North India swelters; mercury leaps to 49 degree Celsius in parts of Delhi

A withering heatwave swept across the national capital and its neighboring areas on Sunday, with Mungeshpur and Najafgarh observatories in Delhi reporting temperatures of 49.2 degree Celsius and 49.1 degree Celsius respectively. The temperature at Safdarjung Observatory, Delhi’s base station, was at 45.6 degree Celsius, five notches above the normal and the highest this year so far.

Maximum temperatures reached highs across other observatories as well, of which Sports Complex recorded 48.4 degree Celsius, Jafarpur lodged 47.5 degree Celsius, while Pitampura and Ridge recorded 47.3 and 47.2 degree Celsius respectively.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said a thunderstorm or a dust storm is likely in the national capital on Monday. With scanty rains owing to feeble Western Disturbances, Delhi had recorded its second hottest April this year since 1951 with a monthly average maximum temperature of 40.2 degrees Celsius. A heatwave at the end of that month had sent the maximums soaring to 46 and 47 degree Celsius in several parts of the city. Delhi received a minuscule 0.3 mm of rainfall in April against a monthly average of 12.2 mm. March saw no rainfall against a normal of 15.9 mm. The IMD had predicted above-normal temperatures in May.

According to the IMD, a heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature is over 40 degree Celsius and at least 4.5 notches above the normal. A severe heatwave is declared if the departure from normal temperature is more than 6.4 notches. Based on absolute recorded temperatures, a heatwave is declared when an area logs a maximum temperature of 45 degree Celsius. A severe heatwave is declared if the maximum temperature crosses the 47-degree Celsius mark.

Punjab and Haryana

The nearby areas across the national capital will also witness similar effects of the heatwave on Sunday. There was no respite from the tormenting heatwave in Punjab and Haryana as mercury hovered well above normal levels.

According to the meteorological department, Gurugram in Haryana recorded 48.1 degree Celsius, making it the hottest place in the two states even as maximum temperatures hovered well above 43 degree Celsius at most places. Among other places in Haryana, Hisar saw a high of 47.3 degree Celsius. Severe heat prevailed in Sirsa, which recorded a high of 47.2 deg C while Rohtak recorded a maximum of 46.7 deg C. Bhiwani experienced a high of 46 degrees Celsius. Ambala’s highest temperature during the day was 42.1 deg C while Karnal’s maximum settled at 42.4 deg C.

Muktsar in Punjab also reeled under extremely hot weather, recording a day-temperature of 47.4 degree Celsius.

Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, braved yet another hot day, with the maximum settling at 43 deg C.

Meanwhile, among other places in Punjab, intense heatwave prevailed in Bathinda, which recorded a high of 46.8 deg C while Amritsar sweltered under severe heat at 46.1 deg C. Ludhiana recorded a high of 45.5 deg C while Patiala’s maximum settled at 44.3 deg C. Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur, too, experienced hot weather, recording respective maximum temperatures of 46.2 deg C and 46.1 deg C.

Meanwhile, according to the MeT Department’s forecast, some relief from severe heat is expected in the two states on Tuesday. The weather is likely to be dry during the next 24 hours; light rain is anticipated at isolated places in the subsequent 48 hours, it said.

Jammu and Kashmir

Intense heatwave was witnessing in most parts of Jammu region with the mercury moving further up and settling at the season’s high of 43.9 degree Celsius, officials said on Sunday. The day temperature in Jammu was seven notches above normal for this time of the season, they said.

The city also marked a rise in the night temperature, which settled at 26.8 degrees Celsius – 3.3 notches above the season’s average.

Katra, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district, was the second hottest recorded place in Jammu region with a high of 41.5 degrees Celsius and a low of 23.8 degrees Celsius, the meteorological department said.

Meanwhile, the summer capital Srinagar recorded a dip in the maximum temperature which settled at 29.8 degree Celsius against Saturday’s 31.3 degrees Celsius. The day temperature in the city was 5.9 degrees above normal.

The night temperature was also three degrees above normal in Srinagar, which recorded a low of 13.6 degree Celsius, the officials said.

The weather office has predicted relief from the heatwave from Monday evening owing to inclement weather.

“There is a possibility of continuation of a dry and clear weather till May 16. Widespread moderate rain or thunderstorm with hailstorm at some places and snow over higher reaches is most likely during May 16 (evening) till May 18,” an official said.

Madhya Pradesh

People in large parts of Madhya Pradesh on Sunday got a little respite from the sultry weather with the mercury recording a slight dip of around one degree Celsius, even as Nowgaon and Khajuraho in Chhatarpur district continued to sizzle at 47 degrees Celsius.

On Saturday, both these places – Nowgaon and Khajuraho – had recorded the state’s highest maximum temperature of 48 degrees Celsius, an official said.

“The mercury level is expected to start going down from Tuesday. It might see a fall of two to four degree Celsius this week (from Monday),” PK Saha, senior meteorologist with the India Meteorological Department’s Bhopal office told PTI.

Kerala

Meanwhile, as rains continue to lash across Kerala days ahead of the expected onset of Southwest monsoon, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a red alert in five districts of the state for Sunday and Monday. IMD issued red alert in Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Malappuram and Kozhikode districts for Sunday.

Red alert has been issued in Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur districts for Monday. Except Kasaragod, other districts in the state have an orange alert for Sunday.

Revenue Minister K Rajan, who met the media, said directions have been issued to district collectors to deal with any emergencies.

“We held a meeting on Saturday, chaired by the Chief secretary. Directions have been issued to all district collectors and other authorities concerned. As of now, the rivers are not overflowing. We have issued special directions to Hilly districts and hazard analysts have been asked to closely monitor the situation,” Rajan said.

He said all departments concerned have been alerted and people from danger-prone areas will be evacuated without delay if necessary.

(With inputs from PTI)

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