New Delhi: After a brief respite, Delhi is once again witnessing soaring temperatures. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a yellow alert, warning of a heatwave at most places in the capital on Friday (May 13) and Saturday. An orange alert has been issued to caution people about a severe heatwave on Sunday.
On Thursday, heatwave conditions in parts of Delhi saw temperatures soaring to 44-45 degrees Celsius as moisture-carrying easterly winds made way for hot and dry westerlies. The maximum temperature at the Safdarjung Observatory, Delhi’s base station, rose to 42.5 degrees Celsius. It was 41.4 degrees Celsius on Wednesday. The maximum temperature at Najafgarh (44.7 degrees Celsius), Mungeshpur (45.4 degrees Celsius) and Pitampura (44 degrees Celsius) settled at least five degrees Celsius above normal temperature.
The IMD uses four colour codes for weather warnings – green (no action needed), yellow (watch and stay updated), orange (be prepared) and red (take action). The mercury is predicted to touch the 45-degree mark at the Safdarjung Observatory on Sunday. Temperatures may leap to 46-47 degrees Celsius at isolated places, weather experts said.
A heatwave spell was predicted over Delhi from May 8, but easterly winds prevailing in the national capital under the impact of Cyclone Asani shielded the city against it. Back-to-back patchy rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds had provided some respite from the intense heat last week.
Delhi had witnessed a hot and dry March, gauging nil rainfall against the normal of 15.9 mm. It got 0.3 mm of rainfall in April against a monthly average of 12.2 mm. A heatwave at the month-end had sent the mercury soaring to 46 and 47 degrees Celsius in several parts of Delhi.
At least 29 cities across Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra reported temperatures in excess of 44 degrees Celsius on Thursday. Many parts of north India experienced scorching summers with maximum temperatures touching 48 degrees Celsius in Barmer in Rajasthan.
(With PTI inputs)