For about a week, central parts, including eastern Vidarbha, have been recording on an average 7° celsius higher-than-normal temperature.
On Thursday, Gadchiroli recorded one death due to simmering temperature. Met officials have officially declared a "heat wave" in central parts, including six districts of Nagpur division, in an indication to people to protect themselves from the sudden rise in temperature.
Normally, the mercury begins to climb in the last week of March, as the month steadily unfolds the transition to summer from winter. "It's an unusual phenomenon that was last seen over a hundred years ago," the regional director (meteorology), Nagpur, PA Nandankar told DNA on Friday.
The early onset of summer follows one of the warmest winters in India in the last 100 years, according to the Met officials. The cold wave from the north did not arrive at all in the central and southern parts of the country this year.
"We are experiencing a multiplier effect, but this phenomenon will recede over the next couple of days and mercury will calm down," Nandankar said. "There was no cold wave from the north to mix with the dry and hot air in central and southern parts, which is why the current temperature is well above the normal."
Nagpur, for instance, has already touched 40° celsius on Thursday, 39.6° celsius on Friday, about seven degrees above normal, a trend that doesn't get reflected in the past several years of data.
The highest temperature ever recorded in the month was way back in 1892 on the 28th when the mercury touched 45 degrees.
Amidst indications of hottest summer ahead is another bad news. Vidarbha is facing the worst ever water scarcity in April-May. As ofFriday, the average water level in all the tanks and dams, according to the irrigation department, is at a frighteningly low 17%, which is receding fast every passing day.
Several villages and semi-urban towns have been getting drinking water on alternate days, or once in every three or four days.
Tanker water supply has been started from Friday."-DNA.
Anyway, the winds have now shifted, and come directly from the north-west "corner" of the sub-continent. Resultantly, temperatures have started falling a bit.
The maximum temperatures are now a "little less" above normal , that is ,they are 2-4oC over northwest, west, central and peninsular India. The minimum temperatures are also better, and are above normal by 2-3°C over north Rajasthan and by 2°C over northwest.