NEW DELHI: A severe heat wave scorched parts of the national capital on Tuesday with the maximum temperature rising to 43 degrees Celsius, the highest this year so far. This the first heat wave in Delhi this summer season, according to the India Meteorological Department.
The mercury was recorded above 43 degrees Celsius at Safdarjung Observatory, considered the official marker for the city, while it soared to 42.6 degrees Celsius, 43.4 degrees Celsius and 44.3 degrees Celsius at Lodhi Road, Ridge and Pusa areas, respectively— seven notches above the average temperature. Najafgarh (44.4 degrees Celsius), Pitampura (44.3 degrees Celsius) and Mungeshpur (44.3 degrees Celsius) also reeled under a severe heat wave.
For the plains, a “heat wave” is declared when the maximum temperature is more than 40 degrees Celsius, and at least 4.5 notches above normal.
A “severe” heat wave is declared if departure from normal temperature is more than 6.5 degrees Celsius, according to the IMD.
“Usually, the capital witnesses heat waves till June 20. The increase in the maximum temperature this time can be attributed to the delay in the arrival of the monsoon,” Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the IMD’s regional forecasting centre, said.
There has been no rainfall in the last three days and warm westerly winds are blowing across a major part of northwest India, which has not been covered by the monsoon yet, he said.
A heat wave is predicted in the capital on Wednesday, too.
According to the IMD, the southwest monsoon has reached Barmer in west Rajasthan, two weeks before its normal schedule but is yet to arrive in the north Indian plains including Delhi.
The meteorological office had earlier predicted that the wind system may reach Delhi by June 15.
However, westerly winds have been blocking its advance into Delhi, parts of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana.