Indian Heat Wave Means a “Year Without Spring”

April 27, 2022


An unprecedented heatwave in South Asia this month (April 2022) is bringing dangerously high temperatures to over a billion people. Both India and Pakistan are being hit the hardest with widespread record-breaking temperatures above 105 degrees F (40 degrees C). Conditions are expected to worsen this week in those regions, where temperatures approaching 113 degrees F (45 degrees C) are possible.

The heatwave weather began in late March for northern India and Pakistan, and spread into the first weeks of April. Although heatwaves are not uncommon in this region during the pre-monsoon season from April to June, residents and meteorologists have noted that this heatwave was the earliest they could remember. 

With no relief in sight, some observers are suggesting this heatwave pattern might become one of the longest-lasting in recent decades. Some are calling this year the year without a spring

The average temperature in India in March 2022 was about 92 degrees F (33 degrees C), the warmest March ever recorded since records began in 1902.

Forecast models indicate that parts of Pakistan and northwestern India could reach temperatures near 120 degrees F (50 degrees C) on Thursday and Friday. Major cities such as Delhi and Lahore are forecast to reach 113 degrees F (45 degrees C). These temperatures are 18 degrees F (10 degrees C) warmer than the normal high temperatures for April, and would approach the all-time record temperatures for the month. Temperatures in major metropolitan areas can be further exasperated by the urban heat island effect, increasing local temperatures a few degrees higher than the surrounding countryside.

Due to these forecasts, heat wave warnings were issued for 10 major cities in India. Some regional educational systems have shut down all schools for the next five days.

UPDATE below:

The Hindu:

At a time when India is looking to fill the world’s wheat granaries depleted by the Ukraine-Russia war, two new developments in Punjab may potentially reduce its export levels this year. Firstly, evidence from Punjab shows that the wheat arrivals in mandis have been 20% lower this year compared to 2021. The primary reason behind the reduction is the extreme levels of heat. The average temperature in April has been consistently above the 40°C mark across Punjab. This has reduced the wheat yield significantly this year. Secondly, the local prices of wheat and wheat flour are accelerating. These two factors may dampen India’s wheat export plans given that India may prioritise local availability of wheat while also aiming to cool down the market prices.

One Response to “Indian Heat Wave Means a “Year Without Spring””

  1. redskylite Says:

    ““People think a degree or two might not matter,” AghaKouchak says, but when average temperatures increase by even small amounts, it means extreme events are becoming more likely.”

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