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India: IMD predicts blistering heat in May which could hurt economy, threaten lives

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Blistering heat has been predicted across swathes of India in May, which could strain the power network, hurt the economy and threaten people’s lives.

According to the India Meteorological Department, monthly maximum temperatures will be above normal in the east-central and eastern regions. Northeast India will also experience hotter weather.

The South Asian country has been bracing for a scorching summer since 2022, when record-breaking heat caused widespread suffering and disrupted global wheat supplies. As the frequency of extreme weather events increases, businesses and traders are now factoring it into their investment decisions.

Heat waves cause an increase in electricity use as people turn on their air conditioners and fans, putting additional strain on the power grid and increasing the risk of blackouts. The heat causes productivity losses and can even be fatal for the millions of people who work outdoors.

This year, India is far from alone in experiencing oppressive heat. Temperatures in Thailand and Bangladesh have been rising, while China’s Yunnan province is suffering from a drought.

Temperatures in parts of northwest and west-central India are expected to be normal to slightly below normal in May, according to the weather service.

The IMD predicted the development of El Nino during the upcoming monsoon season, a weather pattern associated with drier conditions and lower rainfall in India. However, this may be offset by the development of positive Indian Ocean Dipole conditions, which may result in increased monsoon rainfall.


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