North India (along with south-east Pakistan) was the warmest region of the world on Tuesday. Churu in Rajasthan hit 50 degrees Celsius, becoming the world’s hottest spot of the day, along with Jacobabad in Pakistan, also at 50 degrees, according to the El Dorado website that tracks global temperatures.
The temperature gauge at Delhi’s Safdurjung, considered the base for the capital, touched 46.0 degrees Celsius, six notches above normal, equalling the level reached in May 2002. A higher temperature than this was last recorded in 29 May 1998, when the mercury hit 46.5 degrees C. The all-time record for Safdarjung for May is 47.2 degrees C, recorded on 29 May, 1944.
Palam was even hotter at 47.6, six notches above normal, the joint highest for the station since May 2010. The all-time record for Palam for the month is 48.4 degree Celsius, recorded on 26 May 1998.
Other parts of the capital too recorded sizzling high temperatures — Ayanagar 46.8 degrees C, six above normal, and Lodi Road 45.4 degrees C, five points above normal.
According to a met official, heat wave conditions were witnessed at most places in the capital, while the Palam area experienced a severe heat wave.
“Strong northwesterly winds from Rajasthan/east Pakistan have been blowing across the region ever since cyclone Amphan made landfall and moved eastwards, sucking the moisture away from north India,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, head of the IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre.
According to an IMD bulletin, heat wave conditions over plains of northwest India, central India and adjoining interior parts of eastern India are very likely to continue to prevail mainly during the next two days.
“Meteorological sub-division wise, isolated severe heat wave conditions with heat wave at many places are very likely over Vidarbha during 26-27 May. Heat wave conditions are likely at a few places over Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, west Uttar Pradesh, east Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and at isolated places over Punjab and east Uttar Pradesh on May 27,” it stated.
However, under the influence of a western disturbance and formation of an east-west trough in the lower levels and likely rain or thunderstorm from May 28 and 29, the maximum temperatures over plains of north India are likely to recede from 28 May onwards, with a substantial reduction of heat wave conditions from the 29th, it said.
On Wednesday, mainly clear sky with strong surface winds during the day (speed 20-30 km per hour) is expected along with heat wave conditions at a few places. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 45 and 28 degree Celsius respectively.
In terms of air quality, it was a “moderate” day on Monday with an AQI of 154, according to Central Pollution Control Board.
However, dust from desert regions of Rajasthan, Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan is expected to foul up the city air on Wednesday and Thursday.
According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), increased wind speed is forecasted for the next 48 hours and thereby increase in long-range dust is expected.
“The AQI is forecasted to deteriorate and at the high end of moderate to poor category for Wednesday. Dust storm is likely over desert regions of Rajasthan on May 27 and 28,” However, the current wind direction (west–northwesterly) will not let it reach severe levels and thereby partial deterioration of air quality to poor category is expecting on May 28, it said.