Total heatwave days in 2022 over 5 times more than last year’s | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: India reported one of its hottest summers in 2022 recording 203 heatwave days, which was the highest in the recent past. The maximum number of such episodes this year were reported from Uttarakhand (28), followed by Rajasthan (26), Punjab and Haryana (24 each), Jharkhand (18) and Delhi (17).
The figure of 203 was arrived at after adding the average number of heatwaves that scorched states during the summer. Data on average number of heatwave episodes in states, shared by the ministry of earth sciences in LS on Wednesday, shows the total number of heatwave days in the country this year was over five times more than such episodes (36) in 2021 with Punjab and Haryana reporting 12 times more number of heatwave days in 2022 compared to last year when these two states recorded only two heatwave days each. Data shows Assam, Himachal and Karnataka have not reported any heatwave day at all this year.
Qualitatively, heatwave is a condition of air temperature which becomes fatal to the human body when exposed, while quantitatively, it is defined based on the temperature thresholds over a region in terms of actual temperature or its departure from normal. According to IMD, if the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40 degrees Celsius or more for plains and at least 30 degrees celsius or more for hilly regions, it is considered to be a heatwave.
Heatwaves in coastal regions may be described when maximum temperature departure is 4.5 degrees C or more from normal, provided actual maximum temperature is 37 degrees C or more. Heatwaves in India are occurring mainly during March to June and in some rare cases even in July. The peak month of the heatwave over India is May.
“India experienced prolonged spells of heatwave during March and April 2022. Hence, the average maximum temperature of March 2022 had been the highest for All India (33.1 degrees C) and Northwest India (30.7 degrees C) and it had been the second highest for Central India (35.2 degrees C) as per the data during the period 1901 to 2022,”‘ said Jitendra Singh, minister of earth sciences, in Lok Sabha. He said, “Abnormal temperature events can impose severe physiological stress on the human body as the body operates best within a fairly normal temperature range. There is a marked relationship between human mortality and thermal stress. .”


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