Unlike earlier predictions by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Friday witnessed heat wave conditions in most parts over northern parts of west Rajasthan and eastern Vidarbha and in some parts over Bundelkhand region. At 46.4 degrees Celsius, Chandrapur in Maharashtra's eastern Vidarbha area recorded the highest maximum temperature. Half a dozen places across Vidarbha, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and some places in northwest India, including Delhi-NCR, recorded temperatures above 44-45 degrees Celsius.
Further, the IMD has forecast no significant change in maximum temperatures very likely over most parts of northwest & central India during next two days and the temperatures would fall by 2-4 degrees Celsius thereafter. "Heat wave conditions in some/isolated places very likely over Vidarbha and southwest Uttar Pradesh during June 3 to 5, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, coastal Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on June 3 and 4, south Punjab, south Haryana & East Uttar Pradesh on June 4 and 5," the forecast said.
In the last week of May, the IMD had at least twice forecast that there would be no heat wave conditions. In fact, even the May 31 IMD bulletin had said, "No heat wave conditions likely over the country during the next five days."It had, however, mentioned "gradual rise in maximum temperatures by 2-3 degrees Celsius very likely over most parts of northwest and central India during next three days and no significant change thereafter".
Asked why are there heat wave conditions when the IMD's earlier forecast had said no heat wave conditions in June first week - after multiple spells of heat wave and severe heat wave conditions across northwest and central India since March - the IMD scientists said, this heat wave spell is restricted to limited area and will be for a short time. "Moreover, this time of the year in northwest India is supposed to be hot, with this range of temperatures normal for this time.
It is considered a heat wave by definition," said a senior IMD meteorologist. The IMD declares a 'heat wave' or 'severe heat wave' in certain conditions. First is if any station records 45 degrees Celsius or more maximum temperature. Second, if for any station, the maximum temperature shows a departure of plus 4.5 to 6.4 degrees Celsius from the normal temperature for that day, then it is called a heat wave. For severe heat wave conditions, the maximum temperature should be at or above 47 degrees Celsius or the departure from normal should be more than 6.4 degrees Celsius (even when the actual temperature may or may not touch 45 degrees Celsius).
IMD scientist R.K. Jenamani said that the IMD's earlier forecast about no further heat wave was valid for May conditions and that on June 1, the weatherman had warned of Rajasthan's small pocket of heat wave."The temperature has been increasing since June 1 but the heat wave is restricted to a very limited area - only some districts such as Ganganagar in Rajasthan, Bundelkhand area in Uttar Pradesh, Allahabad, south-east UP and east Vidarbha," he said. "There is no Western Disturbance and the westerly wind is dominating that brings heat from the Pakistan side. Pakistan is also experiencing 45-46 degrees Celsius temperatures," he said. The current spell is likely to be till June 5-6.