With the monsoon keeping away from Delhi and nearby areas, another hot day is likely to trouble residents in the national capital on Wednesday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. A heat wave is predicted during the day as the maximum temperature is likely to settle around 41 degrees Celsius, Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the IMD’s regional forecasting centre, said. As the monsoon continued to play truant, Delhi on Monday recorded the first heat wave this summer season with the mercury soaring to 43 degrees Celsius, the highest so far this year.
A severe heat wave seared Lodhi Road, Ridge and Pusa areas, where the mercury soared to 42.6 degrees Celsius, 43.4 degrees Celsius and 44.3 degrees Celsius, respectively, seven notches above the average temperature. Najafgarh (44.4 degrees Celsius), Pitampura (44.3 degrees Celsius) and Mungeshpur (44.3 degrees Celsius) also reeled under a severe heat wave.
For the plains, a “heat wave" is declared when the maximum temperature is more than 40 degrees Celsius, and at least 4.5 notches above normal. A “severe" heat wave is declared if departure from normal temperature is more than 6.5 degrees Celsius, according to the IMD.
Usually, the capital witnesses heat waves till June 20 and cooler temperatures thereafter. The increase in the maximum temperature this time can be attributed to the delay in the arrival of the monsoon, Srivastava said. There has been no rainfall in the last three days and warm westerly winds are blowing across a major part of northwest India, which has not been covered by the monsoon yet, he said.
Another heat wave has been predicted for Thursday. Light rainfall and dust storm on Friday are likely to bring the mercury below the 40 degrees mark. Usually, the capital witnesses heat waves till June 20 and cooler temperatures thereafter. The increase in the maximum temperature this time can be attributed to the delay in the arrival of the monsoon, said Srivastava. There has been no rainfall in the last few days and warm westerly winds are blowing across a major part of northwest India, which has not been covered by the monsoon yet, he said.
After arriving two days late in Kerala, the monsoon had raced across the country, covering eastern, central and adjoining northwest India seven to 10 days earlier than normal. The meteorological office had earlier predicted that the wind system may reach Delhi by June 15, which would have been 12 days early.
However, westerly winds have been blocking its advance into Delhi, parts of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. Normally, monsoon reaches Delhi by June 27 and covers the entire country by July 8. Last year, the wind system had reached Delhi on June 25 and covered the entire country by June 29.
The wind system is not likely to cover the remaining part of northwest India, including Delhi, Haryana, parts of west Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and west Rajasthan in the next six to seven days, the IMD said. The last time the monsoon arrived so late in Delhi was on July 7 in 2012.