Caution against rising temperatures

Heat up by 2 to 4 degrees Celsius in Alappuzha, Kottayam, Kannur, Kasaragod


If February is any indication, the State could be in for a sweltering summer this year. Although the summer season is technically still weeks away, the rising mercury has prompted the India Meteorological Department (IMD) to issue ‘maximum temperature warnings’ for several districts.

On Friday, IMD’s Meteorological Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, had warned that both Friday and Saturday could be warmer than the normal by two to four degrees in Alappuzha, Kottayam, Kannur, and Kasaragod districts.

The heat alert has prompted the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) to put out an advisory on precautions against sunburn and sunstroke. The elderly, children and pregnant women have been asked to avoid direct sunlight between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. It being the exam season, schools have been advised to ensure adequate drinking water supply and keep the class rooms airy.

On Thursday, the maximum temperature in Alappuzha was 4.6 degrees Celsius above the normal (37.3oC), while Kannur reported 3.9oC above normal (37.3oC). Kottayam also experienced a warm Thursday with the daytime temperature recorded at 3.5oC above normal (37oC).

Reason cited

“By definition, January and February are winter. But for some years now, we have been experiencing rising temperatures by the middle of February,” K. Santhosh, Director, Met Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, said. He attributed the phenomenon to the dry winds blowing in from neighbouring States. “The temperatures rise when they become strong north-easterlies,” he added.

The records for daytime temperatures for the months of January and February have already been reset in many places in the State, show IMD data. This year, five stations under Met Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, had pipped all-time records for hot days for the month of January.

On January 25, Alappuzha recorded a maximum temperature of 37.3oC, breaking the previous record of 36.7oC reported on January 29, 1998. On January 23, 24, and 25 this year, Kottayam recorded 37oC. The previous highest was 36.6oC (January 30, 2007). Kannur clocked 36.8oC on January 23 breaking the previous record of 36.7oC (January 19, 1991).

CIAL Kochi reported a maximum temperature of 37.1oC on January 23 this year. The previous highest was 36.1oC reported on January 30, 2017, and January 15 and 16, 2018. Vellanikkara in Thrissur reported 35.9oC on January 31, breaking the previous record of 35.7oC (January 25, 2017).