R. Krishna Kumar
`There is more to come and the worst is not yet over'
Increase of three degrees Celsius than the average temperature recorded for March People should avoid outdoor activities between noon and 3 p.m.
MYSORE: Now that summer is here in all its intensity, pull out all the stops to beat the heat. For, the next few weeks will be miserable and Mysore will be in the grip of a severe heat wave, unless the local climatic condition undergoes an upheaval. Which is unlikely.
This is not a dooms day scenario advocated by members of the green brigade whose note of caution had been ignored, but by professional weathermen who are studying the impact of monsoon failure, which has compounded the effect of global warming in this region.
What is more, Mysore has recorded the highest temperature for March when the mercury level touched 37 degrees Celsius mark on March 26.
The mean average temperature during March 2006 was only 32.7 degrees Celsius and the mean average for March 2007 was 35 degrees Celsius. This increase of nearly three degrees Celsius in one year is disturbing and abnormal. However, scientists at the Agricultural Research Station at Naganahalli on the outskirts of Mysore said there was more to come and the worst was not yet over.
H.L. Vasanth Kumar, scientist and Senior Farm Superintendent in-charge of the research station, said, "There is an erratic increase in the temperature around Mysore region owing to a combination of various factors. The maximum temperature ever for Mysore was recorded on May 4, 2006 when the mercury level touched the 38.5 degrees Celsius mark.
"But this year, temperature hit the 37 degrees Celsius mark in March and the conditions are perfect for the summer temperature to breach the 40 degrees Celsius mark this year."
The temperature for April has shown a constant of 37 degrees Celsius where the average mean of 10 years for April is 34.6 degrees Celsius as per the weather being monitored at Naganahalli which is equipped with infrastructure to study the weather conditions, including temperature, humidity, wind speed, and rain.
The data is fed to the super computer at the National Centre for Medium Range Weather in Noida near Delhi every Tuesday and Friday.
Mr. Vasanth Kumar told The Hindu that backed with the data of many decades and the up-to-date information, the research station here received weather forecast for four days and was valid for a 50-km radius.
Based on these forecasts, the scientists here formulated the agromet advisory bulletin for farmers with appropriate guidelines.
Given the accuracy of scientific methods used for weather forecast and the prevailing dry conditions in Mysore, one could safely say that the next few weeks will be miserable as heat wave conditions may prevail, according to Mr. Vasanth Kumar.
"The period between noon and 3 p.m. will be scorching and people should avoid all outdoor activities during this time," he said.
Pointing out that the quantum of sun's UV Rays measured was high, Mr. Vasanth Kumar said the normal measurement for UV Rays was 1.75 MED (being a unit to measure the quantum of Ultra Violet Rays), but the readings showed that it was above 2 MED and was dangerous as constant exposure to the UV Rays could cause skin cancer, suppression of immunity system, cataract or premature ageing of the skin and other ailments.
The extreme heat in the region has been attributed to a combination of many factors. This includes failure of post-monsoon rain last year and the pre-monsoon rain this year.
As against the average rainfall of 138 mm in October, the Mysore region received only 75.5 mm and 27 mm in November as against the average of 49 mm.