India has been in extreme heat for 2 months and will only get hotter

(ORDO NEWS) — The life-threatening heatwave hit India a month earlier than usual, breaking temperature records with peaks reaching over 38 degrees Celsius – and it’s only going to get hotter.

The strongest heat wave is expected later this week and over the weekend, when the air temperature in the north and northwest of India, as well as in parts of Pakistan, will be 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit (5-8 degrees Celsius) above normal.

According to Scott Duncan, an expert on extreme climates, more than a billion people will be exposed to extreme heat – 10% of the world’s population.

In this region, including New Delhi, temperatures can reach mid to high 40 degrees Celsius – meaning temperatures in excess of 110 and up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit are possible.

And, unfortunately, such heat does not allow to sleep.

Extreme nighttime temperatures can be deadly

Overnight lows are more dangerous than highs 01:07

There will be little to no relief during the night hours, as the minimum temperature in many areas will not drop below 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).

Long periods of warm nights can be deadly because they limit the body’s ability to recover from the heat of the day.

This is a major problem for the Indian population as a significant proportion of them live without air conditioning, which creates a life-threatening situation, especially for the elderly.

In the Indian city of Barmer on Tuesday, a high temperature of 45.1 degrees Celsius was already recorded, which is 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

On the same day, a station in Pakistan set a record for the highest maximum temperature in the Northern Hemisphere of 116.6 degrees Fahrenheit (47 degrees Celsius), according to Maximiliano Herrera, an expert on climate extremes.

Extremely hot March breaks 122-year temperature record

Prior to the current extreme squall, temperatures in March and April have been consistently above average.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the average maximum temperature for India as a whole, recorded in March 2022, was the highest it has been in 122 years.

The average high temperature in March this year was 91.58 degrees Fahrenheit (33.10 Celsius), narrowly beating the previous 2010 record of 91.56 degrees Fahrenheit (33.09 Celsius).

According to the Center for Science and the Environment (CSE), heatwaves have swept through 15 Indian states and union territories since March 11, adding that “Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have been hit the most with 25 heatwaves and days extreme heat.”

The pressure pattern associated with the La Niña conditions currently prevailing in the Pacific has persisted longer than expected. According to Raghu Murthugudde, a climatologist at the University of Maryland, this, along with warm waves coming from the Arctic, led to the formation of heat waves.

The current impact of La Niña on India’s spring and summer seasons is completely unexpected, Murtugudde added.

April and May, known as the pre-monsoon season, are usually the hottest months of the year when the region experiences endless heat.

This heat would have continued into the summer months if not for the cloudiness and rain that the monsoon season provides.

Relief, although welcome, comes slowly.

The monsoon season, which brings much-needed rainfall and cooler temperatures to India, usually starts in early June in the southern part of the country.

However, it takes a whole month to bring relief to the northern regions of India, where the heat wave is currently the worst.

On the other hand, according to IMD, models show that seasonal monsoon rainfall is likely to be 99% of normal.

The monsoons are vital to the region as they provide much of India’s annual rainfall, help irrigate agriculture and provide relief from the intense pre-monsoon heat.

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