New Delhi, May 25
Light rain and strong dust-raising winds hit parts of Delhi on Thursday, keeping the maximum temperature in check at 36.9 degrees Celsius.
The Safdarjung observatory, which provides representative data for the city, recorded a wind speed of 22 kmph and the Palam observatory 58 kmph, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD).
Similar conditions are expected to prevail in the capital over the next two to three days and no heatwave is predicted until May 30, the IMD said.
Under the influence of a western disturbance active over the western Himalayan region, intermittent rains are predicted over northwest India, including the national capital and its surrounding areas, over the next two to three days, according to the IMD.
A heatwave scorched parts of Delhi on Monday and Tuesday, with many weather stations recording maximum temperatures above 45 degrees Celsius.
The heatwave pushed the peak power demand in Delhi to 6,916 MW on Tuesday, the highest so far this season, officials said.
The city had recorded a peak power demand of 7,695 MW last summer and it might reach 8,100 MW this year, they said.
The threshold for a heatwave is met when the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40 degrees Celsius in the plains, 37 degrees Celsius in the coastal areas, and 30 degrees Celsius in the hilly regions, and the departure from normal is at least 4.5 degrees.
Earlier this month, the weather office had predicted below-normal maximum temperatures and fewer heatwave days in northwest India in May.
With the IMD anticipating a slight delay in the arrival of the southwest monsoon, the maximum temperatures are likely to remain above normal for a longer-than-usual period.
Heatwaves in India are becoming more frequent and severe due to climate change, with over 90 per cent of the country in the 'extremely cautious' category or 'danger zone' of their impacts, according to a study conducted at the University of Cambridge.
The study also revealed that Delhi is particularly vulnerable to severe heatwave impacts despite its recent state action plan for climate change failing to reflect this fact.
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