A tormenting heatwave swept through North India on Sunday with the mercury crossing 49 degrees Celsius in pockets of Delhi, while the weather office forecast some relief Monday onwards. Gurugram in Haryana witnessed a scalding temperature of 48.1 degrees Celsius, the highest since May 10, 1966, when the city logged 49 degrees Celsius.
The mercury leaped to a whopping 49.2 degrees Celsius at Mungeshpur in northwest Delhi while Najafgarh in southwest part of the city recorded 49.1 degrees Celsius, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Sunday. Among other parts of the capital, maximum temperatures reached unbearable highs of 48.4 degrees Celsius at Sports Complex, 47.5 degrees Celsius at Jafarpur, 47.3 degrees Celsius at Pitampura and 47.2 degrees Celsius at Ridge.
At the Safdarjung Observatory, Delhi's base station, the maximum temperature rose to 45.6 degrees Celsius, five notches above the normal and the highest this year so far. The city saw the maximum temperatures rise to 46.8 degrees Celsius at Ayanagar, 46.4 degrees Celsius at Palam and 45.8 degrees Celsius at Lodhi Road. All the weather stations recorded a heatwave day. The IMD said a thunderstorm or a dust storm is likely in the national capital on Monday.
In Punjab, Muktsar reeled under extremely hot weather, recording a day temperature of 47.4 degrees Celsius. In Haryana, apart from Gurugram, Hisar saw a high of 47.3 degrees Celsius. Severe heatwave also prevailed in Sirsa, which recorded a high of 47.2 deg C while Rohtak recorded a maximum of 46.7 deg C. Bhiwani experienced a high of 46 degrees Celsius.
Ambala's highest temperature during the day was 42.1 deg C while Karnal's maximum settled at 42.4 deg C. Chandigarh, the common capital of Punjab and Haryana, braved yet another hot day, with the maximum settling at 43 deg C. Meanwhile, among other places in Punjab, intense heatwave prevailed in Bathinda, which recorded a high of 46.8 deg C while Amritsar sweltered under severe heat at 46.1 deg C.
Ludhiana recorded a high of 45.5 deg C while Patiala's maximum settled at 44.3 deg C. Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur, too, experienced hot weather, recording respective maximum temperatures of 46.2 deg C and 46.1 deg C. Moga recorded a high of 46.1 deg C while Ferozepur sizzled at a high of 46.9 deg C. Meanwhile, according to the MeT Department's forecast, some relief from severe heat is expected in the two states on Tuesday.
The weather is likely to be dry during the next 24 hours; light rain is anticipated at isolated places in the subsequent 48 hours, it said. Dust storms and thunderstorms accompanied with lightning and gusty winds are likely at isolated places on May 16 and 17 in Punjab and Haryana, the weather office said. Though heatwave conditions are likely to prevail at many places during the next 24 hours, there could be a fall by two to four degrees in the two states thereafter, it said.
Weather forecasters said a cyclonic circulation over Punjab and Haryana will induce pre-monsoon activity that will provide some relief from the intense heat on Monday and Tuesday. In Jammu and Kashmir, heatwave gripped most parts of Jammu region with the mercury moving further up and settling at the season's high of 43.9 degrees Celsius on Sunday, officials said.
The city also marked a rise in the night temperature, which settled at 26.8 degrees Celsius – 3.3 notches above the season's average. Katra, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district, was the second hottest recorded place in Jammu region with a high of 41.5 degrees Celsius and a low of 23.8 degrees Celsius, the meteorological department officials said.
Meanwhile, the summer capital Srinagar recorded a dip in the maximum temperature which settled at 29.8 degrees Celsius against Saturday's 31.3 degrees Celsius. The day temperature in the city was 5.9 degrees above normal. The night temperature was also three degrees above normal in Srinagar, which recorded a low of 13.6 degrees Celsius, the officials said.
The weather office has predicted relief from the heatwave from Monday evening owing to inclement weather. "There is a possibility of continuation of a dry and clear weather till May 16. Widespread moderate rain or thunderstorm with hailstorm at some places and snow over higher reaches is most likely during May 16 (evening) till May 18," an official said.
Meanwhile, people in large parts of Madhya Pradesh on Sunday got a little respite from the sultry weather with the mercury recording a slight dip of around one degree Celsius, even as Nowgaon and Khajuraho in Chhatarpur district continued to sizzle at 47 degrees Celsius. About the slight change in the weather conditions, P K Saha, senior meteorologist with the IMD's Bhopal office told PTI that a north-south trough was running from west Uttar Pradesh to south-west Madhya Pradesh, which is clouding some parts of the state.
He said severe heat waves were observed in Nowgaon and Khajuraho city on Sunday. The heat waves remained confined to five districts - Damoh, Satna, Gwalior, Sidhi and Rewa - on Sunday as against eight districts on Saturday, according to the IMD. Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur and Gwalior recorded the maximum temperatures of 43.9 degrees Celsius (three degrees above normal), 41.4 deg C (one degree above normal), 43. 9 deg C (three degrees above normal) and 46.6 degrees Celsius (five degrees above normal), respectively.
A heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature is over 40 degrees Celsius and at least 4.5 notches above the normal. A severe heatwave is declared if the departure from normal temperature is more than 6.4 notches, according to the IMD. Based on absolute recorded temperatures, a heatwave is declared when an area logs a maximum temperature of 45 degrees Celsius. A severe heatwave is declared if the maximum temperature crosses the 47-degree Celsius mark.
-With PTI Input