At 52.9°C, Delhi’s Mungeshpur records highest-ever temperature; IMD says ‘examining data, sensors’ : The Tribune India

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At 52.9°C, Delhi’s Mungeshpur records highest-ever temperature; IMD says ‘examining data, sensors’

Temperatures soar in National Capital as hot winds blow into the City from Rajasthan, say officials

At 52.9°C, Delhi’s Mungeshpur records highest-ever temperature; IMD says ‘examining data, sensors’

Girls cover their heads as they walk on a street near a landfill site on a hot summer day during a heatwave, in New Delhi on May 27, 2024. Reuters


New Delhi, May 29

Delhi’s Mungeshpur on Wednesday logged a maximum of 52.9 degrees Celsius, the highest-ever temperature recorded in the City, even as the India Meteorological Department said it is "examining sensors and data" of the area’s weather station for any potential error.                

The National Capital and large swathes of north India have been reeling under heat wave conditions for the past few days, with at least three weather stations here—Mungeshpur, Narela and Najafgarh—recording nearly 50 degrees Celsius even on Tuesday.

Delhi’s primary weather station Safdarjung observatory on Wednesday recorded a maximum temperature of 46.8 degrees Celsius, the highest in 79 years, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data. It was 46.7 degrees Celsius on June 17, 1945.

On the temperature at Mungeshpur, the IMD, however, said it is examining sensors and data of the weather station for the area.                      

“The maximum temperature over Delhi-NCR varied from 45.2 degrees Celsius to 49.1 degrees Celsius in different parts of city. Mungeshpur reported 52.9 degrees Celsius as an outlier compared to other stations. It could be due to error in the sensor or the local factor. IMD is examining the data and sensors,” the department said in a statement.

In a post on X, Minister of Earth Sciences Kiren Rijiju said, “It is not official yet. Temperature of 52.3 degrees Celsius in Delhi is very unlikely. Our senior officials in IMD have been asked to verify the news report. The official position will be stated soon.”    

Other areas of the city also sizzled with maximum temperatures recorded at 49.1 degrees Celsius in Najafgarh, 49 degrees Celsius at Pusa and 48.4 degrees Celsius at Narela, according to the data.

The temperatures soared in the National Capital as hot winds blew into the city from Rajasthan, according to officials.

In the evening, there was a sudden change in weather, with drizzle in some parts of the city. However, this could increase the humidity level, compounding the unease for people as forecast shows heat wave and hot weather condition not relenting in the coming days.  

Delhi’s relative humidity oscillated between 43 per cent and 30 per cent during the day, according to the IMD. The city has been witnessing a steady rise in temperatures in the final days of May.

For Thursday, the IMD predicted partly cloudy skies with heatwave conditions in a few places along with the possibility of thunderstorms and dust storms accompanied by very light rain and drizzling with gusty winds at speeds of 25 to 35 kmph.

Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena directed that a paid break from 12 noon to 3 pm be given to labourers, along with water and coconut milk at construction sites, as he flagged the “lack of sensitivity” on the part of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Hitting back, Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said the AAP government was making heatwave preparations even before the LG office became active and urged Saxena to “give up negativity”.

Saxena directed that the three-hour break for labourers has been implemented by the Delhi Development Authority since May 20 and will continue across all sites till temperatures come down below 40 degrees Celsius, according to a letter sent to Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar by the principal secretary to the Lt Governor.

The Delhi government announced that a fine of Rs 2,000 will be imposed on water-wasting activities like washing vehicles with a hose and using domestic water supply for construction and commercial purposes amid unprecedented summer heat.

Water Minister Atishi has directed the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to deploy 200 teams across the city to prevent wastage of water.

The extreme summer heat also pushed Delhi’s peak power demand to an all-time high of 8,302 MW on Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

It is the first time in the history of the national capital that its power demand has crossed the 8,300-MW mark. Power distribution companies had estimated the power demand to peak at 8,200 MW this summer, the discom officials said.

The threshold for a heatwave is met when the maximum temperature of a weather station reaches at least 40 degrees Celsius in the plains, 37 degrees in the coastal areas, and 30 degrees in the hilly regions, and the departure from normal is at least 4.5 notches.

A severe heatwave is declared if the departure from normal exceeds 6.4 notches.

In a forecast released, the IMD has urged “extreme care for vulnerable people” due to the heatwave.

Explaining the reason behind the scorching heat in the outskirts of Delhi, Mahesh Palawat, Vice President of Meteorology and Climate Change at Skymet Weather, said: “In open areas with vacant land, there is increased radiation. Direct sunlight and lack of shade make these regions exceptionally hot.”           

Palawat added that when wind blows from the west, it affects these outlying areas first in Delhi contributing to rise in temperature.

Kuldeep Srivastava, the regional head of IMD, said the city’s outskirts are the first areas to be hit by hot winds from Rajasthan.

“Parts of Delhi are particularly susceptible to the early arrival of these hot winds, worsening the already severe weather. Areas like Mungeshpur, Narela and Najafgarh are the first to experience the full force of these hot winds,” he said.

Open areas and barren land are contributing to higher temperatures due to increased radiation, said IMD’s Charan Singh. PTI


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