A cold wave in the plains happens when the temperature goes below 10 degrees Celsius and the lowest temperature falls below 4.5 degrees Celsius, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). The temperature must be 0 degrees Celsius for hills.
A severe cold wave happens in the plains when the temperature dips below 6.4 degrees Celsius or falls below 2 degrees Celsius. It’s “a condition of air temperature that becomes fatal to the human body when exposed,” according to the IMD. Every five days, the ‘normal’ temperature is calculated by averaging all of these days over the past 30 years.
According to the India Meteorological Department’s Annual Statement on Climate of India – 2022, the largest number of human deaths due to extreme weather events in three years – 2,227 – was reported in 2022.
This highlighted the importance of greater disaster management planning, weather alerts, and climate-friendly living circumstances. According to previous climate statements published by the IMD, the death toll in 2021 was 1,750, and in 2020, 1,338 people perished in India.
According to the IMD’s climate statements, lightning strikes and thunderstorms killed 1,285 individuals last year (58 percent of overall deaths), up from 787 in 2021 and 737 in 2020. Lightning and thunderstorms were responsible for 415 of the 418 deaths in Bihar.
Other states that suffered casualties from lightning and thunderstorms were Odisha (168), Jharkhand (122), Madhya Pradesh (116), Uttar Pradesh (81), Rajasthan (78), Chhattisgarh (71), Maharashtra (64) and Assam (58).
Similarly, severe rain, floods, and landslides were the second leading cause of death in 2022, killing 835 lives (37%), up from 759 in 2021 and 414 in 2020.
Following Bihar, the states most exposed to extreme weather events were Assam (257 casualties), Uttar Pradesh (201), Maharashtra and Odisha (194 each), Jharkhand (130), Rajasthan (126), Madhya Pradesh (117), and Chhattisgarh (117). (79). According to the IMD estimate, union territories such as Delhi, Ladakh, and Puducherry, as well as Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, and Punjab, would have less than 10 fatalities in 2022.
According to the most recent climate statement, last year was the fifth hottest year on record, with annual mean surface air temperatures averaging +0.51 degrees Celsius higher than the long-term average (1981 – 2010).
Except for winter, when the all-India mean temperature was normal, all other seasons had higher-than-average mean temperatures, with increases ranging from 0.36 to 1.6 degrees Celsius, according to the IMD.
In fact, the average monthly temperature in December was 21.49 degrees Celsius, the hottest in 122 years. In addition, India’s annual rainfall last year was 108% of the Long Period Average, with all seasons seeing normal to above-average rainfall.
2022 will also be remembered as the year in which the North Indian Ocean basin — comprised of the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea — was most active in recent memory. In 2022, this basin saw 15 cyclonic disturbances, compared to a normal of 11.2. This included three cyclones, Asani, Sitrang, and Mandous, which killed five people in India and 38 people in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka combined.