Representational image.


Wednesday, May 25: After enduring weeks of intense daytime temperatures, the heatwave conditions over Northwest India dissipated (albeit temporarily!) last Saturday, May 21. Since then, wet weather and strong winds have graced the region, bringing more respite from the heat.

However, it appears the region won’t be able to elude the heat for much longer. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the maximum temperatures over most parts of Northwest India are set to rise by 3-5°C during the next three to four days.

Moreover, after a relatively uneventful Thursday, heatwaves will also make a comeback in isolated pockets of Rajasthan from Friday, May 27, and will likely last until Sunday, May 29.

Accordingly, the IMD has issued a yellow watch over West Rajasthan on Friday and Saturday, so as to urge individuals to remain “updated” about the heatwave conditions. The Jaisalmer district has been particularly placed under the same alert from Friday to Sunday.

On Tuesday, May 24, several West Rajasthani districts, including Sri Ganganagar, Hanumangarh and Churu, and some East Rajasthani cities witnessed thunderstorms, dust storms and strong winds. On Wednesday, the districts of Alwar, Tonk, Bundi, Dholpur, Bharatpur and Chittorgarh may experience similar weather conditions.

These conditions were caused by a western disturbance, whose impact was also felt in other parts of the region. At the beginning of this week, heavy rains lashed Delhi and brought down its mercury levels drastically.

Widespread, light to moderate rains, thunderstorms, lightning and gusty winds were also observed in Jammu-Kashmir, Himacha Pradesh and Uttarakhand, while scattered showers lashed Punjab, Delhi, Haryanam Chandigarh and Uttar Pradesh earlier this week.

But now that this system has waned, the mercury levels will rise back to normal or possibly beyond during the latter half of the week. However, some more respite might be on the cards for the region yet again, owing to a fresh incoming western disturbance.

This new system looks set to impact Northwest India from May 28 onwards, bringing some temperature-lowering rainfall, thunderstorms, lightning and dust storms back to the Western Himalayan Region and the adjoining northwestern plains once the weekend arrives.

Through the course of the pre-monsoon season, the frequency of such western disturbances — essentially low-pressure systems that originate over the Mediterranean Sea and then travel eastwards to dump rains over northern India — has remained below-normal, which has contributed to higher temperatures and lower precipitation.

Between March 1 and May 24, Jammu and Kashmir (87 mm), Himachal (50 mm), Uttarakhand (90 mm), Punjab (16 mm), East Uttar Pradesh (21 mm) and Rajasthan (7 mm) all recorded ‘deficient’ rainfall (by 73%, 79%, 36%, 70%, 24% and 57%, respectively) as compared to their individual long-term average figures.

The subdivisions of Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi (33.3 mm) and West Uttar Pradesh (25.5 mm), on the other hand, witnessed ‘normal’ rains, deviating from their seasonal averages by just 3% and 4%.


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