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Frying pan to sauna: Humidity likely, to make it more uneasy for Delhiites

With the monsoon approaching, Delhiites would now have to brace for a sauna-like condition, in which the rising humidity would push the ‘heat index’ up adding to the discomfort levels.

delhi Updated: Jun 12, 2019 03:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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People use handkerchiefs to protect themselves from the heat on a hot day, at Civil lines Bus Stop, in New Delhi, India, on Saturday, June 8, 2019. (Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

The day time mercury in Delhi was recorded to be 44.5 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, which was at least five degrees above normal. It was a heat wave. The India Meteorological Department, however, said that this was probably the last heat wave of the season. There are chances of rain on Wednesday and Thursday.

The highest temperature in Delhi on Tuesday was recorded at the Ridge where the mercury touched 46.9 degrees Celsius. It was followed by CWG Sports Complex in east Delhi where the maximum temperature was 46.4 degrees Celsius.

But with the monsoon approaching, Delhiites would now have to brace for a sauna-like condition, in which the rising humidity would push the ‘heat index’ up adding to the discomfort levels.

“Because of cyclone Vayu, which has developed over the Arabian Sea, moisture-laden south-westerly winds would be gushing into Delhi. A western disturbance is also approaching from the north. Together, these two systems could trigger rain, thunderstorm and dust storms in Delhi over the next two days,” said a senior official of the IMD.

This could bring some respite as the temperature, which has been hovering around 44-45 degrees Celsius, is expected to drop to around 41 degrees Celsius. It could again rise to around 42 – 43 degrees Celsius later in the week but the IMD is not expecting any further heat waves.

“Usually Delhi encounters extremely high temperature with hot and dry conditions in the last ten days of May and the first ten days of June. After that easterly and south-westerly winds start blowing and the temperature drops. But as the humidity rises, it adds to the discomfort,” said the official.

Even though the IMD doesn’t measure the ‘heat index’, officials said that it is this index which adds to the discomfort of the people. Heat index combines temperature and relative humidity to determine how hot you actually feel. It is a measure of the actual stress on humans.

While Palam recorded 48 degrees Celsius on Monday, the second highest temperature it has ever recorded, on Tuesday the temperature dropped to 45.4 degrees, which was five degrees above normal. It was a heat wave. Other areas such as Lodhi Road, Ayanagar and Jafarpur in south-west Delhi also recorded above 45 degrees day temperature.

Monsoon usually arrives in Delhi on June 29. But this year it is expected to hit Delhi in the first week of July.

First Published: Jun 12, 2019 03:48 IST