Heat waves strike south India as north copes with cold
India is currently battling two different weather extremes in two different directions. While northern India is witnessing an extended winter season due to a flurry of intense western disturbances (WDs) in February and early March, the southern part of the country was under heat wave conditions on March 6, 2019, according to data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
Earlier, the IMD had forecast two days of heat wave conditions in Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema. Latest temperature data from these regions’ meteorological centres proves that the forecast was correct.
According to the IMD, “heat wave need not be considered till maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40 degree Celsius for plains and at least 30 degree Celsius for hilly regions for two or more days continuously.”
On March 6, IMD’s Dharmapuri station recorded a maximum temperature of 40.2 degree Celsius which is the highest temperature ever recorded at the place in March. The previous record was 40 degree Celsius — recorded in 1996.
Vellore recorded the highest maximum temperature in the state at 40.6 degree Celsius while Thiruthani sweated at 40.5 degree Celsius. Last year Vellore’s highest maximum temperature for the month of March was 38.4 degree Celsius, which was recorded late in the month.
Many other stations – Tiruchirapalli, Salem, Madurai and Karur Paramathi also recorded maximum temperatures very close to the 40 degree mark.