The year 2018 is most likely going to be the warmest year on record for Kerala, as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The IMD says that during the pre-monsoon season i.e. from March to May, all meteorological sub-divisions of the country are likely to experience higher than normal temperatures.
Officials also warned that average temperatures over many of the subdivisions in northwest and neighbouring central India are likely to be above normal by one degree Celsius, while the southern states will see temperatures go up by 0.5 to 1 degree Celsius.
â€śThis is a global trend. Every year, temperature has been on the rise. We were expecting the same trend in Kerala as well. It was earlier reported that 2016 was the warmest year in Kerala. This summer is going to be warmer than 2016â€ť, said IMD director S Sudevan.
â€śPalakkad has already touched 40 degree Celsius and in 2016, the district had seen a temperature of 41.3 degrees, the highest ever recorded temperature in the stateâ€ť, added Sudevan.
Southern states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, south interior Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh will see a temperature rise of between 0.5 to 1 degree Celsius.
Speaking to TNM, Sudevan also raised concern about the outbreak of diseases and stressed on the need to take good care of health during the summers.
â€śIncrease in temperature can have adverse impacts on health and outbreak of diseases like dengue, jaundice can be expected. People should be careful and areas which have witnessed similar outbreaks in the past during summer should take precautions earlyâ€ť, added Sudevan.
The government has already warned people about the increase in temperature.
â€śThe government has issued an order to reduce and change the work timings of the outdoor labourers from March to Mayâ€ť, said Sudevan.
The government has issued a directive to change the shift timings for workers to 3pm-12am or 5pm-7am, so as to avoid working during the day.
â€śHealth minister has also issued warning to the people regarding the possible outbreak of disease and to take precautions to keep themselves from falling sick during the summer. Lots of fluid intake is a must to prevent dehydration. Light cotton clothes are preferable over other materialsâ€ť, added Sudevan.
Sudevan also cited increase in greenhouse gases, global warming, as well as infrastructural and other developmental activities, as the main reasons for the increase in temperature.
â€śKerala is a coastal belt and there is so much road construction and other infrastructural / developmental activities happening. This definitely contributes to an increase in temperature. This is a universal phenomenon and global warming will take a toll on the societyâ€ť, said Sudevan.
â€śWe have to take to other sources of energy before it is too late. We need to switch to renewable sources of energy and conserve non-renewable sources of energy. Reducing automobile emissions is also importantâ€ť, he added.
He pointed out that 2017 had witnessed a pleasant summer as the state received ample showers.
â€śIn 2017, the state received lots of summer showers and the transition was smooth. In 2018 also, we are most likely to receive good summer showers and that should definitely make things better. Compared to the rest of the country, Kerala will be better offâ€ť, said Sudevan.