Delhi’s Palam observatory records Tuesday as hottest April day in 49 years
An IMD official said that even though such extreme temperatures qualify the weather to be classified as a heatwave, the label is used only when the maximum is five degrees above normal and over the 40°C mark for 48 hours. On Monday, it was 4°C above normal at Palam and 3°C above normal at Safdarjung.Updated: May 01, 2019 08:36 IST
The Palam observatory in the national capital recorded a maximum temperature of 45.3° Celsius, making Tuesday the hottest April day in at least five decades in the region as hot winds created heatwave-like conditions.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the temperature recorded at Safdarjung, which is taken to be representative of Delhi, was 43.7°C – a level not seen since 2010 in the month of April.
“The last time the temperature shot up so high at Palam, in the month of April, was on April 25, 1970. The day time mercury hasn’t gone beyond the 45-degree mark in the last decade at least in Palam. In April 2017, it went up to 44.9 degrees Celsius,” said a senior Met official, asking not to be named. The official added that the “very severe cyclonic storm” Fani that is gathering in the Bay of Bengal and headed towards the coast of Odisha could help lower temperatures slightly.
“Some comparatively cooler easterly winds will gush into the central and northwest parts of the country and bring down the temperature by a degree or two,” the official explained, but added that the maximum temperature is still unlikely to go below the 40°C mark over the next week.
“There is a possibility of a thunderstorm over the next two days. The temperature could drop to around 40 degrees by Friday,” the official added. While Palam’s 45.3 degrees was at least six degrees above normal, the temperature recorded at Safdarjung was at least five degrees above normal. At Ayanagar, the mercury touched 43.8°C.
An IMD official said that even though such extreme temperatures qualify the weather to be classified as a heatwave, the label is used only when the maximum is five degrees above normal and over the 40°C mark for 48 hours. On Monday, it was 4°C above normal at Palam and 3°C above normal at Safdarjung.
“The average monthly temperature of April 2019 was recorded to be 37.7 degrees which was at least 1.4 degrees above the mean April temperature of Delhi — 36.3 degrees,” said BP Yadav, deputy director general of IMD.
Delhi had an extended winter this year, but temperatures rose swiftly after Holi on March 22. “We have hardly got any rain or thunderstorm since then. Usually, rain and thunderstorms help keep the temperature under control. In the absence of such weather phenomenon, however, the mercury started rising unabated,” said Yadav.
First Published: May 01, 2019 01:28 IST