At 45.7°C, Chandigarh swelters at 70-year June high - Hindustan Times
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At 45.7°C, Chandigarh swelters at 70-year June high

By, Chandigarh
Jun 17, 2024 08:10 AM IST

At 45.7°C, the maximum temperature was the highest since June 13, when it had gone up to 45.6°C at this observatory

The second week of June ended on a blistering note, with the maximum temperature on Sunday shooting up to 45.7°C at the airport observatory, the highest in the month since the India Meteorological Department (IMD) started keeping records for Chandigarh around 1953.

Visitors taking cover under umbrellas amid the searing heat at Sukhna Lake on Sunday. (Keshav Singh/HT)
Visitors taking cover under umbrellas amid the searing heat at Sukhna Lake on Sunday. (Keshav Singh/HT)

Relief, however, is on the horizon, with rain expected from Tuesday onwards.

At 45.7°C, the maximum temperature was the highest since June 13, when it had gone up to 45.6°C at this observatory. Until Sunday, this was the hottest June day in the past 70 years, tied with June 8, 1995, and June 1, 2012, when the same temperature was recorded.

However, it’s still one degree below 46.7°C on May 29 this year, the hottest day ever recorded in Chandigarh, which remains fresh in residents’ memory.

The maximum temperature on Sunday was also 9.1 degrees above normal, which IMD officials confirmed was almost unheard of in this region, though no records are maintained in this regard. Even when the temperature had jumped to the all-time high of 46.7°C on May 29, it was 6.6 degrees above normal.

IMD Chandigarh director AK Singh explained that as the city was reeling under an extended dry spell, with no rain in May and only 3 mm rain in June so far, the day temperature was recording a significant departure from normal.

The same dry spell, leading to clear sunny weather, combined with dry westerly winds from Rajasthan, was further compounding the heat in the region, he added.

Western Disturbance around the corner

Singh shared that a fresh Western Disturbance (WD) was expected to affect the city from Tuesday, so some relief can be expected this week.

While there is a small likelihood of rain on Tuesday, chances of rain will continue up to Friday, as per IMD.

It will, however, take at least till Wednesday for the temperature to get affected.

Singh further mentioned that these showers had nothing to do with the monsoon or pre-monsoon. The monsoon system is starting to enter Gujarat and will most likely reach the city by the end of the month. The incoming WD is unlikely to hamper the path of the monsoon system even though its progress has been slow in the past few days.

Even at the Sector 39 observatory, the maximum temperature went up from 43.8°C on Saturday to 44.4°C on Sunday, highest since 44.6°C on June 13 and 7.8 degrees above normal.

Consequently, severe heatwave conditions continued to prevail at both stations for the second consecutive day.

Severe heatwave is declared here when the maximum temperature goes above 40°C, along with over 6.5 degrees above normal. The maximum temperature in Mohali was 44.2°C and in Panchkula 43.6°C.

City also records warmest night of the season

The intervening night between Saturday and Sunday was also the warmest night of the season, as the minimum temperature rose from previous day’s 28.4°C to 31.3°C.

Before this, the minimum temperature had come up to 31.2°C on May 23.

At 31.3°C, the temperature was 4.8 degrees above normal. Even at the airport observatory, the minimum temperature went up to 32.9°C, 6.4 degrees above normal.

IMD classifies this as “warm night”, which is declared when the maximum temperature crosses 40°C and the minimum temperature goes 4.5 to 6.4 degrees above normal.

When it goes over 6.5 degrees above normal, a “severe warm night” is declared, which hasn’t happened so far this season, but is likely in the coming days.

Singh explained that although the WD was still far from the region, clouds were starting to form that was expected to make the nights even warmer in the coming days. Relief is only likely around Thursday after it starts raining.

Over the next three days, the maximum temperature may drop to anywhere between 43°C and 45°C, while the minimum temperature will hover between 31°C and 33°C.

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