A tormenting heatwave swept through the national capital and its neighbouring areas on Sunday with the mercury leaping to 49.2 degrees Celsius at Mungeshpur in northwest Delhi and 49.1 degrees Celsius at Najafgarh in the southwest parts of the city.
Maximum temperatures reached unbearable highs of 48.4 degrees Celsius at Sports Complex, 47.5 degrees Celsius at Jafarpur, 47.3 degrees Celsius at Pitampura and 47.2 degrees Celsius at Ridge.
At the Safdarjung Observatory, Delhi’s base station, the maximum temperature rose to 45.6 degrees Celsius, five notches above normal and the highest this year so far.
The primary weather station had recorded a maximum temperature of 44.2 degrees Celsius on Saturday and 42.5 degrees Celsius on Friday. On May 27, 2020, Safdarjung had recorded a maximum temperature of 46 degrees Celsius.
The city saw the maximum temperatures rise to 46.8 degrees Celsius at Ayanagar, 46.4 degrees Celsius at Palam and 45.8 degrees Celsius at Lodhi Road.
All the weather stations recorded a heatwave day.
The neighbouring Gurgaon recorded a scalding temperature of 48.1 degrees Celsius, the highest since May 10, 1966, when the city logged 49 degrees Celsius.
Weather forecasters said a cyclonic circulation over Punjab and Haryana will induce pre-monsoon activity that will provide some relief from the intense heat on Monday and Tuesday.
The IMD said a thunderstorm or a dust storm is likely in the national capital on Monday.
With scanty rains owing to feeble western disturbances, Delhi had recorded its second hottest April this year since 1951, with a monthly average maximum temperature of 40.2 degrees Celsius.
A heatwave at the end of that month had sent the maximums soaring to 46 and 47 degrees Celsius in several parts of the city.
Delhi received a minuscule 0.3 mm of rainfall in April against a monthly average of 12.2 mm. March saw no rainfall against a normal of 15.9 mm. The IMD had predicted above-normal temperatures in May.
A heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature is over 40 degrees Celsius and at least 4.5 notches above the normal. A severe heatwave is declared if the departure from normal temperature is more than 6.4 notches, according to the IMD.
Based on absolute recorded temperatures, a heatwave is declared when an area logs a maximum temperature of 45 degrees Celsius.
A severe heatwave is declared if the maximum temperature crosses the 47-degree Celsius mark.