Max temperature in Delhi touches 32.5°C — highest in 15 years
Delhi on Wednesday recorded the highest maximum temperature for the month of February since 2006, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD) recordings.
On Wednesday, the maximum temperature recorded at the Safdarjung weather station, which is considered the official marker for the city, was 32.5 degrees Celsius, seven degrees above the season’s normal. The minimum temperature was 12 degrees Celsius, a notch above what is considered normal for this time of the year.
Before this, in 2018 and 2017, the day time temperatures had crossed the 32 degrees Celsius mark. On February 23, 2018, the maximum temperature was 32 degrees Celsius, while on February 21, 2017, the maximum temperature had touched 32.4 degrees Celsius.
According to IMD, this was the warmest February day in at least the last 15 years, when the city had recorded day temperature of 34.1 degrees Celsius.
IMD scientists warned that the temperature was likely to soar further in the coming days. Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre, said that there is a possibility that the maximum temperature could touch 33-34 degrees Celsius in the next two days.
“The temperatures are already hovering in the 31-32 degrees Celsius range, there is definitely a chance that the mercury could rise by a few points and reach 33-34 degrees Celsius. Whether it will break the 2006 record remains to be seen,” Srivastava said.
He also explained that February this year has been recording higher than normal temperatures throughout and this was primarily because of fewer active western disturbances and clear skies; that has led to sunlight hitting the surface uninterrupted.
“Generally, in the month of February we get around six active western disturbances. But this year, Delhi last saw an active western disturbance was on February 4. This prolonged spell without a western disturbance has led to clear skies, causing heating of the ground,” Srivastava said.
Meanwhile, the air quality remained in the ‘poor’ zone on Wednesday. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recordings show that the overall air quality index (AQI) of Delhi was 278. On Tuesday, the average AQI was 250, also in the ‘poor’ category.
IMD forecast said that there is a possibility of improvement in air quality from February 26, when the AQI is likely to come down to the ‘moderate’ range.