature. The minimum temperature also on north-west parts of India during March 2023 expected to be above normal” he said. 

In February, the India has recorded 27.7 degrees Celsius, the third highest in temperature in the last 63 years.

The country received 68% lower rainfall than the normal in February, the weather office said.

As per expert, a heat-wave for the second straight year could dent production of wheat, rapeseed and chickpeas, and complicate governments efforts to bring down food inflation.

A heat wave curtailed India’s wheat production in 2022 and forced the world’s second largest producer to ban exports.

In view of rising temperature, the Union Health Ministry issued guidelines to the states and Union Territories to implement “Heat Related Heath Action Plans”

On the Monsoon forecast, IMD forecasted that the monsoon is expected to appear in mid-April.

“The rainfall in March 2023 averaged over the country is most likely to be normal. Below-normal rainfall is most likely over most areas of northwest India, west-central India and some parts of east and northeast India” he added.

As per Bhan, the El Nino impact may affect the monsoon but at a later stage.

“The high temperatures are a result of the anticyclone and global warming. In February, the maximum temperature witnessed was 3-6 degrees higher in northern India. In north-west India, the February temperature was 3.4 degrees above normal,” Bhan said.

IMD said that currently neutral Indian Ocean Dipole conditions are prevailing over the Indian Ocean and the latest forecast suggests that the neutral IOD conditions may continue during the pre-monsoon season.


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