India’s New Delhi city heatwave surpasses 50 degrees Celsius

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 29 May, 2024 08:57 | 2 mins read
Amidst the heatwave, people collect drinking water from a tanker at Vivekanand camp, in New Delhi, on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. PHOTO/PTI
Amidst the heatwave, people collect drinking water from a tanker at Vivekanand camp, in New Delhi, on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. PHOTO/PTI

The maximum temperature in India breached the critical threshold of 50°C for the first time this summer, coming close to an all-time high as deadly heat waves sweep across several states.

On Tuesday, May 28, 2024, the mercury hit a scorching 50.5°C in Churu, a city in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, according to the India Meteorological Department. This figure is just shy of the national record of 51°C, set in May 2016 in Phalodi, in the same region.

At least three weather stations in Delhi recorded maximum temperatures of 49 degrees Celsius or more.

In Mungeshpur and Narela, 49.9 degrees Celsius was recorded. This is nine notches above the normal temperature for this time of the year. Najafgarh was recorded at 49.8 degrees Celsius, while Pitampura and Pusa recorded 48.5 degrees.

Extreme heatwave

The extreme heat in Delhi has prompted the authorities to make the necessary arrangements to mitigate health risks like heatstroke and dehydration, and heart strain among others.

Experts have attributed head waves from Rajasthan as a key contributing factor to the extreme heat in Delhi. Mahesh Palawat, vice president of Meteorology and Climate Change at Skymet Weather said, “In open areas with vacant land, there is increased radiation. Direct sunlight and lack of shade make these regions exceptionally hot.”

“Parts of Delhi are particularly susceptible to the early arrival of these hot winds, worsening the already severe weather. Areas like Mungeshpur, Narela and Najafgarh are the first to experience the full force of these hot winds,” Kuldeep Srivastava, the regional head of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

What is a heatwave

A heatwave is declared over a region “when the actual maximum temperature remains 45 degrees Celsius or more irrespective of normal maximum temperature,” the Centre says.

According to the IMD, a heatwave is declared “if the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40 degrees Celsius or more for plains, 37 degrees Celsius or more for coastal stations and at least 30 degrees Celsius or more for Hilly region” for two or more days.

Women collect water from a tank in Jaipur. PHOTO/ PTI.

Other than Delhi, many places in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh also reported their highest maximum temperature for this season on Tuesday. In view of the conditions, the weather body has declared a red alert in the national capital, Haryana-Chandigarh, parts of Rajasthan, Punjab, UP and other north Indian cities till May 29.

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