Delhi sizzles as temperature crosses 47°C, hotter weekend ahead: IMD | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Delhi sizzles as temperature crosses 47°C, hotter weekend ahead: IMD

By, New Delhi
May 18, 2024 04:50 AM IST

Delhi sizzles as temperatures soar above 45°C, with Najafgarh hitting 47.4°C. IMD issues orange alert, warning of further rise over the weekend.

The Capital sizzled on an unusually hot day on Friday that sent the maximum temperature above 45°C at nine stations in the region, including a scorching 47.4°C at southwest Delhi’s Najafgarh, which was the highest in the country, according to data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) that declared a heatwave over Delhi-NCR.

Visitors seen out on a hot afternoon at India Gate, i (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)(Hindustan Times)
Visitors seen out on a hot afternoon at India Gate, i (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)(Hindustan Times)

IMD issues heatwave warning to North India; Delhi sizzles at 47.4° C

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The weather department has now issued an orange alert for the population in this area, predicting temperatures to rise by another degree at most places over the weekend. It asked people to avoid exposure to the sun on these days and step out only if needed.

The city was swept by warm and dry easterly winds reaching to 10 km/hr for most of the day, which, in combination with clear skies and direct sunlight, led to a rapid rise in mercury.

Safdarjung, representative of Delhi’s weather, had a maximum of 43.6°C on Friday, which was three degrees above normal and the highest so far for this year. The previous high was 42.5°C, recorded a day earlier.

Eight weather stations in Delhi and one in NCR — Noida (45.2°C) recorded a maximum above 45°C on Friday. After Najafgarh, the highest maximum in NCR was 46.5°C at northwest Delhi’s Mungeshpur and 46.2°C at southwest Delhi’s Ayanagar.

Gurugram had a high of 44.6°C.

“Parts of Delhi recorded heatwave conditions, with the maximum crossing 45°C at eight weather stations in Delhi and nine in NCR, if the Noida weather station is also counted. The likelihood is that Delhi-NCR gets even warmer over the weekend,” said an IMD official.

The IMD classifies it as a heatwave when the maximum temperature is 4.5°C above normal and is at least 40°C. It is a “severe heatwave” when the maximum is 6.5°C or more above normal.

Such a high for Delhi is not unusual, or for these stations for this time of the year.

On May 15, 2022, Mungeshpur had touched a high of 49.2°C, followed by 49.1°C at Najafgarh. Both these are automatic weather stations (AWS) set up by the IMD across the city.

US-based Climate Central on Friday said the heatwaves were a consequence of the long-term changes induced by the climate crisis. Referring to forecasts that western India, including Delhi-NCR will see an intense heatwave from May 18 till May 20, Climate Central said its Climate Shift Index (CSI) — a tool that quantifies the impact of climate change on daily temperature, showed a high CSI — over three in most parts of country.

This includes the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Delhi. A CSI of three means climate change has made such high temperature three times more likely to occur.

“Over the entire period, 543 million people in India will experience at least one day with CSI level 3,” the analysis, released on Friday, showed.

Mahesh Palawat, vice president at Skymet meteorology said such a spell in May is not unusual and generally occurs when dry weather prevails over most parts of the country. “We saw some isolated thundershowers in Punjab, but the rest of the region is dry right now and we have hot and dry winds blowing from Thar and the western part of the country. This is combining with the impact of direct sunshine as skies are clear. No relief is expected over the next two to three days as no rain is likely. The expectation is that the maximum may only rise by 1 to 1.5 degrees till Sunday,” he said.

Severe heatwave to envelop north India from May 18-20; IMD issues alert

The maximum for Safdarjung is forecast to be around 44°C on Saturday and 45°C on Sunday. Other weather stations, particularly those in the outer parts of the city, are generally 2-3°C warmer than Safdarjung.

In terms of minimum temperature, Delhi had a low of 25.4°C, which was a degree above normal. It is likely to be around 27°C on the weekend.

The dry, warm winds also kept Delhi’s air in “poor” category for a fifth consecutive day. The 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) was 231 (poor) at 4pm on Friday. It was 235 (poor) at the same time on Thursday.

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