Natural Hazards

, Volume 87, Issue 1, pp 395–414 | Cite as

Analysis and prediction of a catastrophic Indian coastal heat wave of 2015

  • Venkata B. DodlaEmail author
  • G. Ch. Satyanarayana
  • Srinivas Desamsetti
Original Paper


Heat wave of 2015 over India, a natural disaster with 2500 human deaths, was studied to understand the characteristics, associated atmospheric circulation patterns and to evaluate its predictability. Although temperatures are highest in May over India, occurrence of heat wave conditions over southeast coastal parts of India in May 2015 had been unanticipated. Analyses revealed that isolated region of Andhra Pradesh (AP) had experienced severe heat wave conditions during May 23–27, 2015, with temperatures above 42 °C and the sudden escalation by 7–10 °C within a short span of 2–3 days. Short-range weather predictions with Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting model at 3-km resolution, up to 72-h lead time, have been found accurate with statistical metrics of small mean absolute error and root-mean-square error and high index of agreement confirming the predictability of the heat wave evolution. Analyses have indicated that regional atmospheric pressure disparities within the Eurasia region, i.e., increased pressure gradient between the Middle East and India, had been responsible for increased northwest wind flow over to northwest India and to southeast India which have advected higher temperatures. Estimates of warm air advection have shown heat accumulation over AP region, due to sea breeze effect. The study led to the conclusion that changing pressure gradients between Middle East and India, enhancement of northwest wind flow with warm air advection and sea breeze effect along southeast coast blocking the free flow have contributed to the observed heat wave episode over coastal Andhra Pradesh.


Heat wave Indian coast Numerical prediction Temperature advection Atmospheric circulations 



The authors acknowledge the sources of data from National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), National Center for Atmospheric Research NCAR), India Meteorological Department (IMD), and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Venkata B. Dodla
    • 1
    Email author
  • G. Ch. Satyanarayana
    • 1
  • Srinivas Desamsetti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Atmospheric ScienceK L UniversityVaddeswaramIndia

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