Uttarakhand is likely to receive light rain on Wednesday, bringing further relief to the hill state which has been smouldering with forest fires.
According to the Dehradun Meteorological Centre, a few places in the high-altitude districts of Chamoli, Pithoragarh and Uttarkashi are most likely to receive the rainfall.
Bikram Singh, director of the Dehradun Meteorological Centre, said rain will cover around 25-50% of the state, and will help douse the forest fires. Around 3,500 hectares of Uttarakhand’s forest land has been gutted in the fires since this February.
In nearby Delhi, rain remained elusive. Despite a cloudy Tuesday and Wednesday morning, the national capital is yet to get respite from the heat. Monday was the hottest day of the season, with Safdarjung recording 44 degrees Celsius. However, strong winds from a western disturbance brought down the mercury to some extent.
Delhi is hoping Thursday’s forecast of rain and thunderstorm comes true.
Further west in the northern belt, Rajasthan remained dry in most places though very light rainfall came down in isolated areas in Jaipur, Ajmer and Bikaner. The heat wave continued in other places of the state, particularly those falling under the Jodhpur and Bikaner divisions.
Churu was the hottest place in Rajasthan, recording a maximum temperature of 45.5 degrees Celsius. According to MeT department officials, light rain accompanied by thunderstorms could occur in isolated places on Wednesday.
Heat wave conditions also persisted in Odisha, Maharashtra, Bihar and Haryana, with some places recording the highest temperatures in the season so far.
Odisha is experiencing an unprecedented heat wave with temperatures hovering around 42 degrees Celsius. Sixteen stations recorded temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, of which three stations recorded above 44 degrees Celsius.
More than 140 people reportedly died due sunstroke though the government confirmed only 14 deaths.
Given the severe weather conditions, schools will remain closed till June second week.
Similarly, in Maharashtra, mercury hovered around the 44 degrees Celsius mark. The highest maximum temperature was recorded at Vidarbha district in the last 24 hours.
On Wednesday morning, however, India Meterological Department (IMD) observatories across the state predicted thundershowers in water-starved Marathwada, central Maharashtra and Vidarbha for the next four days.
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, which are reeling under similar heat wave conditions, cooled down with recurring thundershowers in the evenings. Day temperatures remained around 40-46 degrees Celsius in both states, but gale and rains for a couple of hours brought some relief.
Official figures recorded 219 deaths due to the heat in Telangana, including 41 on Tuesday alone. In Andhra Pradesh, 42 deaths were reported on Tuesday. Several districts of Telangana are facing acute drought conditions with severe drinking water crisis and lack of fodder for cattle.
In Patna too, temperatures dropped by about eight degrees due to a sudden downpour brought in by the easterly winds on Tuesday night. Mercury readings had crossed the 44 degrees Celsius-mark in the state.
In Chandigarh as well, the weatherman predicted some rains on Wednesday evening and Thursday that will bring readings down from 40 degree Celsius.
On May 2, the maximum temperature was recorded at 42.7 degrees Celsius, breaking a 32-year record. It was the highest maximum temperature on the date since 1982.
In the south, the IMD forecast the temperatures in coastal Tamil Nadu to remain below 40 degrees Celsius, with the highest temperature recorded in the state capital Chennai on Tuesday being 36.1 degrees Celsius. Chennai will continue to experience dry weather.
Wednesday marks the beginning of Agninakshatram in the Tamil calendar, typically the hottest part of the year.
(With inputs from agencies)