The intense heat wave that has gripped Delhi for the past two days is expected to worsen on Saturday. The Indian Meteorological Department has already issued an ‘orange warning’ and warned that mercury could rise to 46-47 degrees Celsius in some parts of the national capital.
The Safdarjung Observatory, Delhi’s base station, is expected to record a maximum temperature of 44 degrees Celsius as against 42.5 degrees Celsius on Friday. On Friday, Delhi’s Najafgarh recorded a maximum temperature of 46.1 degrees Celsius. The meteorological stations at Mungeshpur and Jafarpur recorded maximum temperatures of 45.4 degrees Celsius and 45.6 degrees Celsius, respectively, six degrees above normal. Pitampura, which was also suffering from heat wave conditions, recorded a maximum temperature of 44.7 degrees Celsius.
The meteorological agency issued a “yellow warning” on Sunday to warn people about another heatwave. The Meteorological Bureau issues four color codes for warnings – green (no action required), yellow (watch and stay updated), orange (be prepared) and red (take action).
The next week is expected to bring some relief from the intense heat by lowering the cloudy skies and thunderstorms. This is the fifth summer heat wave in the national capital after one in March and three in April.
Delhi has recorded its second-warmest April since 1951 as rainfall has dropped to almost zero due to western disturbances. In the absence of rain, the monthly average maximum temperature recorded was 40.2 degrees Celsius. Towards the end of the month a heat wave reached 46-47 degrees Celsius in different parts of the city.
The national capital received 0.3 mm of rainfall in April with a monthly average of 12.2 mm. In March, there was zero rainfall of 15.9 mm against normal. The meteorological office forecast higher-than-normal temperatures in May.
However, the meteorological department is now on vacation with its forecast of southwest monsoon winds. The south-west monsoon is expected to reach Kerala on May 27, four days ahead of the normal date of June 1.
If realized, this is the first time since 2009 that the rains have come so quickly.
The meteorological office announces heatwave when the maximum temperature exceeds 40 degrees Celsius and the minimum is 4.5 degrees higher than normal. If the exit from the normal temperature exceeds 6.4 an intense heat wave is declared. Based on the perfectly recorded temperature, the meteorological office declares a heatwave when an area records a maximum temperature of 45 degrees Celsius. When the maximum temperature exceeds 48 degrees Celsius, intense heat flow is declared.