India witnessed the third-hottest April in 122 years, the India Meteorological Department said in its monthly weather and climate summary on Monday. March had turned out to be the hottest month in 122 years since the India Meteorological Department started maintaining records.

Frequent heatwaves scorched northwest and central India with temperatures reaching up to 47 degrees Celsius in Uttar Pradesh’s Agra and Prayagraj in April. Temperatures in west Rajasthan, west Madhya Pradesh and Vidarbha region in Maharashtra also went over 45 degrees Celsius.

For the plains, a heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature goes up to 40 degrees Celsius or more and is at least 4.5 degrees above normal. A severe heatwave is when the normal temperature is 6.5 degrees Celsius more than the normal.

The average maximum temperature recorded in the country for April was 35.30 degrees Celsius, which is 1.36 degrees Celsius higher than normal. The average maximum temperature for April in 122 years was recorded in 2010. The temperature had then risen to 35.42 degrees Celsius.

The average maximum temperature in April this year for North West and Central India was the highest in 122 years.

(Source: India Meteorological Department)

Nights were also warmer in April in the country. The monthly average minimum temperature was 23.51 degrees Celsius, a drop of 1.36 degrees Celsius from normal.

Lack of rain and thunderstorms were also responsible for the rise in temperature, India Meteorological Department officials said in the report.

Northwest India recorded only 5.6 mm rain last month, making it the third-driest April since 1910.

However, some states in Northwest and Central India could get respite from the heat this week as the weather agency has predicted isolated light rainfall from Tuesday.

“Fall in maximum temperatures by [3 degrees Celsius to 4 degrees Celsius] is very likely over most parts of northwest India and central India during the next three days and rise thereafter,” the India Meteorological Department said on Monday.

The weather agency has also predicted scattered rainfall over Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

A low-pressure area could form over South Andaman Sea on Friday, resulting in heavy rainfall in Andaman and Nicobar Islands on Thursday and Friday, the weather agency said.

However, a heatwave is likely to persist over isolated parts of the Vidarbha region in Maharashtra till Wednesday.

Also read:

Explainer: What is a heatwave and why India is experiencing it so early this year?