Odisha stares at decade’s longest heatwave run

The IMD earlier had warned of longer and harsher heatwave spells during summer this year, primarily due to prevailing El Niño conditions.
Image of heatwave used for representation.
Image of heatwave used for representation.File photo

BHUBANESWAR: The blistering hot condition in Odisha, if it continues its staggering run for a few more days, could turn out to be one of the longest spells of heatwave in the last one-and-half decade.

On Tuesday, the heatwave conditions entered its ninth day and the prediction that the spell will drag further makes a strong case for the longest running heatwave in the state.

Weather officials said April has already witnessed in excess of the average heatwave days recorded for the month caused by two spells, including the one prevailing at present. Between April 5 and 23, the state has recorded a total 11 heatwave days though the normal run lasts in the range of four to eight days.

There was a drop in temperature in some places of the state on the day but heatwave conditions prevailed in coastal parts for ninth day in a row. “There is prediction of heatwave conditions in parts of the state for another four days till April 27. If that continues, it would be one of the longest spells of heatwave in the state in last 10 to 15 years,” Umashankar Das, scientist with the India Meteorological department (IMD), Odisha informed.

Though there was a mild drop in the temperature levels in parts of the state on Tuesday, severe heatwave prevailed in Jagatsinghpur districts, while heatwave was felt in Nayagarh, Gajapati and Ganjam disticts.

Data for the period 1961-2020 reveals that on an average, more than two heatwave events occur over northern India and coastal Andhra Pradesh and Odisha during March-June. In some pockets, the frequency exceeds four in a season. Most of IMD stations have shown an increasing trend of heatwave events during the 60-year period, an IMD document revealed.

Analysis of spatial distribution shows heatwaves last for four to eight days on an average. However, in some areas of central and north-western India and parts of Odisha and coastal Andhra Pradesh, the duration is more than eight days.

The IMD earlier had warned of longer and harsher heatwave spells during summer this year, primarily due to prevailing El Niño conditions. Meanwhile, Paralakhemundi recorded the highest temperature of 42.8 degree Celsius, while Paradip at 38.8 degree C broke its 35-year-old record. The previous second-highest of the station was 38.2 degree Celsius recorded in 1989.

Though the IMD had forecast thundershower activities in many parts between April 21 and 24, its impact was less in the coastal belt due to northwesterly and westerly dry air. Meanwhile, the weather office has now predicted heatwave conditions in parts of Balasore, Khurda, Ganjam, Gajapati, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Sundargarh, Keonjhar, Cuttack, Mayurbhanj, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Jajpur, Nuapada, Balangir, Sonepure, Boudh and Nuapada districts between April 24 and April 27.

There will also be hot and humid weather condition in parts of these districts during this period, met officials said adding, that conditions are becoming favourable for moderate thunderstorm activity in parts of the many districts over next two days.

Heat Data

Heatwave enters 9th day

April heatwave average exceeded in Odisha

March-June averages more than two heatwave over northern India, coastal Andhra Pradesh and Odisha

Spatial distribution shows heatwaves last for 4 to 8 days on an average

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