April was the second month of extreme temperatures in the country after day temperatures in March had shattered the all-time record.
While several parts of the country are likely to get some relief from severe heat in May, IMD expects the higher-than-normal temperatures to continue in much of northwest India, including most parts of the National Capital Region.
“Above-normal maximum temperatures are likely over most parts of west-central (mainly Gujarat), northwest India, and northern parts of northeast India,” IMD chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said while releasing the weather outlook for May.
The good news in the forecast is that the rest of India, including UP and much of central India, can expect some respite from severe heat.
While maximum temperatures may be in the normal range in many parts of India in May, nights are likely to remain oppressively warm as minimum temperatures are expected to be above normal at most places, except in south India, the India Meteorological Department said.
IMD also said the country is likely to get slightly above-normal rainfall in May (109% of the long period average), although rains could remain scarce in parts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, J&K and Tamil Nadu. In most parts of India, that may translate to a few spells of thundershowers as the normal rainfall over India in May is just 61.4mm.
India had recorded a 71% rain deficit in March while April saw 1% above-normal rains. However, most of the rainfall took place in the east and northeast, as well as south India. Northwest ended up with an 84% rain deficit and central India recorded a 54% shortfall.
In terms of maximum temperatures, this was the fourth hottest April in India since 1901. Three of the hottest months of April were recorded in the last 13 years alone, including the hottest April reported in 2010.
Average day temperatures this April in north India were the highest since 1901, beating the previous record set in 2010. On average, maximum temperatures were as much as 3.35 degrees celsius higher than normal, as opposed to 2.85 degrees in 2010.
Central India too saw its hottest April on record, with maximum temperatures slightly higher than the previous record set in 1073.
There were 146 instances of heatwaves across the 36 sub-divisions of the country in April, second to only 404 recorded in 2010.