Despite the fact that maximum temperatures in most parts of India continue to rise, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast severe heatwaves in as many as 14 states and Union territories (UTs) until May 2. These include, among others, the northern regions of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Haryana.
The Met department’s forecast, which is documented in its most recent weather bulletin, comes at a time when the country is facing a major coal supply shortage. However, Union Minister of Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi assured that there is “no need to panic” as power demand is expected to fall in the coming days as states prepare for heatwaves.
The temperature in Delhi is expected to rise above 43 degrees Celsius on Thursday and reach 44 degrees Celsius on Friday. The maximum temperature in the national capital rose two to three degrees above normal on Wednesday, with the Safdarjung Observatory – Delhi’s base station – recording 41.5 degrees Celsius, up from 40.8 degrees on Tuesday.
According to the IMD bulletin, on April 29, Delhi and its neighbouring regions of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, and west Uttar Pradesh will experience isolated rainfall as well as duststorms/thunderstorms. A similar weather warning has been issued for the days of April 29 and 30 in Rajasthan.
The heatwave is building up or has already begun in other areas of the country. Bankura district in West Bengal had the highest maximum temperature in the eastern state on Wednesday, at 43.7 degrees Celsius, followed by Asansol at 43.3 degrees, Purulia at 42.8 degrees, and Jhargram at 42.5 degrees. The maximum temperature in Kolkata was 37 degrees Celsius, which was relatively low.