The Indian Meteorological Department has warned that heat wave conditions are likely to prevail over parts of north interior Karnataka for the next two-three days. The districts that will be affected till May 24 are Bidar, Kalaburagi, Raichur and Vijayapura.
According to IMD, Kalaburagi recorded the highest temperature in Karnataka in the last 24 hours on Thursday at 43.1 degrees Celsius.
The forecast dated Friday warned farmers and the general public “not to expose themselves to direct sunlight” between 11.30 am and 3.30 pm.
Other parts of the state in central, coastal and south interior districts like Chikkamagaluru, Chitradurga, Hassan, Mandya, and Mysuru are likely to get light to moderate rainfall in isolated places.
High temperatures in the north interior districts were observed at the end of the previous week as well but the authorities did not declare it as a heat wave.
Sunil M Gavaskar, meteorologist at the Karnataka State Disaster Monitoring Centre, said, “Although there was a similar situation last week, it could not be called a heat wave. In order to declare a heat wave, we have to record the high temperatures that are 3-5 degrees Celsius higher than normal for over three days. Last week, due to overreaching effects of Cyclone Amphan, there were some cloudy skies which reduced the temperature during the day.”
He added, “District authorities have been informed and the local authorities will take decisions to regulate work timings as deemed fit.”
Due to COVID-19 related lockdown, all educational institutes are already shut. Otherwise, depending on the situation, district collectors would tweak school timings for children, and restrict outdoor labour work during afternoons.
What is a heat wave?
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) describes heat wave as a period of 2-3 days in the pre-monsoon summer season which see abnormally high temperatures, considered more than the normal maximum temperature at that time.
On the contrary the World Health Organisation deems it a heat wave if the daily maximum temperature for more than five consecutive days exceeds the average maximum temperature by 5 degrees Celsius.