India has broken in a sweat even before putting away sweaters and blankets. The warmer than usual weather is going to continue through the season this year, Indian Meteorological Department has predicted.
The pre-monsoon months this year - March, April and May - will be warmer than normal and the heatwave will hit 16 states, apart from Delhi, earlier due to various reasons, the IMD said on Wednesday.
It said the average temperature will be at least 1 degree Celcius higher than what was prevalent in the previous summers in most of the regions across India. In certain regions in the south, the temperature rise could be 0.5 degree.
"The heatwave will hit us, for sure, especially the core heat zone that includes Delhi and other states. The temperature variations will differ from region to region," India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director General Dr KJ Ramesh told IANS.
Heatwave occurs when mercury shoots five degrees above normal.
The regions falling under the core heatwave zone are Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa and Telangana, and meteorological subdivisions of Marathwada, Vidarbha, central Maharashtra and coastal Andhra Pradesh.
The IMD predicts about 52 per cent probability of above-normal maximum temperature in the core heatwave zone.
The Met office said regions likely to be warmer by at least 1 degree are Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, west and east Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, west and east Uttar Pradesh, west and east Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Vidarbha (Maharashtra), Gujarat and Arunachal Pradesh.
Temperature increase lesser than 0.5 degree will be witnessed in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, north and south interior Karnataka, Rayalaseema, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura.
The remaining subdivisions are likely to experience warmer summer variations between 0.5 and 1 degree, the IMD said.
(With inputs from IANS)