As Telangana and Andhra seem to be getting hotter with each passing day, and the common capital, Hyderabad, sizzles, experts say that it’s only going to get worse.
This week, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) reported that Hyderabad recorded a temperature of 37 degree Celsius, while areas like Mahbubnagar in Telangana are already touching 39 degree Celsius.
On Friday, Mahbubnagar recorded a maximum temperature of 40.5 degree Celsius.
Speaking to The News Minute, Dr K Nagaratna, the scientist in charge of the Weather Forecasting department at the IMD office in Hyderabad, says that the weather has been getting hotter with each passing summer.
"Usually, March, April and May are considered the summer season, while February is still considered winter. We have observed deviations where the heat kicks in a little earlier, but this year is a cause for concern," she says.
Why is it happening?
"The main cause of this is man-made. It is mostly due to global warming, urbanisation and deforestation over the past 30 to 35 years, which has led to this," Nagaratna says.
Nagaratna also attributes the high temperatures to dry winds from the north and northwest, combined with a lack of winds from the Bay of Bengal.
"We studied data over 50 years, and we noticed changes during two main periods. One was between 1975 to 1980. After 2010, we are observing major changes in weather pattern," Nagaratna adds.
She also says that the IMD has been noticing a 0.1 degree Celsius overall increase in temperature every 10 years.
"This year, Hyderabad will easily reach 45 degree Celsius, while it may go even higher during May. Places in Andhra like Vijayawada may even witness temperature as high as 49 degree Celsius," says Nagaratna.
Nagaratna says that Telangana is liable to see high temperatures as it is an inland, rocky state situated in the Deccan Plateau, and receives winds from central India.
"Some inland places in Andhra like the Rayalaseema area will also witness high temperatures," she says.
She adds, "Usually in summer, we witness one or two days of extreme weather, but this time, it may last longer."
A study by Osmania University, which was based on meteorological data from six decades, showed that Hyderabad began "accelerated warming" after 2000, while the “extreme warming phase" started after 2010.
In 2016, a report by the Union ministry of environment, forests and climate change (MoEFCC) stated that 2,04,164 trees were axed in the Telangana area, while Andhra cut down 3,95,489 trees between 2013 and 2016.
With both Telangana and Andhra chopping down trees indiscriminately for construction projects, and Andhra facing further trouble due to red sanders smuggling in the East Godavari district, things may get worse.
However, Nagaratna says that while the temperature would cross 45 degree Celsius at several places, it will remain below 50 degrees.
"If it does touch 50 degrees, it will be a new record. However, we can expect some pre-monsoon showers in coastal areas and other inland areas where there are large water bodies, which will cool the weather down a bit, before summer," she adds.
Skymet Weather reported that Andhra may get light rains in the first week of March, while Telangana will remain dry.