The India Meteorological Department has warned that most parts of India will record above normal temperatures between April and June as the country grapples with early heatwaves this summer the Hindustan Times reported on Thursday.

Officials from the weather department said that several regions in east, central and northwest India were recording heatwaves much earlier than expected. Over the past 10 years, heatwaves have occurred beginning from April and would intensify only by May.

But this time, very high temperatures have been recorded in March also, mainly due to lack of rainfall, very dry air that gets heated quickly and leads to clear skies and direct sunshine, experts said, according to the newspaper.

The IMD added that the condition is expected to abate in the next two to three days due to strong westerly winds. Maximum temperatures are likely to fall by 2 degrees Celsius to 4 degrees Celsius in most parts of northwest and central India, it said.

Bhubaneswar records highest March temperature since 1948

On Wednesday, heatwave conditions were recorded in most parts of northwest and central India with severe heatwave conditions prevailed in isolated pockets over West Rajasthan.

Bhubaneswar in Odisha registered its highest temperature recorded in the month of March, with the mercury touch 44.2 degrees Celsius in the city for the first time in the month since 1948, according to the Hindustan Times. The city’s previous high of 42.2 degrees Celsius was recorded on March 21, 2016.

Temperatures in 12 other cities in Odisha went past the 40-degrees Celsius mark on Wednesday. A day before, Baripada recorded a temperature of 44.6 degrees Celsius the highest in the country.

Weather officials told the newspaper the heat wave was due to the influence of dry westerly winds prevailing in the lower levels, and because of the local heating and contraction of dry air near surface level.

In March, the heat wave in the state had sparked massive wildfires in Similipal, Asia’s second-largest biosphere reserve, located in Mayurbhanj district. The Forest Survey of India data suggests that between February 11 and March 15, a total of 348 fire points have been detected inside the Similipal Tiger Reserve, 1,242 in Baripada Division, 964 in Karanjia Division and 926 in Rairangpur Division. The biosphere reserve has four divisions – Similipal Tiger Reserve (South and North), Baripada, Karanjia and Rairangpur.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands likely to receive widespread rain

Meanwhile, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are likely to experience widespread rain and thunderstorms on Thursday and over the next few days, the IMD said.

“A low pressure area is lying over south Andaman Sea and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal,” the weather body said. “It is likely to become more marked over central parts of Andaman Sea and likely to concentrate into a depression over the same region during the next 48 hours.”

Under its influence, widespread rainfall is very likely over Andaman & Nicobar islands during the next five days and isolated heavy rainfall is likely on Thursday, IMD added, according to the Hindustan Times.

The weather department advised fishermen not to venture into south Andaman Sea and the adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal on Thursday. They were also advised to not go into North Andaman Sea, the north Bay of Bengal, and along and off north Odisha-West Bengal coast, on April 2.

Heavy rain was also very likely over Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya on Thursday, the IMD said, warning that it may cause landslide or mudslide and inundation in low lying areas of the states.