The city saw the second hottest day in March in a decade on Wednesday, when the mercury soared to 40.8 degrees Celsius at Santacruz.
Terming the sudden rise in temperature as an “unusual but not rare” occurrence, officials from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) have forecast that the temperature would remain as high as 38 degrees Celsius in the next 48 hours.
The maximum temperature recorded at Santacruz on Wednesday was 8 degrees Celsius above normal, while Colaba experienced 36.3 degrees Celsius, 5 degrees above normal.
Minimum temperatures too were above normal. Colaba recorded 25.5 degrees Celsius, 2.4 degrees above normal, and Santacruz 22 degrees Celsius, 0.2 degrees above normal.
The hottest March day in the decade was 41.3 degrees Celsius, recorded on March 17, 2011, and the all time record for the hottest March day was on March 28, 1956, when the maximum temperature was 41.7 degrees Celsius.
The increase in temperature is attributed to easterly winds and delayed sea breeze on Wednesday. “Mumbai weather mainly depends on the onset of sea breeze. If the sea breeze sets in as usual by 11 am, the temperature stay normal, but like today, if the sea breeze is delayed and set in only after 12 pm, the temperature shoots up. Also, the wind direction was easterly, coming from the land side, and this combination raised the temperature,” said V K Rajeev, IMD Mumbai director.
Asha Pawar, 48, an aanganwadi sevika, died while protesting at Azad Maidan in CST on Wednesday. Police officials claim that Pawar fainted due to excessive heat and was brought dead to the nearby GT Hospital.
The exact reason for her death is yet to confirmed. The 700 aanganwadi workers were protesting against lack of remuneration paid by the government.