Sat. May 25th, 2024


NEW DELHI: In many states/UTs including Delhi, four of the remaining phases of parliamentary elections this month are likely to be held amid peak of hot weather with India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Wednesday predicting ‘above normal’ maximum (day) temperatures over “most parts of the country” and a significantly high number of heatwave days over the northern plains, central region, and adjoining areas of peninsular India in May.
Though there are certain exceptions such as northeast India, some parts of northwest and central India and adjoining areas of northeast peninsular India where ‘normal’ to ‘below normal’ maximum temperatures are likely, a vast area broadly coinciding with nearly 200 parliamentary seats which will vote over the next four phases (May 7, May 13, May 20 and May 25) is most likely to face intense hot weather.
A total of 295 seats will go to polls in the next four phases (third to sixth), whereas elections in the remaining 57 seats will be held in the seventh and last phase on June 1.
Releasing monthly temperature and rainfall outlook for the month of May, the IMD chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said the number of heatwave days is likely to be ‘above normal’ by about 5-8 days over south Rajasthan, west Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, Marathwada and Gujarat region.


It means these areas are likely to face 8 to 11 days of heatwaves as normally heatwaves prevail over the region for about three days in May.
Mohapatra said the heatwave days is likely to be ‘above normal’ by 2-4 days in the remaining parts of Rajasthan, east Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, UP and some parts of Chhattisgarh, interior Odisha, Gangetic West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, north interior Karnataka and Telangana and isolated pockets of north TN, Andhra Pradesh.
This means these regions, including Delhi-NCR, are likely to face five to seven days of heatwave this month, making campaigns and elections tough in most of the areas as it may coincide with high day temperatures. Except Rajasthan and east Madhya Pradesh, elections remain to be held in most of the high heat impact states.
Though north and central India could escape heatwave days in April due to five western disturbances (WDs), India faced two spells of heatwaves last month – from April 5 to 7 and April 15 to 30 — affecting mainly eastern India and southeast Peninsular.
The number of heat wave days in April was the highest during 2010- 2024 (15 years) over Gangetic West Bengal and highest over Odisha during 2017- 2024 (9 years). Records show that Odisha faced the longest spell of heatwaves during 15-30 April (16 days) after April 2016 when it prevailed for 21 days.
Mohapatra attributed the prolonged heat wave in April in these two states to the absence of thunderstorms and a persisting anticyclone at lower levels over the west central Bay of Bengal and the adjoining eastern coasts of India.
On the rainfall front, IMD predicted the average precipitation over the country as a whole in May to be normal. “The normal to above-normal rainfall is likely over most parts of northwest India, some parts of central, peninsular and northeast India. The below normal rainfall is likely in remaining parts of the country,” it said.
Although there are some exceptions, where ‘normal’ to ‘below normal’ max temperatures are likely, a vast area coinciding with nearly 200 LS seats which will vote over the next 4 phases is likely to face intense hot weather


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