New Delhi: India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials said on Wednesday that the maximum temperature in Delhi may touch the 42-degree mark in two to three days, but the heat wave is unlikely to continue for another week. Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional forecasting centre, said a fresh western disturbance is about to affect the north-west region and it may cause dust storm and drizzle in Delhi on May 13, which may provide temporary relief.
“The maximum temperature will continue to rise in the next few days amid clear skies and is forecast to reach 42 degree Celsius by May 12-13. However, the heat wave is not likely to continue till May 16-17.
Delhi on Wednesday recorded a minimum temperature of 20.9 degrees Celsius and a maximum of 36.7 degrees Celsius, three notches below normal. The city experienced prolonged periods of cloud cover and sporadic rainfall from 21 April to 7 May, which is rare during this time of the year. May has historically been the hottest month in Delhi with an average maximum temperature of 39.5 °C.
Officials attribute this to a succession of western disturbances, weather systems that originate in the Mediterranean region and bring unseasonal rains to northwest India. “Three to four WDs have been observed over northwest India since April 21-22. Not a single heat wave day has been recorded in Delhi during this period. that’s unusual. However, we cannot link this to climate change in the absence of data. There is no definite trend, Srivastava said.
Dense fog was observed unusually in Delhi on Thursday last week. The minimum temperature dropped to 15.8 degrees Celsius, making it the third coldest May morning since the IMD started keeping weather records in 1901.
According to IMD data, the Safdarjung observatory has recorded 50.8 mm of rainfall so far in May. The capital receives an average of 19.7 mm of rainfall throughout the month. Due to back-to-back western disturbances, the city recorded over 20 mm of rainfall in April, the highest for the month since 2017.
The maximum temperature during this period remained below normal due to prolonged rains. The IMD has also predicted below normal maximum temperature and fewer heat wave days over northwest India this month.
In 2022, Delhi recorded its second warmest April since 1951 with a monthly average maximum temperature of 40.2 °C. The city witnessed nine heatwave days in April last year, including four in the first 10 days, which was the maximum for the month since 2010.