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    South India Sweats It Out: A Combination of Factors Blamed for Scorching Temperatures 

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    Hyderabad: South Indian states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala are experiencing a brutal heatwave, with temperatures exceeding average highs for this time of year. Let’s delve into the reasons behind this scorching situation. 

    A Cocktail of Meteorological Phenomena: 

    Experts attribute the extreme heat to a confluence of weather patterns: 

    • Change in Wind Direction: A key culprit is the absence of sea breezes across eastern and peninsular India due to an anticyclonic flow. This flow prevents the moderating influence of cooler ocean air from reaching inland areas. 
    • El Niño Impact: The ongoing El Niño phenomenon, characterized by warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, is known to contribute to higher temperatures across parts of Asia, including India. 
    • Pre-Monsoon Season:  The period leading up to the monsoon season can be hot and dry in India. This year, the combination of El Niño and the lack of sea breezes appears to have exacerbated the pre-existing conditions. 

    Heat Index Paints a Grim Picture: 

    While air temperature readings are crucial, the heat index, which combines air temperature and humidity, provides a more realistic picture of how hot it feels. Experts warn that the heat index in some areas could reach a scorching 40-50°C, with some isolated pockets potentially experiencing a staggering 60°C. 

    Impact on Daily Lives: 

    The heatwave is taking a toll on daily life in South India. People are struggling with dehydration, heat exhaustion, and power outages. Agricultural activities are also affected as crops wilt under the relentless sun. 

    Looking Ahead: 

    The good news is that the heatwave is expected to abate by the beginning of May, with some forecasts suggesting a possible shift towards central and northwest India. The arrival of the southwest monsoon, typically in June, will bring much-needed relief. 

    Precautionary Measures: 

    While the heatwave is expected to subside soon, here are some precautions residents can take in the meantime: 

    • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. 
    • Avoid strenuous activities during peak heat hours. 
    • Wear loose, light-coloured clothing and protect yourself from the sun with a hat and sunglasses. 
    • Be aware of the signs of heatstroke and seek medical attention if necessary. 

    By understanding the causes of the heatwave and taking proper precautions, South Indians can weather this scorching period and emerge refreshed when the monsoon arrives. 

     

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