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Heatwave to ease further as North India records dip in temperature by 3°C. Details here

Residents fill water from a water tanker in Kusumpur Pahari slum in New Delhi, India. Large parts of northern and central India are bracing for more days of brutal heat, with temperatures forecast to hit 50 degree Celsius later in the week. (Photographer: Ruhani Kaur/Bloomberg) (Bloomberg)

Severe heatwave conditions have grappled several parts of the country thereby putting lives, crops, and power supply at risk. India is set to get reprieve from this sweltering heat wave.

Jenmani further informed that temperatures in north India fell as much as 3 degrees Celsius (37.4 degrees Fahrenheit) on Monday. The northern region was the warmest in 122 years in both March and April this year, he further stated.

The extreme weather has exacerbated the country’s power crisis as demand for air conditioners soars at a time when power plants are facing acute coal shortages. It has also impacted farm output as some crops have shriveled. 

The withering heat, which sent temperatures to as high as 49 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit) at Banda in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday and in two places in national capital Delhi, has raised the risk of loss of lives, a delay in wheat harvesting, some damage to fruit and vegetable crops, and a slowdown in industrial activities.

Some states have been cutting off power supplies for as long as eight hours in a day to manage demand.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has predicted that India will face more frequent and intense heat waves, extreme rains and erratic monsoons in the coming decades as the planet warms.

McKinsey estimates work hours lost to heat wave could cause losses of as much as $250 billion, or 4.5% of the gross domestic product, by the end of the decade.

An early onset of the monsoon, as predicted by the weather office, could bring further relief. Some places in India, the world’s second-most populous nation, are already receiving pre-monsoon showers.

The monsoon, which aids more than half of the country’s agricultural fields, is likely to arrive in the southern state of Kerala on 27 May, compared with its normal start date of 1 June, according to the weather office.

The nation is forecast to receive normal showers for a fourth year. Good and timely rainfall is vital for India’s agricultural sector, the main source of livelihood for about 60% of its population and which accounts for 18% of the economy.