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What is a heat wave? Explain the occurrence of it in India and discuss how long can it last?

Topic:  Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

2. What is a heat wave? Explain the occurrence of it in India and discuss how long can it last?(250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express 

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and is based on the phenomenon of Heatwaves, their occurrence in the country.

Key demand of the question:

Explain what Heatwaves are, their occurrence in India and discuss their impact and time period.


Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:


Heat waves occur over India between March and June. Meteorologists declare a heatwave event when the maximum (day) temperature for a location in the plains crosses 40 degrees Celsius. Over the hills, the threshold temperature is 30 degrees Celsius. When the day temperature jumps by 4 to 5 degrees above the normal maximum temperature of a location, it is declared as a heatwave.


Explain the phenomenon in detail. Discuss the context of India, present a timeline of its occurrence in the past and in the present. Explain how long can it last and discuss the spatial pattern of it.


Conclude with its impact and solutions to address and mitigate the effect of it.