Extreme Heat in Tarai Districts as Temperatures Cross 40 Degrees

Extreme Heat in Tarai Districts as Temperatures Cross 40 Degrees
Photo by Michal Matlon / Unsplash

As the summer season intensifies, some districts in the Tarai region of Nepal are experiencing extreme heat, with temperatures crossing the 40 degrees Celsius mark. This unusual weather pattern, according to the Meteorological Forecasting Division of the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, is expected to continue in the coming days, with no immediate relief in sight.

The Heatwave and Its Impact

On Thursday, Simara of Bara district recorded a temperature of 40.6 degrees Celsius, while Janakpur recorded 40 degrees Celsius. The department predicts that temperatures in many places of the central and eastern Tarai will exceed 40 degrees Celsius in the coming days due to the absence of any weather system that could cause rainfall. This extreme weather condition, known as a heatwave, occurs when the maximum and minimum temperatures are unusually hot over a three-day period at a location.

The extreme heat has led to an increase in patient flow in health facilities in the Tarai region. Exposure to excessive heat can result in various health issues, including headache, nausea, weakness, dizziness, and fainting. Heat-related illnesses include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat syncope (fainting). Doctors have advised people to stay indoors during the afternoon, stay hydrated, and seek immediate medical attention in case of severe heat-related symptoms.

The Role of Climate Change

Climate scientists attribute the early onset of summer and intense heat to the impact of climate change. The average annual maximum temperature of Nepal has risen by 0.056 degrees Celsius, according to a study conducted by the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DOHM) in 2017. The study also shows that most districts have witnessed increasing temperatures annually.

The Monsoon Delay

Adding to the heatwave, the monsoon season in Nepal, which generally begins on June 13 and ends on September 23, is likely to be delayed by a few days this year. This delay, coupled with the forecast of below-average rainfall in the upcoming season, could potentially exacerbate the heatwave conditions.

The extreme heatwave in the Tarai districts of Nepal underscores the urgent need for effective heat management strategies and climate change mitigation efforts. As the country grapples with the impacts of climate change, it is crucial to develop and implement measures that safeguard its people and ensure their well-being during such extreme weather conditions.