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Lok Sabha elections: Severe heat wave predicted in many states during second phase of elections | India News

NEW DELHI: A large section of voters will have to endure the scorching heat when they step out on Friday to exercise their franchise in the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Thursday warned of heatwave to severe heatwave conditions in parts of West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh over the next five days.

It has issued a red alert for West Bengal and Odisha and an orange alert for Bihar and parts of Karnataka.

The Met office said high humidity may increase discomfort for people in Tripura, Kerala, coastal areas of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Assam, Meghalaya and Goa.

Voters in 88 Lok Sabha constituencies across 13 states and Union Territories will exercise their franchise during the second phase of elections on Friday.

Kerala’s 20 seats, 14 in Karnataka, 13 in Rajasthan, eight each in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, six in Madhya Pradesh, five each in Bihar and Assam, three each in Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, and one each in Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir , and Manipur goes to the polls in the second phase.

High winds, light rain and thundershowers may provide temporary relief from warm weather in parts of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh on Friday, the weather bureau said.

The ongoing heat wave is the second this month.

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According to the Met office, heat waves have been prevailing in Odisha since April 15 and in Gangetic West Bengal since April 17.

The IMD also said that warm night conditions are likely in Odisha between April 27 and 29. High night temperatures are considered dangerous because the body does not have a chance to cool down.

Increasing nighttime heat is becoming more common in cities due to the urban heat island effect, in which urban areas are significantly hotter than their surroundings.

The threshold for a heat wave is met when the maximum temperature at a weather station reaches at least 40 degrees Celsius in the plains, 37 degrees in the coastal areas and 30 degrees in the hilly areas, and the deviation from normal is at least 4.5 degrees. notches.

A serious heat wave is said to occur if the deviation from normal is greater than 6.4 degrees.

Amid the prevailing but weakening El Nino conditions, the IMD had earlier warned of extreme heat during the April-June period, coinciding with the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections.

The vote for the first phase took place on April 19.

The Met office has said that four to eight heatwave days are expected in different parts of the country in April, compared to the normal one to three days. Ten to twenty heat wave days are expected, compared to four to eight normal days in the entire April-June period.

The areas and regions expected to experience a higher number of heatwave days are Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Maharashtra, Vidarbha, Marathwada, Bihar and Jharkhand. In some places more than twenty heat wave days can occur.

The intense heat could strain power grids and lead to water shortages in parts of India.

Global weather agencies, including the IMD, also expect La Nina conditions to develop later this year.

El Nino conditions – periodic warming of surface waters in the central Pacific Ocean – are associated with weaker monsoon winds and drier conditions in India. La Nina conditions – the antithesis of El Nino – lead to excessive rainfall during the monsoon season.

In an update in mid-April, the IMD said India would experience above-normal cumulative rainfall in the 2024 monsoon season, with La Nina conditions expected to occur in August-September being the dominant factor.

The monsoon is critical to India’s agricultural landscape as 52 percent of the net cropped area depends on it. It is also crucial for replenishing reservoirs that are crucial for drinking water, apart from power generation across the country.