This summer, brace for above-normal max temperatures, prolonged heat waves: IMD

Syllabus: GS-I, Subject: Geography,  Topic: Climatology, Issue: Heatwaves

Context: The summer of 2024 will witness above-normal heatwave days due to El Nino conditions as per Indian Meteorological Department.

El Nino:. Unusually warm sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern regions of the tropical Pacific Ocean.

Impact of El Nino on India’s weather:

  • Reduced Rainfall: It can cause a delay in the arrival of the monsoon, as well as weakening the monsoon winds.
  • Drought Conditions: Impacting agriculture and water supplies, causing economic hardship, particularly for India’s large rural population.
  • Spatial Variation in rainfall
  • Heat Waves: increased occurrences of heat waves during the summer.

Prelims Connect (Institutions in News):

Indian Meteorological Department(IMD)

●       India’s national meteorological agency under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

●       Founded in 1875.

Meteorology is the scientific study of the Earth’s atmosphere. It delves into understanding weather phenomena such as Temperature, Humidity etc.

Key Responsibilities:

●     Weather Forecasting.

●     Cyclone Monitoring and Warning.

●     Severe Weather Warnings: Issuing warnings for heat waves, cold waves, thunderstorms, heavy rainfall, floods, etc.

●     Seismology: Monitoring and reporting earthquake activity across India.

Heatwaves are characterised by abnormally high temperatures and extended durations.

IMD criteria: When the maximum temperature at a station reaches at least

  • 40°C or more for plains and
  • 37°C or more for coastal stations, and
  • 30°C or more for hilly regions.

Consequences of heatwaves:

  1. Human Health: Heat Stroke, Dehydration, Heat exhaustion, Exacerbation of pre-existing health conditions, Mental health impacts.
  2. Environmental: Increased wildfires, Reduced agricultural yields, Water scarcity, Impact on wildlife and ecosystems.
  3. Social and economic impacts: Increased strain on healthcare systems, Labor disruptions, Infrastructure damage.
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