IITM Pune: Predicting heat waves three weeks in advance

  1. Researchers at Pune’s Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology(IITM) has developed a real time prediction system of heat waves two to three weeks in advance.
  2. The prediction system has shown promise in indicating the date of onset, duration and demise of heat waves with a small spatial and temporal error.
  3. The prediction system has been successfully transferred to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) which has been using it since 2017. IMD had used this system to predict heat waves this year.
  4. Based on observation of data available from 1981 to 2017,it was found that places in two regions namely northwest India and southeast coastal regions are prone to heat waves for more than eight days during summer.
  5. Heat wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures-more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the summer season.
  6. Heat wave is considered if maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C or more for Plains,37°C or more for coastal stations and at least 30°C or more for Hilly regions.