Kerala sees no respite from the summer heat in April, with the Indian Meteorological department warning of a temperature rise of 2-4 degrees Celsius in different districts on Monday and Tuesday.
Issuing a temperature warning on their website, the IMD Thiruvananthapuram stated, “Maximum Temperature is very likely to be above normal by 2 to 4 degree Celsius in Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Kozhikode districts on April 15 and 16.”
The Met Department also added that temperature rise of 2 to 3 degree Celsius will be seen in Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam, Idukki, Malappuram, Kannur & Kasaragode districts on the two days.
The announcement follows the heat wave conditions seen in the state between mid- February and March. Since February, over 70 cases of sunburns and 1 sunstroke death were recorded in the state. The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority had issued strict instructions to all residents to stay indoors between 12-3 pm and the Labour Department also had changed shift timings of daily wage labourers so that they do not have to step out during the peak afternoon.
Large deficits in rainfall
Apart from the rising heat, another change recorded by the IMD is the large deficit in rainfall in the state over the summer months. According to a review of the season’s rainfall between March 1 and April 10, 2019 - all 14 districts of the state have received significantly lesser rainfall during this period, with the northern district of Kasargode recorded 99% deficit in rainfall (actual rainfall 13.7 mm and rainfall received 0.2 mm).
Palakkad was to receive 47.5 mm rainfall during the period. However, the district only received 1.5mm, recording a 97% deficit in rains. Kannur received 0.8 mm rainfall as compared to the 17.3 mm rainfall it normally receives, leading to a 96% paucity in rains. Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Alappuzha etc too witnessed rainfall deficits of over 80% in this period, according to IMD’s analysis.