Published on June 25, 2021

AHMEDABAD: It was not the summer when Gujaratis worried over scorching heat, desperately looking for coolers namely ice creams, popsicles and mango juices – April and May recorded the worst death tolls during the ongoing Covid pandemic and set new records of daily positive cases. The partial lockdowns also ensured that the citizens remained indoors. But these were not the only reasons why the state felt less hot.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) data said the summer of 2021 was less harsher as far as the mercury levels were concerned. This year, the maximum temperature across the weather stations was 44 degrees Celsius recorded in Gandhinagar.

To put the figure in perspective, the maximum temperature in the summer of 2019 had shot up to 46.8 degrees. Even in 2020, the maximum temperature almost touched 45 degrees at 44.9 degrees Celsius at Deesa in north Gujarat.

Manorama Mohanty, in-charge director of IMD Gujarat, said that in the past five years, the maximum summer temperature was comparatively lower. “We generally take a long-term average of 30 years to assess whether any weather station has reported any major rise or fall – on that count, the variation is not much. Gujarat has recorded up to 48 degrees Celsius temperature in the past, too,” she said. “One of the possible reasons could be less pollution levels compared to previous years.”

Climate experts said that this year, the comparative number of heat waves were less for the region, and so were the average temperatures. OGIMET, an international climate data aggregator, indicated that the average mean temperature for Ahmedabad in May was 32.7 degrees Celsius, which was 35.3 degrees in 2020 and 34.3 degrees in 2019. The maximum May temperature for Ahmedabad was 44.8 degrees Celsius in 2018, which this year got reduced to 43.5 degrees Celsius.

Cyclone Tauktae brought in rains in May for the state, along with pre-monsoon activity in June, which resulted in cooler days for Ahmedabad, and Gujarat at large. Monsoon also arrived on time on June 15 in the state, said Met department officials.

The hypothesis is corroborated by EMRI 108 data that indicated less number of heat-related emergencies in 2021 compared to previous years. “But one must also take into account the exponential rise in Covid cases during the peak summer months,” said a senior official.

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