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Heatwave scorches north India as mercury touches 46 degrees; respite soon?

The threshold for a heatwave is met when the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40 degrees Celsius in the plains

Women cover their faces with scarves to protect themselves from the heat on a hot summer day, in New Delhi (Photo: PTI)

Photo: PTI

BS Web Team New Delhi

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The parts of north, west, and central India have been reeling under a blistering heatwave. On Monday, the maximum temperature in parts of Delhi soared to 46 degrees Celsius. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that the temperature is expected to stay high on Tuesday.

The threshold for a heatwave is met when the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40 degrees Celsius in the plains, at least 37 degrees Celsius in coastal areas, and at least 30 degrees Celsius in hilly regions, and the departure from normal is at least 4.5 degrees Celsius.

Mercury in the red in Delhi, other parts of North India

On Monday, the Safdarjung Observatory, Delhi's primary weather station, recorded a maximum temperature of 43.7 degrees Celsius -- four notches above normal and the maximum so far this year. The mercury soared to 46.2 degrees Celsius at Najafgarh, making it the hottest place in the capital.

Narela (45.3 degrees Celsius), Pitampura (45.8 degrees Celsius), and Pusa (45.8 degrees Celsius) also recorded heatwave conditions.

The maximum temperature in the national capital region (NCR) has climbed rapidly in the last few days. The highest recorded temperatures in Delhi reached a maximum of 40 degrees Celsius on Saturday, climbed to above 42 degrees on Sunday, and reached 44 degrees Celsius on Monday.

According to reports, Chandigarh has been witnessing rising temperatures for the past two days. On Sunday, the temperature exceeded 40 degrees Celsius. Punjab and Haryana are also reeling under the scorching heatwave with numerous locations recording temperatures as high as 44 degrees.

In another incidence of the heatwaves, mercury crossed 45 degrees in the Prayagraj district of Uttar Pradesh. With temperatures soaring at 40 degrees Celsius, the demand for sweet and savoury sattu drinks has increased among people in Bihar to beat the heat waves.

Every year, the heat waves affect the Northern states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, and Rajasthan generally in the month of May and June.

Respite soon?

"Currently a spell of high temperature is over northwest India. Heatwave conditions were realized over Rajasthan, South Uttar Pradesh, and MP. Heatwave conditions will persist over South Haryana, South UP, and parts of Delhi, and South Bengal. They will see heatwave conditions today as well. There is a fresh western disturbance coming, so the temperature will fall and the heatwave conditions will alleviate," Soma Sen Roy, an IMD scientist said while talking to ANI.

The IMD said a western disturbance active over the western Himalayan region will bring "rain, hailstorm, and gusty winds" in the northwestern plains starting Wednesday.

As a result, the maximum temperature will drop to 36 degrees Celsius by Thursday.

(With agency inputs)

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First Published: May 23 2023 | 11:01 AM IST

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