Heat wave conditions would continue to sweep the city for another 48 hours, before relief arrives in the form of a thunderstorm on Tuesday evening. But Met officials have warned that the respite won’t last long.
On Sunday, the mercury touched 44.1°C —the highest in the season so far. In Palam, it was a degree higher. Scientists of the Regional Weather Forecasting Centre in Delhi had predicted it earlier this week.
“There won’t be any change in the weather at least over the next two days. The day temperature would continue to hover around 44°C as hot north-westerly winds are sweeping the city,” said an official of the local Met department.
But relief is expected to arrive thereafter. Experts have predicted that a western disturbance and a cyclonic circulation would trigger a dust storm and thunderstorm between Tuesday night and Thursday evening.
“The thunderstorm would cool down the air in the high altitudes and because of the convection current, this colder air mass would come down to lower levels. As a result of this, the mercury level is expected to plummet to around 40°C,” said the official.
Such interim reliefs are normal during this time of the year as western disturbances and cyclonic circulations develop frequently. But sometimes, they affect only the hilly regions of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh and the plains are denied of any respite.
“But the heat wave would return once the effect of the thunderstorm fades. The mercury would again shoot up to around 44°C, triggering another spell of heat wave in the city,” he added.
Heat wave is a condition when the maximum temperature shoots up beyond the 40°C mark and is at least 5 degrees above the climatic normal. If it goes seven degrees above the climatic normal, it is called ‘severe heat wave’.
The city experienced heat wave conditions in April when the day temperature hovered around 42°C. Sunday’s temperature was higher than what Delhi had experienced in May 2016. Last year, the mercury had just touched 44°C.
The highest temperature that the city has ever recorded in the month of May was in the year 1944, when the mercury had shot up to 47.2°C.