Thiruvananthapuram: The intense heat wave that is sweeping the state is said to be the aftershock of the strongest El Nino phenomenon in two decades that had dried up lands all over the American and African continents and parts of Asia. “The intensity of the El Nino has waned but the atmospheric changes it had unleashed continue to wreak havoc,” said K. Santhosh, Meteorological director. On Tuesday, when day temperature touched record of 41.9 degree celsius, daily power consumption too set a new record of 78.6 MU.
El Nino, at a fundamental level, develops when the surface water temperatures and atmospheric pressure over the Pacific Ocean increases dramatically.
This has messed up the normal wind flow and air circulation pattern over a large part of the country.
“Normally, during this period, a moisture-laden wind flows from the northwestern direction, parallel to Goa, towards the state. This mixes with the existing air on surface and creates a coolness, and thundershowers,” said Manoj M.G., rese-arch scientist, Advanced Centre for Atmospheric Radar Research —ACARR, CUSAT. But the wind that flows into the state comes from the dry east.
“This hot air is seen to drop down once it crosses the Western Ghats on the western side of the state. This downward movement of air causes a sort of compression that further intensifies the heat,” Mr Manoj said. Nonetheless, he expected rains by the start of May.
IMD has predicted just that. The rainfall forecast it has put out on Wednesday states that there will be ‘fairly widespread rains’ on May 1. Till then, during the next few days, there will be isolated rains.
At the moment, the state has suffered a 58 per cent deficit in summer rains. In the case of four northern district Kasargod, Kannur, Malappuram and Palakkad, the deficit is nearly 100 percent.
The IMD has also observed that the state suffers from above normal (an increase of 1.6 degree celsius to 3 D celsius) minimum temperatures and 'appreciably above normal' maximum temperatures (an increase of 3.1 D Celsius to 5 D Celsius).