Cool start for searing summer ahead in Andhra Pradesh

The Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority cautions the public in view of the predicted rise in temperatures, asks people to take necessary precautions while venturing outdoors during the day

Updated - March 17, 2023 07:54 am IST

Published - March 17, 2023 05:55 am IST - VIJAYAWADA

A vendor in Vijayawada keeps a large quantity of clay pots ready in anticipation of a spurt in demand as temperatures started soaring across the State.

A vendor in Vijayawada keeps a large quantity of clay pots ready in anticipation of a spurt in demand as temperatures started soaring across the State. | Photo Credit: G.N. RAO

The early arrival of the pre-monsoon season has brought showers and cloud cover to most parts of the State in mid-March. However, the dip in the temperature is only a presage of a searing summer ahead, warn weathermen.

The weather is expected to be cool with rainfall and thunderstorms for the next few days as indicated by the levels of the cyclonic circulation from Bangladesh to north Coastal Andhra Pradesh and the trough from north interior Tamil Nadu to Konkan lying at 0.9 km above the mean sea level.

However, this is going to be a temporary relief from the unforgiving summer heat that is predicted across the State in the coming weeks and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasts above-normal maximum temperatures during April and May. Most districts are predicted to experience heatwave and severe heatwave conditions.

Warning signs

The maximum temperature of 35o C was recorded in many places in the State in February itself and there has been a gradual rise ever since. A few days ago, Tuni of the north coastal region recorded over 38o C, the highest maximum temperature recorded in the town in the past 10 years in the month of March. In February, the Kauthalam mandal of Kurnool recorded a maximum temperature of 39.1o C.

Heatwave threat

Maximum temperatures in the summer have been increasing every year, and the World Bank has warned that by 2030, over 160-200 million people will likely be exposed to lethal heatwaves.

Heatwaves have been the biggest concern during summer months when many deaths were reported in the past.

Though the number of deaths caused by heatwaves and sunstroke has come down in the last few years in the State, officials urge people to take necessary precautions to avoid falling sick.

As many as 723 people died due to heatstroke in 2016 in Andhra Pradesh and the number has come down gradually. In 2017, 236 people died while in 2018 eight people died.

In 2019, 28 people died and there were no heatstroke deaths during the last three summers, as per the AP State Disaster Management Authority.

The Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (APSDMA) has cautioned the public in view of the rising temperatures and asked people to take necessary precautions while venturing outdoors during the day.

APSDMA’s State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) would continuously monitor the change in weather and disseminate information and alert the district administrations on a daily basis.

Officials ask the public to stay hydrated by consuming liquids such as oral rehydration solution, coconut water, water, buttermilk and others. Special care should be given to senior citizens, pregnant women and children who are more prone to heatstrokes.

VMC’s summer action plan

Meanwhile, the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) has come up with an action plan to ensure drinking water supply to all household service connections during the summer.

The civic body supplies households with over 189 million litres of drinking water daily. While the drinking water usually reaches households at least once or twice a day, there is a shortage of supply in the summer months when groundwater depletion happens.

The civic body’s summer action plan includes arrangements for transporting drinking water, providing new hand borewells, power bore wells and pump sets, repairing the existing pump sets, procurement of materials like sluice valves, leakproof materials and others to arrest leakages and avoid contamination of water. The civic body will take up 35 such works under the summer action plan with ₹221 lahks.

All eyes on Rentichintala

Meanwhile, Rentachintala in Palnadu district is one of the hottest places in Andhra Pradesh owing to its dry land, hard rock structure, and lack of water bodies in and around. It has no vegetation and receives very less rainfall annually. The daytime temperatures here are expected to touch 50o C during hot summers Prof. P.J. Ratnakar, Geology Department at Acharya Nagarjuna University in Guntur told The Hindu.

The fretting ryots of Anantapur

In contrast, the IMD has predicted a low-temperature spell for this summer for the southern peninsular region including Anantapur. The mango farmers are found to be fretting over this prediction as it would mean a low crop turnout for the second consecutive year.

The region has received good rainfall between March and May months in the last two years, increasing the annual rainfall and that has had its impact on the weather here, said agrometeorologist Koilkonda Ashok Kumar of Agriculture Research Station Rekulakunta. 

With inputs from M. Sambasiva Rao and Ramesh Susarla

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