A severe heat wave swept across Delhi on Wednesday as the city reported a maximum temperature of 43.5 degrees Celsius, the highest recorded so far, this year.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) the city’s maximum temperature was seven degrees above normal today.
The mercury has been soaring in the national capital since Monday, when the city reported a maximum temperature of 43 degrees Celsius.
The temperature is likely to remain a couple of degrees above normal till July 7, post which Delhiites can expect the mercury to go down as monsoon is expected to advance in the region.
A severe heat wave seared Lodhi Road (43.7 degrees Celsius), Ayanagar (44.2), Ridge (44), Mungeshpur (44.3), Najafgarh (44.4), Pitampura (44.3) and Narela (43.7), officials said earlier today.
The monitoring station at Pusa recorded a high of 44.3 degrees Celsius, eight notches above normal, they added.
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.
On Monday, Delhi recorded the first heat wave this summer with the mercury levels increasing to 43 degrees Celsius.
Another heat wave has been predicted for Thursday.
Light rainfall and dust storm on Friday are likely to bring the mercury below the 40 degrees mark.
“Usually, the capital witnesses heat waves till June 20 and cooler temperatures thereafter. The increase in the maximum temperature this time can be attributed to the delay in the arrival of the monsoon,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD's regional forecasting centre.
There has been no rainfall in the last few 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.
After arriving two days late in Kerala, the monsoon had raced across the country, covering eastern, central and adjoining northwest India, seven to 10 days earlier.
The meteorological office had earlier predicted that the wind system may reach Delhi by June 15, which would have been 12 days early.
However, westerly winds have been blocking its advance into Delhi, parts of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana.
Normally, monsoon reaches Delhi by June 27 and covers the entire country by July 8. Last year, the wind system had reached Delhi on June 25 and covered the entire country by June 29.
The wind system is not likely to cover the remaining part of northwest India, including Delhi, Haryana, parts of west Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and west Rajasthan in the next six to seven days, the IMD said.
The last time the monsoon arrived so late in Delhi was on July 7 in 2012.
(With PTI inputs)