GS Paper - 1 (Geography)

The eastern states of Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha have received a lot less rainfall than they usually do during the pre-monsoon season. With no rain spells to cool them down, these parts have been consistently sweltering under the summer heat. A heatwave has gripped the Vidarbha and Marathwada regions of Maharashtra.

What is a heatwave?

  1. A region is considered to be under the grip of a heatwave if the maximum temperature reaches at least 40 degrees Celsius or more in the plains and at least 30 degrees Celsius or more in hilly regions.
  2. When the maximum temperature departure ranges between 4.5 and 6 degrees, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) declares a heatwave.
  3. A severe heatwave is declared when the recorded maximum temperature of a locality departure from normal is over 6.4 degrees Celsius.
  4. Also, if an area records over 45 degrees and 47 degrees Celsius on any given day, then the IMD declares heatwave and severe heatwave conditions, respectively.
  5. The IMD has issued a ‘yellow’ alert, warning of continuing heatwave conditions over Chandrapur, Wardha, Nagpur, Amravati, Akola, Jalgaon, Buldhana, Yavatmal, Ahmednagar and Nashik districts till 30 April.
  6. A gradual rise in maximum temperatures by 2-3 degrees Celsius is very likely over most parts of the state this week.