On the variability and increasing trends of heat waves over India

Over India, heat waves occur during the summer months of April to June. A gridded daily temperature data set for the period, 1961–2013 has been analyzed to examine the variability and trends in heat waves over India. For identifying heat waves, the Excess Heat Factor (EHF) and 90th percentile of maximum temperatures were used. Over central and northwestern parts of the country, frequency, total duration and maximum duration of heat waves are increasing. Anomalous persistent high with anti-cyclonic flow, supplemented with clear skies and depleted soil moisture are primarily responsible for the occurrence of heat waves over India.

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