Mercury spikes to 42.6°C as Delhi sees its eighth heatwave of the month
Parts of Delhi also saw mercury shoot up further, with the Yamuna Sports Complex recording a maximum temperature of 45°C for the first time this year, followed by Mungeshpur (44.4°C), Pitampura (44.3°C) and Ayanagar (43.9°C)
Delhi recorded its eighth heatwave day of the month on Tuesday, with Safdarjung, the base station for the city’s weather, recording a maximum of 42.6 degrees Celsius (°C) — six degrees above normal and a degree above the previous day — making it the joint-highest maximum temperature for the year so far. Delhi recorded a high of 42.6°C on April 11 as well.
Parts of Delhi were even hotter on Tuesday, with the Yamuna Sports Complex recording a maximum of 45°C for the first time this year, followed by Mungeshpur (44.4°C), Pitampura (44.3°C) and Ayanagar (43.9°C).
A heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature is above 40°C and 4.5 degrees higher than normal, and a severe heatwave is when mercury is above 40°C and 6.5 degrees higher than normal. At eight, Delhi has recorded the highest number of heatwaves in April since 2010, when the Capital saw 11 heatwaves in the month.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast a maximum temperature of 41-42°C in most parts of Delhi on Wednesday, even as gusty winds of up to 30-40km/hr and drizzle in some parts of the city is expected to bring down the temperature in the evening.
IMD scientist RK Jenamani said that though the maximum temperature of 42.6°C was equivalent to the one recorded on April 11, Tuesday was hotter as mercury shot above 43°C at eight of the 12 weather stations in Delhi. “On April 11, this was the case only in seven stations. If we compare the maximum at each of the stations, Tuesday’s maximum temperature was higher overall,” said Jenamani, adding that relief is expected from Wednesday as a western disturbance is likely to cause overcast skies, gusty winds and possible light rain activity in the evening.
“This activity will occur towards Wednesday night and on Thursday as well. While Wednesday will still be warm during the day, the dust storm and thunderstorm activity, along with possible rain, will bring down mercury by two-three degrees in most parts of Delhi by Thursday. We expect a maximum of around 39°C on both Thursday and Friday,” he said.
Delhi has seen a dry spell with no rain since February 27. While there was a light drizzle activity in parts of the Capital on April 14, Safdarjung did not record any rainfall.
According to IMD’s seven-day forecast, the maximum temperature is only expected to return to the 40-degree mark by Saturday, and rise to 42°C by Monday.
The unusual heat across the Capital has prevailed since March, which saw the fourth highest average maximum (32.9°C) between 1951 and 2022, behind only 2021(33.1°C), 2004 (33.4°C) and 1953 (34.4°C).