An unprecedented heat wave is sweeping the Indian subcontinent, large portions of Indian northern plains, and some areas of Pakistan are experiencing temperatures as high as 45 degrees Celsius since mid-April. It is affecting over a billion people.
Usually, the heatwave is interrupted by spells of pre-monsoon showers and they don’t last this long, heat waves also used to occur late in the summer, but India had the warmest March since 1902 this year with an average temperature reaching 33 degrees Celsius.
The meteorological department has forecasted that the mercury will continue to surge in the coming week with temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius in Pakistan and 45 degrees Celsius in parts of India, which is 10 degrees higher than the average April temperature. The Urban Island effect increases the temperatures of cities by a few more degrees as compared to neighboring low-population areas.
WHO regards heatwave as a hidden form of extreme weather event, silently killing vulnerable people. And the regions experiencing the severe heat wave have no permanent relief in sight as the monsoon is still at least one month away.