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No respite from heat for northwest, central India in May, says IMD

IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said most parts of the country, barring parts of southern peninsular India, were likely to experience warmer nights in May.

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Mohapatra also did not rule out parts of western Rajasthan reporting temperatures more than 50 degrees Celsius. (File)

Northwest and central India recorded the highest average maximum temperatures in April since 1900 as there would be no respite for the region in May, the weather office said on Saturday.

Releasing the monthly outlook for temperature and rainfall for May, India Meteorological Department Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said most parts of the country, barring parts of southern peninsular India, were likely to experience warmer nights in May.

With scanty rains owing to feeble western disturbances, northwest and central India experienced the hottest April in 122 years with average maximum temperature touching 35.9 degrees Celsius and 37.78 degrees Celsius respectively. The northwest region had previously recorded an average maximum temperature of 35.4 degrees Celsius in April 2010, while the previous record for the central region was 37.75 degrees Celsius in 1973.

“Most parts of northwest India – J&K, Himachal, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat – are expected to experience above normal temperatures in May,” Mohapatra said.

“The average rainfall in May 2022 over the country is most likely to be above normal,” Mohapatra said.

However, parts of northwest and northeast India as well as the extreme southeast Peninsula are expected to get below normal rainfall in May, Mohapatra said.

Mohapatra also did not rule out parts of western Rajasthan reporting temperatures more than 50 degrees Celsius.

“I cannot make that forecast, but it is climatologically possible as May is the hottest month,” Mohapatra said to questions on whether temperatures would top 50 degrees Celsius this summer season.

On Saturday, Banda in Uttar Pradesh had recorded a high of 47.4 degrees Celsius, the highest in the country.

According to Mohapatra, average temperatures observed pan-India for April was 35.05 degrees, which was the fourth highest since 1900, when the weather office started keeping weather data.

The high temperatures in March and April were attributed to “continuously scanty rainfall activity”, he said.

In March, northwest India recorded a deficit in rainfall of around 89 per cent, while the deficit was nearly 83 per cent in April, mainly on account of feeble and dry western disturbances, Mohapatra said.

North India witnessed six western disturbances but they were mostly feeble and moved across the higher parts of the Himalayas, he said adding that the last three western disturbances caused strong winds in parts of Delhi and dust storms over Rajasthan in April.

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