Severe Indian heatwave will bake a billion people and damage crops

By Adam Vaughan : newscientist.– excerpt

An unusual heatwave forecast across much of India will see temperatures in the mid-to-high 40s°C

More than a billion people are facing a severe heatwave across India this week, which will have wide-ranging consequences for the health of the most vulnerable and will damage wheat harvests.

Temperatures in the mid-to-high 40s°C are forecast for much of the country in the coming days, with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issuing heatwave warnings for several states.

The UK Met Office says that temperatures are currently above average in India and that this will probably continue into the coming week. India is entering a season ahead of the monsoon’s arrival when heatwaves are common, the Met Office says, but this year it follows a periodof unusually early sweltering conditions in India.

March was record-breakingly hot, with a national average maximum temperature of 33.10°C, beating the 33.09°C set in March 2010. R K Jenamani, head of the national weather forecasting centre at the IMD, says that the recent heatwaves have been notable because they occurred during a La Niña weather pattern – which usually has a cooling effect globally – while the 2010 records took place during an El Niño, which has a warming effect… (more):

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