Heatwave scorches north India; Delhi records hottest day in May in 18 years

Heatwave conditions intensified in most parts of the northern states on Tuesday, with Churu in Rajasthan scorching at 50-degree Celsius and the mercury breaching the 47-degree mark in parts of the national capital.

Kuldeep Srivastava, Head of IMD's Regional Weather Forecasting Centre, said, "Churu today had the highest maximum temperature at 50-degree Celsius. In the last 10 years, this is the second time the maximum temperature has surpassed this mark. Earlier on May 18, 2010, a temperature of 50.2-degree Celsius was recorded."

In Delhi, the Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative figures for the city, recorded a maximum of 46 degrees Celsius, as Delhi sweltered under a scorching heat wave.

Heat Wave hits Delhi. Severe Heat Wave at Palam @Indiametdept @IMDWeather pic.twitter.com/uMSbLOzs8S

— RWFC New Delhi (@RWFC_ND) May 26, 2020

The last time the mercury at the Safdarjung weather station touched the 46-degrees-Celsius mark was on May 19, 2002, said Srivastava.

The Palam area recorded 47.6-degree Celsius, six notches above the normal, followed by Aya Nagar, Safdarjung and Lodhi Road, news agency PTI reported.

In large areas, a heat wave is declared when the maximum temperature is 45 degrees Celsius for two consecutive days and a severe heat wave is when the mercury touches the 47 degrees-mark for two days on the trot.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had said earlier on Tuesday that heatwave conditions will peak due to the prevailing dry winds over northwest India, central India and adjoining interior parts of eastern India.

Bikaner, Ganganagar, Kota and Jaipur recorded maximum temperatures of 47.4 degrees Celsius, 47 degrees Celsius, 46.5 degrees Celsius and 45 degrees Celsius, respectively.

Heat wave conditions continued unabated at many places in Uttar Pradesh with Allahabad being the hottest place in the state at 47.1 degrees Celsius, the meteorological department said.

Such conditions are likely to continue for another three-four days over the state, it added.

Day temperatures rose appreciably over Gorakhpur and Faizabad divisions, it said.

The hot weather conditions will also prevail in isolated pockets over Punjab, Chhattisgarh, interior Odisha, Gujarat, Maharashtra, interior Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar and Jharkhand for the next two to three days.

Haryana and Punjab including Chandigarh were in the grip of severe heat on Tuesday, with Hisar turning out to be the hottest place in the region at 48 degrees Celsius.

Hisar in Haryana recorded its hottest day of the current summer season so far, with the maximum temperature settling five notches above the normal, the Met department said.

Narnaul recorded at 46 degrees Celsius and Karnal at 44 degrees Celsius. In Punjab, Patiala recorded a high of 44.7 degrees Celsius and Ludhiana 44.1 degrees Celsius.

In Gujarat, the temperature ranged between 39 degrees Celsius to 43 degrees Celsius, with Ahmedabad recording 43.7 degrees Celsius, while heat wave prevailed in central Maharashtra and Marathwada regions. The maximum temperature was above normal in most parts of the Konkan region.

Srivastava said that there will be a respite from May 28 night onwards when western disturbance will affect northwest India and easterly winds will prevail in the lower levels.

The western disturbance is a cyclonic storm that originates in the Mediterranean Sea and travels across central Asia. When it comes in contact with the Himalayas, it brings rains to the hills and the plains.

Besides the heatwave, due to strong southerly wind from Bay of Bengal, heavy to extremely heavy rainfall is expected at isolated places in Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh till May 28.

For Assam and Meghalaya, however, the IMD has issued a red-colour coded weather alert from May 26-28, predicting very heavy rainfall in these two northeastern states.
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