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Traffic, green cover, vehicular pollution among others determine local temperature in Delhi

According to India State of Forest Report, East Delhi has around 5.78% of area under forest cover. New Delhi and South Delhi have around 46% and 33% forest cover.

delhi Updated: Jun 12, 2019 06:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
delhi,heatwave in delhi,temperature in delhi
Indians sit under the shade of trees to beat the heat in New Delhi, India, Monday, June 10, 2019. (AP file photo)

What is the hottest place in Delhi? If your guess is Palam, then you will be wrong.

The day temperature in other areas of Delhi, such as the Ridge and CWG Sport Complex, surpassed the temperature in Palam on Tuesday, not for the first time. But the maximum temperatures at these places usually go unreported.

There are at least nine stations in Delhi where daily temperatures are recorded.

“Several factors, including green cover in the locality, vehicular pollution, terrain, density of buildings, presence of water bodies and availability of air corridors, govern the temperature of a locality on a day-to-day basis,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, scientist with the India Meterological Department’s regional weather forecasting centre in Delhi.

At Ridge, the maximum temperature on Tuesday touched 46.9°C, which was seven degrees above normal resulting in a ‘severe heat wave’. It was the hottest place in Delhi on Tuesday.

Palam and Safdarjung on the other hand recorded lower temperatures at 45.4°C and 44.5°C respectively.

“The temperature in Palam usually shoots up because of vast open areas, thin tree cover and heavy traffic movement because of the airport. There is heavy movement of aircraft too, which add to the pollution levels,” said a senior official of the IMD.

But what could possibly push the temperature up at the Ridge, which has a good density of trees?

“The Ridge is an extension of the ancient Aravalli ranges and has a rocky terrain, which easily gets heated up. But it also has good foliage cover. If the weather observatory is located at a place where the land is barren and there are rocks around, then it could possibly show high temperatures,” said Shashank Shekhar a professor of geology from Delhi University.

The Sports Complex at the Commonwealth Games Village along the River Yamuna in east Delhi recorded the second highest temperature on Tuesday at 46.4°C. Experts said that one of the primary reasons behind the rise in temperature in this part of the city is the sparse green cover.

According to India State of Forest Report, East Delhi has around 5.78% of area under forest cover. New Delhi and South Delhi have around 46% and 33% forest cover. “Scanty forest cover, unplanned construction, which leaves no corridor for air to circulate and high density of population and vehicles could be the reasons behind this,” said AK Jaswal a former scientist of the IMD.

Compared to this, Lodhi Road and Safdarjung both located in central-south Delhi has lower temperatures. While Safdarjung recorded 44.5°C, at Lodhi Road, the mercury was around 45°C on Tuesday.

First Published: Jun 12, 2019 06:16 IST