India Heat Wave as Monsoon Eagerly Awaited

May 24, 2012; 5:58 PM ET
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The effect of pre-Monsoon heat and drought show clearly in this image of boys walking the desiccated Sabarmati River in Ahmadabad, India, Monday, May 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

Sweltering heat, the hottest of 2012 in some areas, has spread discomfort across the Indian subcontinent, spurring anticipation of the coming rainy season.

Tuesday, Patna reached 44.4 degrees C, or 112 F, in its hottest day of the year thus far, the Times of India website said on Wednesday.

Weather data accessed by AccuWeather.com showed that Patna reached 44.3 degrees C on Wednesday.

Heat wave warnings were posted by the India Meteorological Department for this part of India's north, including the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the Times said.

Other parts of India have been even hotter. Tuesday's India hot spot was Brahmapuri, which topped at 46.3 degrees C, or 115 F.

Allahabad, Nagpur, Gaya, Raipur and Ramagundam were but a few of the cities reaching the heat wave benchmark of 45 degrees C, or 113 F, Tuesday. Wednesday burned still hotter for Ramagundam, with 46.5 degrees C (116 F) being registered, according to data available to AccuWeather.com.

Meanwhile, Pakistan recorded comparable readings, including several cities in the Sindh region topping 45 degrees C on Wednesday.

Intense heat is a yearly occurrence in the weeks leading up to the rain-giving summer monsoon, which normally begins to overspread the subcontinent near the start of June.

The southern state of Kerala is normally the first part of India's mainland to be visited by the summer monsoon, which then takes several weeks to reach its fullest extent across the subcontinent.

In some years, especially severe heat waves have killed hundreds of people. About 1,400 people died in South Asia within three weeks during pre-monsoon heat in 2003, according to Reuters.

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