New Delhi, June 10 (PTI): Large swathes of the country seared under record high temperatures on Monday with the mercury touching 48 degrees Celsius in Delhi, the highest for June, and hovering around the 50-degree Celsius mark in many other areas in north India.
There was no immediate respite in sight as the monsoon advanced slowly in southern and northeastern India and the weather department forecast that heatwave conditions were likely to prevail in north and western India for a couple of days more.
Churu in Rajasthan was the hottest recorded place with a high of 50.3 degrees Celsius, followed by Banda in Uttar Pradesh (49.2), Allahabad (48.9), Sriganganagar (48.5) and Narnaul in Haryana (48.3).
Delhi recorded its highest-ever June temperature at 48 degrees Celsius.
The city’s previous high of 47.8 degrees Celsius was recorded in Palam on June 9, 2014.
“The factors that led to this are dry westerly winds, no effect of a western disturbance in the plains and intense heating in the month of June,” said India Meteorological Department (IMD) regional weather forecasting chief Kuldeep Srivastava.
The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides official figures for the city, recorded a high of 45.6 and a low of 27.2 degrees Celsius.
Hot dry winds — Loo — swept the city, compounding the woes of people who had to venture out for work.
In Punjab and Haryana, many areas reeled under a high of over 45 degrees Celsius. Narnaul, with a maximum of 48.3 degrees Celsius, was the hottest place in the two neighbouring states that were under the grip of a severe heatwave.
Bhiwani and Hisar recorded maximum temperatures of 46.8 and 46.4 degrees Celsius, five notches above normal. Ambala and Karnal also sizzled under maximum temperatures of 44.8 and 44.4 degrees Celsius.
Scorching heatwave swept Chandigarh, which recorded a maximum temperature of 44.1 degrees Celsius, five notches above normal. In Punjab, the maximum temperature in Amritsar was 45.2 degrees Celsius, six degrees above normal. Maximum temperatures in Ludhiana and Patiala were seven notches above normal at 45.5 and 45.8 degrees Celsius, respectively.
In Uttar Pradesh, Banda was the hottest place with a maximum of 49.2 degrees Celsius. People in Allahabad and Jhansi to sweltered under highs of 48.9 and 48.1 degrees Celsius, respectively.
Severe heatwave conditions persisted in the desert state of Rajasthan. Maximum temperature in most of the cities was recorded above 45 degrees Celsius — 47.4 in Bikaner, 47.3 in Kota and 46.3 in Jaipur, according to weather department officials in Jaipur.
Jammu recorded the hottest day of the season with a maximum temperature of 44.4 degrees Celsius. The prevailing heatwave conditions intensified power and water woes in different parts of the region in Jammu and Kashmir. The mercury in Srinagar too rose and settled at 29.2 degrees Celsius, 1.2 notches above normal.
According to an IMD bulletin, “Heatwave to severe heatwave conditions (are) very likely to prevail over Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, southern parts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh during next 2 days. Intensity and spatial extent of heating is very likely to reduce substantially thereafter.”
In large areas, a heatwave is declared when the mercury touches the 45-degree mark for two consecutive days and a severe heatwave is when the temperature soars to 47 degrees Celsius for two days on the trot, according to the India Meteorological Department.
In small areas, like the national capital, a heatwave is declared if the maximum temperature is recorded at 45 degrees Celsius even for a day, it said.
Heatwave conditions also prevailed in Telangana, Odisha and West Bengal where the mercury settled at above normal levels in many areas.
In Odisha, coastal and interior areas reeled under unbearable weather conditions due to rising temperature coupled with high level of relative humidity. Hirakud in western Odisha turned out to be the hottest place in the state recording 44.8 degree Celsius followed by 44.6 degree in neighbouring Sambalpur, officials said.
Adilabad district in Telangana recorded a maximum temperature of 44.3 degrees Celsius. The weather office in Hyderabad issued a warning that heatwave conditions are very likely to prevail at isolated pockets in different districts of the state till June 12.
With the Monsoon unlikely to make an entry in West Bengal soon, the Met department said day temperatures in south Bengal are likely to be above normal by two to three degrees Celsius. It said that heat wave condition is “very likely” to prevail over Purulia, Bankura, West Burdwan, Birbhum, West Midnapore and Jhargram districts of West Bengal during the next three days.
The Southwest Monsoon advanced slowly into other parts of the country, having made an onset over Kerala on June 8, a week after its normal arrival.
“Southwest Monsoon has further advanced into remaining parts of South Arabian Sea & Lakshadweep area, most parts of Kerala, some more parts of Tamil Nadu, remaining parts of southeast Bay of Bengal, most parts of Southwest & East-central Bay of Bengal, some more parts of Northeast Bay of Bengal, some parts of West-central Bay of Bengal, most parts of Mizoram and some parts of Manipur,” according to the IMD bulletin.
Himachal Pradesh’s Una district experienced the hottest day in 14 years. Una sizzled at 45.2 degrees Celsius on Monday, Shimla MeT Centre Director Manmohan Singh said. The previous highest temperature in Una was same as 45.2 degrees Celsius on June 21, 2005, he added.