This year’s summer will be hotter with severe heatwaves, the India Meteorological Department said in its seasonal prediction for the next three months on Monday. The average temperature between April and June is likely to be 0.5 degree Celsius warmer in north and central India. “Near normal maximum temperatures are likely in the remaining subdivisions,” said the weather department.

The northwest subdivision of the IMD comprises Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan, while central India subdivision includes Maharashtra, Chhattisgrah, Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

Rajasthan, in particular, is likely to experience hotter days with the minimum temperatures also on the higher side. “The seasonal average minimum and mean temperatures over West Rajasthan are likely to be above normal by more than 1 degree Celsius,” the IMD said.

DS Pai, the head of climate research and services at IMD said the chances of heatwaves are very strong this year, reported The Indian Express.

The IMD said El Niño, an anomalous heating of the Central Pacific that occurs once in three years to five years, may be a reason for the hotter summer, reported The Hindu. “Current observations suggest weak El Niño conditions,” said the weather department. “The latest forecast indicates that these conditions are likely to persist during April-June.”