In the national capital, rain shortfall is believed to be one of the reasons behind the intense spell of heatwave. Delhi saw a new high temperature record on Sunday with 49°C in Mungeshpur near the Haryana border with Gururgam at 48°C, the highest since May 1966.
RK Jenamani, scientist at IMD (India Meteorological Department), said, “We have seen western disturbances in March, April and May, but none strong enough to bring substantial rainfall. Most either led to cloudy skies or stronger winds, which can push the maximum temperature by a degree or two, but cannot provide relief.”
Many other parts of the country – including Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh continue to bear the brunt of the sizzling temperatures. Sunday was the hottest day in the capital city this year so far. The national capital is reported to have seen only two rainy days in the last few weeks 0.3 mm of rain on April 21 and 1.4 mm of rain on May 4. Last month was also the second hottest April in nearly seven decades. While most weather stations in the city registered readings at 45°C, Mungeshpur and Najafgarh (in south-east Delhi) recorded readings above 49°C.
“We have issued a red alert for Rajasthan for an intense spell of the heatwave, and a yellow alert for tomorrow. Similarly, we have issued an orange alert for Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, eastern Madhya Pradesh and Delhi,” senior IMD scientist Naresh Kumar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI on Sunday.
In UP, Banda on Sunday recorded the maximum temperature at 49 degrees while in Jhansi, it was 47.6 degrees. Orai, Hamirpur, Varanasi, Churk were the other parts where mercury surged past the 45 degree-mark. The IMD even tweeted from its official handle:
“Today’s maximum temperatures more than 45 Degree C (data from manual surface observatories). For more data, please visit respective state/regional meteorological webpages/social media [email protected] @moesgoi @DDNewslive”
While the northern and central parts tackle the heatwave spell, Kerala has braced for heavy rain.
The IMD, in its daily weather bulletin, said that on May 15, “Heat wave conditions in most parts with severe heat wave conditions in many parts very likely over West Rajasthan; heat wave conditions in most parts with severe heat wave conditions in some parts over East Rajasthan; heat wave conditions in many parts with severe heat wave conditions in isolated pockets over Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana-Delhi; heat wave conditions in isolated pockets over Jammu Division, Jharkhand and Vidarbha.”
Cloudy sky may provide some relief from the intense heat next week. “On May 16, thunderstorm accompanied with lightning and hail/gusty winds (speed 30-40 kmph) at isolated places is likely over Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand; with lightning and hail/gusty winds (speed 40-50 kmph) at isolated places Kerala and Mahe; with lightning/gusty winds (speed 30-40 kmph) at isolated places over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, Odisha, Gangetic West Bengal and Andaman-Nicobar Islands and with lightning at isolated places over East Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Lakshadweep and Tamilnadu-Puducherry-Karaikal,” read the bulletin.
The weather agency advised people with moderate health conditions residing in Northern India to avoid venturing outside their homes unless absolutely essential.