After a hot and dry March and April, the capital is headed for a fresh spell of heatwave on Friday with temperatures projected to climb to a whopping 47 degrees by the weekend. An orange alert has been issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) across several parts of the city, which is set to sizzle at 44 degrees on Friday. The minimum temperature settled at 28.1, which is three notches above normal.
Orange Alert in Delhi
An orange alert has been issued to caution people about a severe heatwave on Sunday. The IMD uses four colour codes -- green (no action needed), yellow (watch and stay updated), orange (be prepared) and red (take action)-- for weather warnings.
Heatwave conditions associated with an orange alert are likely to persist for four days or more.
Temperatures Set to Soar
The maximum temperature is predicted to touch the 45-degree mark at the Safdarjung Observatory on Sunday. Temperatures may leap to 46-47 degrees Celsius in isolated places, weather experts said.
A heatwave spell was predicted over Delhi from Sunday last, but easterly winds prevailing in the national capital under the impact of Cyclone Asani shielded the city against it. The relative humidity at 8:30 on Friday was recorded at 62 per cent.
Meanwhile, city air quality remained in the 'moderate' category at 158, as per SAFAR data from SAFAR-India Air Quality Service on Friday morning.
Back-to-back patchy rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds due to Cyclone Assani had provided some respite from the intense heat last week. However, the temperatures are expected to drop after May 16 following the arrival of further western disturbances, some experts have predicted. which may bring spillover rain to Delhi.
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.
How to stay healthy during heatwave
Meanwhile, here are some tips to help Delhi residents survive the Orange Alert.
- During this type of heatwave, try to avoid heat exposure or keep it to a minimum.
- Try to keep cool and avoid dehydration by consuming lots of fluids and foods high in water content such as cucumbers.
- Avoid eating large portions of protein-heavy foods that can increase the metabolic rate of body and cause further internal heat.
- Drink sufficient water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. When stepping out, remember to carry a bottle of water and keep sipping. For workers exposed to sun for long hours, the US-based OSHA suggests drinking water every 15 minutes is necessary.
- Resist the urge to drink icy cold water immediately after stepping indoors from the sun. Give your body some time to acclimatize to the temperature indoors and cool off a little before drinking water to avoid catching a cold. While it is not strictly dangerous, it is inadvisable.
- Try to stick to homemade drinks like lassi, torani (rice water), lemon water, chaach (spiced buttermilk) and other things to stay hydrated instead of sugary drinks.
- Stock up on ORS, glucose drinks and electrolyte-balancing solutions.
- Don't eat junk from unsanitary places. Diarrhoea is a common symptom during the summer months and further adds to the body's dehydration. Severe dehydration can cause blood pressure loss and lead to heat stroke.
- Ensure using adequate skin protection when doing outdoor work such as wearing full sleeve clothes, and full pants to minimise skin exposure to harmful and harsh rays of the sun during peak hours. Sunburns can be painful expensive to treat and can cause skin cancer and other kinds of terminal damage in the long run. Sunscreen on face and exposed areas is a must when possible.