Heat waves in Kerala as oceans warm up and rains fail to bring down temperatures

By Max Martin

May 06, 2024

Much of south India are witnessing unusually high summer temperatures, with heatwave conditions in several districts. The IMD notes that this condition will continue until 6 May.

The weather felt over Kerala, Mahe, coastal Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Karaikal, and Konkan, as the IMD notes, is an outcome of atmospheric and ocean phenomena.

Scientists point out that the warming trend is an indication of climate change. Human activities such as fossil fuel burning add to natural climate variability.

Climate variability means variations in the mean and other climate statistics beyond individual weather events.

It may be due to natural processes within the climate system or variations due to natural or human-made external influences.

“2023 was the hottest year of the century. We’re seeing it as a continuation,” Prof S Abhilash, director of CUSAT Advanced Centre for Atmospheric Radar Research, told South First.

A key current factor is El Niño. Simply put, El Niño denotes the unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean.

The IMD also notes that the movement or prevalence of hot, dry air over a region aids heat waves. So does the absence of moisture in the upper atmosphere.