Delhi reeled under a “severe heatwave” on the day of Holi, as the maximum temperature shot up to 40.1 degrees Celsius, making it the hottest day in March in 76 years, the India Meteorological Department said on Monday. The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, recorded a maximum temperature of 40.1 degrees Celsius, which was eight notches more than normal, said Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the IMD’s regional forecasting centre.
“It is the hottest day in March since March 31, 1945, when the national capital recorded a maximum of 40.5 degrees Celsius,” he said. The weather stations at Najafgarh, Narela, Pitampura and Pusa recorded maximums of 41.8 degrees Celsius, 41.7degrees Celsius, 41.6degrees Celsius, and 41.5 degrees Celsius, the IMD said.
The city’s minimum temperature settled at 20.6 degrees Celsius, three notches more than normal. For the plains, a “heatwave” is declared when the maximum temperature is more than 40 degrees Celsius, and at least 4.5 notches above normal.
A “severe” heatwave is declared if departure from normal temperature is more than 6.5 degrees Celsius, according to the IMD.