All of India is expected to record temperatures above normal in the April-June period, the Indian Meteorological Department said in its first-ever summer forecast released on Thursday. Northern parts of the country, including Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, as well as parts of Kerala and Vidarbha in Maharashtra, will face the worst of the summer heat as average temperatures in these places are likely to be “above normal by more than 1 degree Celsius”.

The IMD was prompted to come out with this forecast as heat waves claimed as many as 2,500 lives last summer. This, they hope, will warn people about the impact of the season's conditions so they can take precautions, an official said. The IMD also said the country had experienced above normal temperatures in January and February this year, and that 2015 was the third-warmest year on record since 1901, The Times of India reported.

IMD will issue periodic heat wave alerts and warnings through the summer. Recent research indicates that the frequency and the duration of heat waves across the country are rising, partly owing to increasing greenhouse gas emissions, the weather forecaster said in its report. Regular updates will also allow local civic bodies to plan measures to reduce the impact of heat waves, including opening cooling centres, raising risk awareness, training medical and community workers and coordinating inter-agency emergency response efforts.