The mercury has begun its annual climb. This time, it looks set to break a record or two. In the past week, Delhi has seen maximum temperatures up to 10º Celsius higher than they were this time last year.
Day temperatures have already started hovering uncomfortably close to the signature 40º mark. Saturday was 38.7ºC — relatively cooler compared to the 39.2ºC recorded a week ago, but a good five degrees more than what it should be this time of the year.
What makes matters worse is that even night temperatures are not providing any relief. The minimum temperatures are consistently between 21 and 23ºC — Saturday’s being 23.1, again five degrees more than normal.
Going by 100-year trend of daily temperatures, the maximum and minimum should have been 34 and 18ºC, respectively.
Why this unseasonable heat wave? The weatherman blamed the lack of rainfall.
“There is not a drop of rain anywhere in northwestern India. By this time we should have had a few spells of rain and thundershowers to balance things a bit,” said the duty officer at the Safdarjung unit of the India Meteorological Department.
There is no relief in sight either. “There might be some drizzles in J&K presently but not good enough for any relief in the plains,” he said.
Thanks to the heat wave, last month became the second warmest March ever in Delhi. All of north India is suffering unseasonably hot weather. The next few days will be similar.