The researchers from IITM-Pune had revealed that the northwest region and the South East coast of India are becoming more vulnerable to heat waves.
- As per the study, both these areas are prone to heat wave conditions and in recent years they have lasted for eight days.
- The researchers made observations while developing an extended range prediction model that can predict heat waves 2 to 3 weeks in advance.
- The model has a high accuracy of 70%.
- The IMD is using the model to predict heat waves and has successfully used it to predict heatwaves in this summer season.
- Using the observation data from 1981-2017 and the data from the model since 2003, areas in northwest India and southeast coast have been found to be more prone to heat waves.
- Areas like Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Chandigarh, West Madhya Pradesh, West and East Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Vidarbha, Chattisgarh and parts of Gangetic West Bengal have experienced heat wave conditions for six days.
- Similar is the case with coastal Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
- As per IITM researchers, the short-range forecast two-three days of the model before the onset will accurately predict the heat wave and the exact location where it will occur.
- In the country, the heat wave forecast begins from March 1 till the monsoon covers the whole country.
- As per the model, a heat wave condition is identified when the maximum temperature is above 44° C or if the following three conditions appear:
1. when the region is facing unusually hot temperature
2. when the temperature is more than 36° C and
3. when the departure from the normal temperature is more than 3.5° C.
- IMD uses 45° C as the threshold to declare a heat wave condition.
- Based on the above criteria, the model had identified 22 heat wave conditions in the Northwest region and 14 in the southeast coast of the country from 1981-2018.
- The model was able to predict the onset of a heatwave one week in advance but not its intensity and it was able to predict the duration of a heat wave event but not the exact location three weeks in advance.
Accurate prediction is the key to avoiding heat wave related deaths. The model seems to be giving desired results. Hope the researchers will work towards making it more accurate.