April this year, not as hot as you think

City Environment

Though Bengalureans sweat and cry under the seemingly hottest April in the city, IMD data shows this was not the hottest in a decade.

If you think this was the hottest April Bengaluru has ever faced, you are wrong. Data from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) shows that this April was one of the cooler ones since 2011! However, IMD experts say that might not necessarily be a good thing with the five days of constant above average temperature recorded.

A Prasad, scientist at IMD said that the highest temperature recorded for this April this year till today is 36.5 degrees. This is slightly lower than last year’s data for April – 36.7 degrees. But, both of them are considerably lower than the highest temperature recorded for the same month in the last 12 years — 39.2 degrees in 2016.

Maximum temperature recorded in Bengaluru in the month of April each year.

He explained that though the temperature for April 2016 was 39.2 degrees, which is higher than the one recorded this April; the continuous five days of heat is still a concern. “One day of very high temperature is not as harmful as continuous days of comparatively lower temperature.”

Prasad noted that the city experienced almost five days of continuous above average temperatures in April this year, despite yellow-alert notifications from the IMD itself.

The yellow alert issued is completely normal during this time of the year, said Prasad. Rainfall is expected to continue in May with Prasad predicting that Bengaluru will receive around 13 centimetres of rain. 

With only three centimeters of rainfall in Bengaluru for this month, it falls short of the six centimeters predicted by the IMD. Prasad said that he is sure that in the next few days, the measurement will exceed six centimeters. 

With temperatures rising to discomforting levels, citizens remain agitated and await the sweet respite of rain predicted over the next five days.

A coconut-water seller in Palace Road admits that though his sales have increased because of the scorching heat waves, he can regularly note the irritation of Bengalurueans in this weather. With his hands full, tending to all the customers at his stall though, he is not one to complain. “In the last four to five days, my business has picked up. Usually, I earn around Rs. 500-600 per day. Now, with the heat wave, I am earning Rs. 200 more every day.”

Ullash Kumar, a Bengaluru-based environmentalist said, “Usually, this would not be a problem in plains but in a city like Bengaluru, it can be hazardous for children and older people.” He explained that high temperatures can result in the production of ground-level ozone from oxygen.

He added that Bengaluru has become a dead city with a high level of pollution which can only be controlled through repair and population checks. But, he cannot see any intention so far.

“The rising temperature is a global phenomenon caused by global warming. Particularly, for Bengaluru, loss of greenery is a major contributor,” said Kumar.