Prepare for a scorching summer as the India Meteorological Department has forecast “above normal” temperatures across most of the country. Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir — or hill-station States popular among tourists wanting to escape the heat — are expected to be particularly hot with predicted temperatures, on average, likely to be well above 1 degree C above their normal summer temperatures. Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana are other States in the “core heat zone” that are likely to see significantly warmer temperatures. The IMD weather model, used to prepare the forecast, shows a 47% probability of summer temperatures being above normal.
The summer forecast is in line with a generally warm trend over previous months. 2016 was the warmest year in a century. India is 0.91 C warmer than the 1961-1990 average. The summer months of March-May last year were 1.36 C higher than historical average, making it the second-warmest since 1901.