Heatwave Alert: Extreme heatwave is hitting northern and central India, with temperatures exceeding 50°C in Churu and Sirsa

On May 28, large areas of northern and central India were gripped by an extreme heat wave – in the cities of Churu in Rajasthan and Sirsa in Haryana, the mercury exceeded 50 degrees Celsius, and in Delhi it reached nine degrees above normal.

At least three weather stations in Delhi recorded a maximum temperature of 49 degrees Celsius or above. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the temperature in Mungeshpur and Narela in Delhi reached 49.9 degrees and in Najafgarh it was 49.8 degrees.

This is the highest maximum temperature recorded in the capital this season. However, Mungeshpur and Narela weather stations came up in 2022 and only have data for the last three years.

IMD says respite from the heatwave will be seen after May 30.

It said a fresh western disturbance was expected in parts of northwest India on Thursday, which could produce isolated showers across the region over the weekend.

IMD director general Mrutyunjay Mohapatra attributed the heat wave in northwest and central India to the lack of disturbance in the West in the second half of May.

Western disturbances are extratropical weather systems formed over the Mediterranean Sea that move from west to east.

According to IMD, 10 weather stations recorded the highest-ever maximum temperature and the highest this month: Agra-Taj (48.6 degrees Celsius), Dehri in Bihar (47 degrees Celsius), Hamirpur in Uttar Pradesh (48.2 degrees Celsius), Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh (49 degrees Celsius), Narnaul in Haryana (48.5 degrees Celsius), Ayanagar-Delhi (47.6 degrees Celsius), New Delhi-Ridge (47.5 degrees Celsius), Rewa in Madhya Pradesh (48, 2 degrees Celsius), Rohtak in Haryana (48.1 degrees Celsius) and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh (47.2 degrees Celsius).

In a much-needed relief, southern Rajasthan districts of Barmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Sirohi and Jalore recorded a drop in temperature of up to four degrees on May 28 due to the incursion of humid wind from the Arabian Sea, indicating the beginning of easing of heat wave conditions over northwest India.

Numerical weather forecast models showed that this downward trend would continue to extend north, bringing a gradual respite from heatwaves from May 30.

Moreover, the onset of moist winds from the Bay of Bengal from May 29 is likely to result in a gradual decline in maximum temperatures over Uttar Pradesh from May 30, the IMD said.

“Today, heatwave prevailed in most parts of Rajasthan, Haryana-Chandigarh-Delhi, many parts of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and isolated areas of Bihar and Himachal Pradesh,” it said.

It said heat waves were also prevailing at many places over Vidarbha, some areas over Jammu and Kashmir and isolated areas of Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh.

The hottest place in the country was Churu in Rajasthan with a maximum temperature of 50.5 degrees Celsius, followed by Sirsa-AWS in Haryana (50.3 degrees Celsius), Mungeshpur and Narela (49.9 degrees Celsius), Najafgarh (49.8 degrees Celsius) , Sirsa (49.5 degrees Celsius), Ganganagar in Rajasthan (49.4 degrees Celsius), Pilani and Phalodi in Rajasthan and Jhansi (49 degrees Celsius).

The weather office said warm nights are likely to prevail over isolated areas over the next few days over Uttar Pradesh, eastern Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi.

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