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    Why is Mumbai experiencing a heatwave in March? How to stay safe

    Why is Mumbai experiencing a heatwave in March? How to stay safe

    Why is Mumbai experiencing a heatwave in March? How to stay safe
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Updated)

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    Mumbai's maximum temperature stood at 38.6 degrees Celsius on March 13. Last year, the highest recorded maximum temperature touched 40.9 degrees Celsius on March 27.

    Mumbai is sizzling with temperatures soaring above 38 degrees Celsius. The Konkan and Saurashtra regions have been experiencing sweltering heat in the recent days.

    The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had issued a heatwave warning for Mumbai and its neighbouring regions after the automatic weather station in Santacruz recorded a 6 degrees Celsius jump from normal temperature. The maximum temperature stood at 38.6 degrees Celsius on March 13. The torrid weather conditions will continue over the next few days and the night temperatures are also expected to rise to 24 degrees Celsius.

    What is a heatwave?

    A region is considered to be under a heatwave if there is a sustained rise in temperatures where the maximum temperature exceeds 40 degrees Celsius in the plains and 30 degrees Celsius in hilly areas. For coastal regions, the threshold is 37 degrees Celsius.

    When the maximum temperature departure ranges between 4.5 and 6 degrees Celsius, a heat wave is declared by the IMD. That means if the normal temperature of a locality is 40 degrees Celsius, and the actual recorded temperature is 45 degrees Celsius, the locality is said to be experiencing a heatwave.

    Also, if a locality or region records over 45-47 degrees Celsius temperatures, the IMD declares a heatwave and a severe heatwave, respectively.

    The IMD had issued warnings that a heatwave or severe heatwave-like conditions will prevail in the Kutch to Saurashtra region till March 16. It issued an ‘orange’ alert for Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Palghar, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts till March 17, and a ‘yellow’ alert over these districts on March 16.

    Why is the region experiencing a heat wave?

    According to IMD, due to the advection of warm and dry winds from northwestern India, prevailing clear skies and low humidity values, the temperatures are expected to rise to severe heatwave and heatwave levels for a couple of days over the region.

    The rising temperatures are also attributed to the increased solar radiation and formation of a high-pressure zone over parts of central and western India.

    Temperatures in Mumbai have been rising over the past few years. Last year, the highest recorded maximum temperature touched 40.9 degrees Celsius on March 27. The all-time highest maximum temperature recorded in Mumbai for the month of March has been 41.7 degrees Celsius on 28 March 1956.

    Dos and Don’ts during heatwave:

    • Keep away from going out in the sun between 12 noon and 3 pm.
    • Avoid strenuous and heavy lifting activities when the temperature is high.
    • Drink sufficient water even if not thirsty.
    • Wear lightweight, loose, and porous cotton clothes. Use protective gear in the sun.
    • Avoid consumption of alcohol, tea, coffee and carbonated soft drinks.
    • Keep away from high-protein food and stale food.
    • Use a hat or an umbrella and a damp cloth on your head, neck, face and limbs while working outside.
    • If you feel faint or ill, consult a doctor immediately.
    • Use ORS, or any homemade drink, that helps to rehydrate the body.
    • Keep animals in the shade and provide them water to drink.
    • Use curtains, shutters or sunshade and open windows at night to keep your home cool.
    • Use fans, damp cloths and take baths in cold water frequently to keep the body cool.
    • Can the heatwave be fatal?

      A heat stroke caused by the heat wave can be fatal. It is advised to seek medical help in case of a heatstroke. As first point of treatment, wipe the patient’s head with a wet cloth and give them ORS or other fluids.

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