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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: After witnessing a prolonged winter chill, Odisha will experience a hotter summer than usual between March and May this year. As per the seasonal forecast outlook released by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), the average maximum temperature is likely to be higher by at least 0.5 to 1 degree Celsius in several parts of the country including Odisha which comes under the ‘Core Heat Wave Zone.’

The core heat wave zone basically spreads over Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana. There is about 43% probability of maximum temperatures to be above normal in the core heat wave zone during March to May.

If the forecast of the MoES and India Meteorological Department (IMD) is to be believed then people in Odisha will experience scorching heat for a period of three months- March, April and May. The temperature mainly in western, interior and southern Odisha will witness a steep increase while normal life particularly in coastal districts will be adversely affected by humid conditions.

“The normal temperature is likely to increase by 0.5 to 1 degree Celsius in several parts of country including Odisha,” said Umashankar Das, meteorologist.

It is pertinent to mention here that the maximum temperature in Titlagarh on June 3 in 2003 and Rajasthan’s Churu in first week of June in 2019 had touched 50 degrees Celsius mark. The mercury had also crossed the 46.5 degrees Celsius mark in Titlagarh on May 26 last year.

“The temperature will increase by March 15 and the mercury is likely to cross 40 degrees Celsius mark in interior parts of Odisha. The temperature is likely to remain above 35 degrees in coastal districts and occasionally it may touch 40 degrees Celsius mark,” said Sarat Sahu, meteorologist.

Official records reveal that at least 6,100 people lost their lives due to extreme heat wave conditions across the country between 2010 and 2018. Nearly 90 % of the deaths were reported from Odisha, Telangana and West Bengal.

A highest of 2,042 casualties due to heat and sunstroke were reported from Odisha. Following massive awareness campaigns by Odisha government, the casualties came down to 236 in 2005, 104 in 2010, 83 in 2012, 18 in 2018 and 16 persons lost their lives due to sun strokes in 2019.

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