Severe heatwave to trigger dust storms

These conditions also induce the Loo—a hot wind accompanied by dust. “The best we can do is monitor, record, and predict dust events,” Mohapatra said.
As global temperatures rise, the trend of dust storms is also increasing, says IMD
As global temperatures rise, the trend of dust storms is also increasing, says IMDPhoto | PTI

NEW DELHI: Extreme temperatures in the Northwest India have induced dust storms and may reduce the intensity of rainfall. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted dust storms over Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and adjoining regions in the next three days.

The IMD said that a dust storm is very likely over East Rajasthan from May 31 to June 3, over Uttar Pradesh on May 31 and June 1, and over West Rajasthan on June 1 and 2.

Rising temperatures have increased the probability of dust storms. For the past two weeks, the Northwest region of India, including Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, has turned into a frying pan as temperatures have risen to record levels. In places like Churu and Phalodi, temperatures have crossed 50°C, with other locations reportedly close to 50°C.

“As global temperatures rise, the trend of dust storms is also increasing,” said Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director General of Meteorology at the IMD. “The current dust storms have emerged due to in-situ conditions,” he added.

Weather conditions such as pressure gradients, internal heating, moisture conditions, and intensity without moisture are behind the convective activities that trigger dust storms. Dust storms mostly occur in April, May, and June. These conditions also induce the Loo—a hot wind accompanied by dust. “The best we can do is monitor, record, and predict dust events,” Mohapatra said.

It is easier to predict in-situ (local) convective conditions for dust storms rather than ex-situ phenomena (horizontal transfer), such as dust transfers from the Middle East to India. There are some global models to predict such dust storms.

The IMD observed that maximum temperatures were in the range of 45-48°C in many parts of Rajasthan, Haryana-Chandigarh-Delhi, and isolated pockets over Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, East Madhya Pradesh, and Vidarbha.

IMD issues clarification over incorrect temperature value

The IMD has issued a clarification regarding the recording of incorrect temperature values in Nagpur due to a failure of electronic sensors. It was reported that one station in Nagpur registered a maximum temperature of 56°C, and two other stations registered temperatures of 54.4°C and 52.2°C.

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