India still needs to battle high temperatures and drought conditions for another 30 to 45 days before rains arrive, the weather department said, as millions of people across several states roasted in searing heat and faced water shortages.
At least 10 states are reeling under drought and water level in several reservoirs is at an all time low, forcing the weather office to start giving heat wave forecast for the first time to inform people about the extreme weather conditions.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) earlier this month forecast above normal monsoon for this year after two years of poor monsoon.
According to the government 330 million people, or about a quarter of the country’s population, are in the grip of drought leading to severe agriculture stress. About 255,000 villages in 254 districts are affected by drought and the government has been running special trains to reach them water.
According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this year is on course to beat the heat records set in 2015, with March recording the highest temperatures since records were started.