Heatwaves In India To Impact Vegetable Cultivation, But Not Wheat, Says IMD Official

Wheat—a winter crop—has been harvested nearly 90% in key producing states like Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>A vegetable market. (Source: Stephanie Liao/Unsplash)</p></div>
A vegetable market. (Source: Stephanie Liao/Unsplash)

The impending heatwaves in India this summer will have a bearing on cultivation of vegetables and other crops, but wheat production will go on largely unscathed, a senior weather department official said.

Nearly 90% wheat—which is a winter crop—has been harvested in key producing states like Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, and the rest will be completed in the next two weeks, India Meteorological Department official DS Pai told NDTV Profit. "There will be no impact of temperature (rise) on wheat."

For vegetables and other crops, regions that do not have good irrigation facilities can experience stress in cultivation, he said.

India is expected to encounter extreme weather conditions this year, with above-normal heatwave days forecast in certain regions of South India and North India during April, the weather office said on Monday.

Additionally, above-normal maximum temperatures are foreseen over much of the country, from April to June. About 10-20 days of heatwave are expected in different parts of the country, against the normal 4-8 days.

India Braces For Extreme Weather: More Heatwave Days Expected In April-June

Monsoon Hopes

In the early part of the April-May-June period, southern India will face heatwaves, which will then progress towards the north, west and the east coast in May and June, Pai said.

"As monsoon approaches, heat will abate. It depends on how soon rains progress in central and northern India," the IMD official said.

Some model forecasts indicate El Niño conditions will weaken by June and La Niña will set in around September, Pai said. In such a scenario, monsoon will be normal or above normal for this year. "We will get much better forecast in May."

El Niño is usually linked to above-normal temperatures, warm winters, and low rainfall, which were all observed in 2023.

La Niña, on the other hand, brings cooler sea surface temperatures, leading to increased rainfall in certain parts of India.

India’s Searing Heat Wave Boosts RBI Case To Wait On Rate Cuts