Close on the heels of cyclone Amphan, India has been sweltering under the impact of a severe heat wave since Friday. Even as the northeast receives rainfall due to the remnants of the cyclone, large swathes of the country have been reeling under a heat wave. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a "heat wave to severe heat wave" warning for the northwest, central, eastern and parts of southern India.
The mercury soared 4-5 degree Celsius above normal, taking temperatures across many cities beyond 42-43 degrees Celsius and some even breaching the 45 degrees Celsius-mark.
Delhi experienced its hottest day of the season on Saturday, with the mercury exceeding 46 degrees Celsius, said the IMD. Palam weather station recorded 45.6 degree Celsius while Safdarjung station recorded 44.7 degree Celsius.
Rajasthan's Churu also recorded a maximum temperature of 46.6 degrees Celsius, the highest in the country as of Saturday.
Several cities in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh -- Akola, Nagpur, Gwalior, Khajuraho, Agra and Bilaspur -- saw temperatures rising above 44 degrees Celsius.
According to the weatherman, hot and dry northwesterly winds over northwest and central India and change in winds after passing of Amphan have led to heat wave conditions.
“Under its (dry northwesterly winds) influence, heat waves to severe heat wave conditions are likely to prevail over plains of northwest India and adjoining Central India. Rainfall activity has significantly reduced over south Peninsular India, giving rise to development of heat wave conditions over parts of that region also,” the IMD said in its note on the heat wave conditions.
A heat wave is considered if maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40 degrees Celsius or more for plains, 37 degrees celsius or more for coastal stations and at least 30 degrees Celsius or more for hilly regions. These temperatures have to be 4-6 degrees above normal and temperatures have to be 45 degrees Celsius or more for two consecutive days for it to be declared as a heat wave.
Senior scientists of the MeT department said that these conditions will prevail up to May 27 in Northwest and Central India, and will improve marginally in Marathwada and southern regions from May 26 onward.
"After the passing of Amphan, the wind patterns have changed. We are experiencing hot and dry surface winds with a speed of 15-17 kmph. Loo winds will also be experienced in the next few days. This heat wave will affect Rajasthan,Gujarat Punjab. Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, eastern Maharashtra, Telangana and coastal Andhra," said Naresh Kumar, Scientist, IMD.
Hottest cities in the country on Saturday (Source: IMD)
City Temperature (In degree Celsius)
Delhi (Safdarjung) 44.7