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ANTICYCLONES AND HEAT WAVES IN INDIA: UNDERSTANDING THE LINK



  Apr 30, 2024

ANTICYCLONES AND HEAT WAVES IN INDIA: UNDERSTANDING THE LINK



1. What is an anticyclone and how does it affect weather in India?

An anticyclone is a weather phenomenon characterized by winds moving in a clockwise direction around a center of high atmospheric pressure in the Northern Hemisphere. When air descends within an anticyclone, it compresses and warms, potentially leading to higher temperatures on the surface. Over India, these conditions can result in prolonged and intense heat waves, particularly during the pre-monsoon season.

2. How does El Niño influence anticyclones and heat waves in India?

El Niño is a climatic event characterized by the warming of ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. This warming can affect global weather patterns, including the Indian Easterly Jet (IEJ). During the waning phase of El Niño, the IEJ can strengthen, enhancing the formation of anticyclones over India, which contributes to more severe and persistent heat waves.

3. Why was the record warming in 2023 unusual, and how is it linked to anticyclones?

The record warming in 2023 surpassed levels expected from El Niño effects and global warming alone. This unexplained warming may have intensified the strength and persistence of anticyclones over India, contributing to the severity of heat waves during the year.

4. What role do anticyclones play in India’s seasonal weather forecasting?

Anticyclones are crucial in shaping seasonal weather patterns in India, especially in terms of predicting heat waves. Understanding the behavior of anticyclones helps meteorologists provide more accurate forecasts and early warnings, which are essential for preparing for and mitigating the effects of heat-related events.

5. How does India’s early warning system work in the context of anticyclones and heat waves?

India employs a ‘ready-set-go’ system for early warnings, facilitated by the Subseasonal-to-Seasonal Predictions project. This system stages forecasts into seasonal outlooks (‘ready’), subseasonal predictions (‘set’), and short to medium range forecasts (‘go’). Each stage plays a vital role in managing resources and responses to potential heat waves driven by anticyclones.

6. What challenges and advancements are associated with predicting anticyclonic activity and its impacts?

Predicting the trajectory and impacts of anticyclonic activity remains challenging due to the complex interactions between local atmospheric conditions and global climate phenomena like El Niño. However, advancements in meteorological technology and modeling have improved the accuracy and lead time of weather predictions in India, aiding in disaster preparedness and resource management.



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