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“IMD & NDMA to Develop Heat Action Plans in Collaboration with 23 Heat Prone States”: Dr. Jitendra Singh

Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, announced that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and India Meteorological Department (IMD) are collaborating with 23 states to develop Heat Action Plans.

Shivam Dwivedi
Maximum temperatures & heat waves are found to be higher in the country during the months of April, May, and June
Maximum temperatures & heat waves are found to be higher in the country during the months of April, May, and June

Dr. Jitendra Singh said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha about the effect of heat waves on livestock that heat action plans are being developed in states prone to high temperatures leading to heat-wave conditions. Heat wave stress increases respiration and mortality, reduces fertility, modifies animal behaviour, and suppresses the immune and endocrine systems, making animals more susceptible to certain diseases.

 

The Heat Action Plan, according to Dr. Jitendra Singh, is a comprehensive early warning system and preparedness plan for extreme heat events. The Plan outlines both immediate and long-term actions to improve preparedness, information sharing, and response coordination in order to mitigate the health effects of extreme heat on vulnerable populations. He went on to say that, as a precautionary measure, IMD, in collaboration with local health departments, has launched a heat action plan in many parts of the country to warn people about heat waves and advise them on what to do in such situations. Since 2013, the heat action plan has been in effect.

One of the severe weather phenomena for which IMD issues early warning is a heat wave. Maximum temperatures and heat waves are found to be higher in the country during the months of April, May, and June. As part of an initiative, IMD publishes a Seasonal Outlook for temperatures in April, May, and June in the last week of March for planning purposes. This forecast includes the expected scenario of heat waves during the period.

The seasonal outlook is followed by the Extended Range Outlook, which is released on Thursdays for the next two weeks. Furthermore, the forecast and color-coded warnings for severe weather, including heat wave warnings, are issued on a daily basis for the next five days, with an outlook for the next two days.

 

IMD issues an additional heat wave bulletin in the morning (8 a.m.) that is valid for 24 hours to help with day-to-day planning, and this bulletin is also distributed to all parties involved. All of these bulletins are also available on the IMD website, on a special Heatwaves page. The following are recent advancements in heat wave forecasting and warning:

  • GIS Data for Heat Wave Monitoring and Forecasting

  • Issue special heat wave & its impact bulletin (March to June) at 1600 hrs IST that includes the impact of Minimum Temperature, humidity, and wind.

  • Heat Wave hazard analysis for the entire country for four hot weather months (MARCH, APRIL, MAY, and JUNE) has been completed, taking into account Maximum Temperature, Minimum Temperature, Humidity, Wind, and Duration. This will result in the identification of hazard scores based on various meteorological parameters that exacerbate the impact of Heat Waves. These scores could be used as a threshold in the future to generate Heat Wave impact-based alerts for specific locations.

 

IMD recently released a web-based online "Climate Hazard & Vulnerability Atlas of India" prepared for the thirteen most dangerous meteorological events that cause extensive damage, economic, human, and animal losses. The climate Hazard and Vulnerability Atlas will assist state government officials and Disaster Management Agencies in planning and responding to various extreme weather events. This atlas is used by IMD to issue impact-based forecasts for various extreme weather events, such as heatwaves.

 

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