Chennai sizzles at 42.6 degrees Celsius, dog days on for 10 more days

On Saturday, Nungambakkam recorded 42.1 degrees, which is 4.2 degrees above normal and, according to historic data, this is the sixth hottest day ever recorded in the month of June.

Published: 04th June 2023 07:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th June 2023 07:51 AM   |  A+A-

A woman and her child cover themselves completely to beat the heat at Annasalai in Chennai on Friday | P Jawahar

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Chennai is going through one of its hottest heat spell with temperatures during the day touching 42.6 degrees Celsius. The weather stations at Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam recorded temperatures crossing 42 degrees Celsius for the first time after 11 years in June. As per the data with Indian Meteorological Department, the last time the city recorded a temperature in excess of 42 degrees in June was in 2012.

On Saturday, Nungambakkam recorded 42.1 degrees, which is 4.2 degrees above normal and, according to historic data, this is the sixth hottest day ever recorded in the month of June. Meenambakkam station, located more interior near the airport, recorded 42.6 degrees, above 4 degrees from normal. The met office said hot and humid weather is likely to continue for a few more days.  

Weather blogger Pradeep John said at 1.30pm even areas close to the sea in the city were sizzling at 41 degrees with humidity close to 50%, which is equivalent to 45 degrees in the interior areas. The wet-bulb temperature for the city was 31.3 degree Celsius. Climate experts say anything above 30 degrees can be fatal for humans venturing outside. “It’s also very uncomfortable. In these conditions, you should avoid direct sunlight and drink lots of water,” John said.

However, the regional meteorological centre officials said this doesn’t qualify as heat wave as per the IMD’s prescribed criteria. P Senthamarai Kannan, director of Area Cyclone Warning Centre, told TNIE that heat wave is declared only when the normal temperature deviates 4.5 - 6.4 degrees above normal for at least two consecutive days. “This hike in temperature was due to dry westerly winds and delayed arrival of sea breeze. Today, we got a weak sea breeze only at 2 pm.”   

However, experts say there are local pockets that are already enduring heat waves. Areas like Chembarambakkam, Vanagaram and western parts of the city are all recording over 42 degrees continuously for 2-3 days. “The met office can’t take only Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam station recordings as benchmark. There are several automatic weather stations and automatic rain gauge stations in the region.”

Mahesh Palawat, vice-president, meteorology and climate change at Skymet, told TNIE there will not be any major relief from the heat in Chennai for next 10 days. “A low pressure area will be forming in the Arabian sea around June 6 and it is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm. Most of the moisture concentration will be in that region which will prevent south westerlies over Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai region. So, onset of southwest monsoon rains over Tamil Nadu may get delayed by one week, although there would be some light rains.”


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