The capital of India, Delhi, lurched under a heatwave for a third day on the trot and recorded a maximum temperature of 43.1 degrees Celsius on July 1, Thursday. India Meteorological Department (IMD) stated that it is the highest temperature recorded in the month of July since 2012 and there is no chance of rainfall reaching the city till July 7. The maximum temperature recorded at the Safdarjung weather station, which is considered the official marker and provides representative data for the entire city. The maximum temperature of 43.1 degrees celsius was six degrees above for this time of the year in nine years and the minimum temperature was settled at 31.7 degrees celsius, which is four degrees above normal.
Delhi had recorded a maximum of 43.5 degrees celsius on July 2 both in 2012 and 1987 according to India Meteorological Department records. Similarly, the capital recorded a maximum temperature of 43.5 degrees celsius on June 30, Wednesday. The minimum temperature on that day was 28.2 degrees celsius.
According to the records, the highest maximum temperature for July last year was 41.6 degrees celsius. The temperature 42.2 degrees celsius was in 2019, 40.1 degrees celsius in 2018, 38.5 degrees celsius in 2017, and 39.8 degrees celsius in both 2016 and 2015. The monitoring station at Mungeshpur recorded the highest maximum temperature of 45.2 degrees Celsius in the city on Thursday and the temperature was eight notches above normal.
A severe heatwave is sweeping through the capital. The heat baked Lodhi road with 43 degrees celsius, Ridge with 43.9 degrees celsius, Narela with 43.4 degrees celsius, Najafgarh with 44 degrees celsius, and Pitampura with 44.3 degrees celsius, where the highest maximum temperature was at least seven degrees Celsius above normal. According to IMD, a heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature is recorded more than 40 degrees Celsius and at least 4.5 notches above normal in the plains.
Whereas, an extreme heatwave is declared when the departure from normal temperature is more than 6.5 degrees Celsius according to the Meteorological Department. The Meteorological Department stated that the capital recorded the first heatwave of this summer with the mercury levels soaring to 43 degrees Celsius on June 29, Tuesday. Another heatwave baked and swept the national capital on Wednesday too, which is the highest temperature recorded this year so far. Also, the next heatwave is expected on Friday.
Mrutunjay Mohapatra, Director General of IMD said the intensity of heatwave and its area covered is likely to decrease thereafter resulting from expected south-westerly winds from the Arabian Sea. But there won’t be much relief during the next seven days due to the increase in humidity. He further mentioned that there is no chance of Delhi and its neighboring areas receiving monsoon rainfall till July 7. After that, the state will witness below-normal rainfall till the middle of this month.
The monsoon season, which was supposed to reach the capital city by June 27, has been delayed this year after the advancement of easterly monsoon winds into Delhi and parts of Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab weakened. The current heatwave in the state is due to dry westerly and southwesterly winds from Pakistan to Northwest India. The last time the monsoon arrived so late in Delhi was in 2012.
The delay in the arrival of the wind system and rainfall is likely to impact agricultural operations such as transplantation of crops and sowing, irrigation scheduling, and power requirements in the region including Haryana and Punjab which is known as the food bowl of the nation. Although Delhi has so far seen a cooler than usual scorching hot summer this year with April, May and June recorded lower than usual average temperatures.
Northwest India has received 14 percent excess rainfall by now, that is 85.7 mm rainfall against the normal of 75.3 mm rainfall since June 1 when the monsoon season starts in the entire country. But Delhi has received only 29.6 mm rainfall against the normal of 64.1 mm during the period, which is a deficiency of 54 percent.
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