June 11, 2019 1:45:36 am
Temperatures soared in the city Monday as Palam recorded a maximum temperature of 48 degrees Celsius — the highest in 21 years. At Safdarjung observatory, considered the official weather station for the city since 1941, the maximum temperature was 45.6 degrees Celsius, the highest in six years.
A slight respite in the form of a dust storm is expected Tuesday, when the maximum temperature at Safdarjung is expected to be 44 degrees Celsius.
Consistently dry weather, long gap between western disturbances and westerly winds are primary reasons behind the heat wave, officials at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. In small areas, like the capital, a heat wave is declared if the maximum temperature is recorded at 45 degrees Celsius even for a day, it said.
“The whole of North West India is witnessing this heat wave. Dry weather and low moisture is aiding such high temperatures… Western Rajasthan is also reeling. This time around, there has been a long gap between western disturbances that have affected the plains. Western disturbances are expected over the western Himalayas starting tonight but the plains are not expected to see much relief,” said a senior IMD official.
Delhi, which usually sees 8.6 mm of rain in the first 10 days of June, is yet to see any this year. IMD records show that the highest temperature recorded at Palam since 1952, since when records have been maintained at the station, was 48.4 degrees Celsius on May 26, 1998. At Safdarjung, the highest temperature ever recorded was 47.2 degrees Celsius on May 29, 1944.
The highest temperature of the season is usually recorded in the last week of May, as June has more days with rains. “In May this year, Delhi saw light rain almost every week and was affected more by Himalayan western disturbances, which is why temperatures didn’t climb. This year, dry and hot weather is being seen primarily in June. Monsoon was also delayed by a week,” the IMD official said.
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