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Last month was India’s hottest May in 36 years: IMD | India News – Times of India

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As India voted to elect its MPs to the 18th Lok Sabha over the past six weeks, sweltering heat blanketed large swathes of the country. May 2024 was the hottest May in 36 years, shows India Meteorological Department (IMD) data.
Both April and May this year recorded high maximum temperatures and broke records across multiple stations. The average maximum April temperature this year across India was 35.6°C.
This was higher than those observed in the election years of 2004 (35°C), 2009 (35.5°C) and 2014 (35.3°C), but slightly lower than the record 35.7°C observed in 2019.
The average maximum temperature this May was 37.3°C, the hottest since May 1988, when the average maximum temperature was 37.4°C. IMD data shows many stations broke past records in May.
On May 31, Alwar reported 46.5°C, its fourth-highest temperature. The same day, Bilaspur logged 46.8°C, its fifth-highest May maximum ever, while Bulandshahr saw 46°C, its second-highest May maximum ever.
Even the hill station Dehradun experienced 43.2°C recently, its third-highest May maximum temperature on record, as per IMD.
Regions towards south India experienced intense heat during initial summer, but later in the season, the unbearable heat was felt more in the north.
Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, the director general of meteorology at IMD, explained: “During early summer (March to April), regions like Maharashtra, Gujarat and southern peninsular areas experience higher temperatures because the sun’s position is more directly overhead, providing intense solar radiation as it moves northward.
By late summer (May to June), the sun is nearly directly over northern India, causing these regions to heat up significantly.” He added that IMD’s monthly forecasts had already predicted day temperatures to be above normal for most parts of the country Political analyst Vivek Singh Bagri told TOI, “High temperatures are a big factor in influencing voter turnout, as seen this time, causing a dip. Electors in the upper-middle class to middle class categories often tend to skip voting during extreme temperature conditions, whether heat or cold. Many parts of the country recorded over 40-45°C during April as well as in May. However, there are other factors that may have had a role to play too.”
Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, the director general of meteorology at IMD, explained: “During early summer (March to April), regions like Maharashtra, Gujarat and southern peninsular areas experience higher temperatures because the sun’s position is more directly overhead, providing intense solar radiation as it moves northward. By late summer (May to June), the sun is nearly directly over northern India, causing these regions to heat up significantly.”





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