Met issues heat wave alert after Delhi sizzles at 44 degrees, Palam at 46

Brace for the first heat wave of the season on Wednesday. With the day temperature in the city shooting up to 44 degrees Celsius on Tuesday and 46 degrees Celsius at the outskirts in Palam, the India Meteorological Department has issued a warning of a heat wave on Wednesday in Delhi.

Scientists of the regional weather forecasting centre (RMC) have warned that the day temperature in Delhi could touch 45 degrees Celsius by the weekend with a possibility of a dust storm on Thursday.

“Heat wave conditions are very likely at one or two pockets over Delhi, Haryana, Chandigarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh,” the IMD has warned.

Heat wave is a condition when the maximum temperature of a place shoots beyond 40 degrees and it is at least four degrees above the normal.

“The day temperature in all the weather monitoring stations in Delhi have crossed the 44 degree Celsius mark, which is at least four degrees above the normal. This fulfils the heat wave conditions. We usually wait for a day and if conditions remain the same for 48 hours, we declare a heat wave. We are expecting a heat wave on Wednesday,” said a senior official of the regional weather forecasting centre.

While the maximum temperature shot up to 44 degrees Celsius at Safdarjung, which was four degrees above the normal, the mercury touched 46 degrees Celsius at Palam, which was six degrees above the normal. At Aya Nagar and Ridge the temperature touched 44.7 degrees Celsius and 44.3 degrees respectively.

Delhi, however, has witnessed much higher temperature in previous years. The maximum temperature had shot up to 45.7 on May 24, 2013. It was the highest temperature Delhi had witnessed in the month of May in the past one decade. The highest May temperature ever recorded in Delhi was in the year 1944 when the mercury shot up to 47.2 degrees Celsius.

The IMD had earlier warned that the summer would be harsher this year between April and June over north, west and central India.

“Hot winds from the west, a clear sky and scarcity of moisture in the air are helping the mercury to shoot up. It could touch 45 degrees by the weekend,” said a scientist with the regional weather forecasting centre in New Delhi.

IMD scientists, however, said that the intense heat is paving the way for thunderstorms on Thursday. This would help bring down the mercury marginally. The relief, however, would be short-lived.

“There is a possibility of dust storm or thunderstorm on Thursday. This could bring down the temperature to around 42 degrees on Thursday. There are no chances of rain though as there is hardly any moisture left in the air. The temperature would, however, start shooting up again from Friday and could reach 45 by Sunday,” said an official.