Delhi recorded its highest maximum temperature of the season on Friday. At the India Meteorological Department’s Safdarjung observatory, the maximum temperature recorded was 43.8°C. However, at Palam it was 45.4°C, and 44.4°C at Lodhi Road.
“Heatwave is likely to continue over Delhi-NCR [National Capital Region] between May 23 and 25 due to dry and northwesterly winds prevailing over Northwest India,” Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional forecasting centre in Delhi said. A weather condition called a heatwave occurs when the maximum temperature reaches 40°C in the plains and 30°C in the hilly regions.
In other parts of North India too, the mercury rose sharply. “We cannot expect any relief from hot weather in northwest India till May 27,” Srivastava said according to the Hindustan Times. “The maximum temperature will range from 42 to 45°C. Around May 29, a western disturbance is likely to cause clouding. The dry hot north-westerly winds and clear skies are leading to maximum temperatures peaking.”
The highest maximum temperature recorded in India on Friday was 46.2°C in Churu in Rajasthan. Heatwave conditions are very likely over Rajasthan and West Madhya Pradesh during the next five days, the IMD said. A severe heatwave may engulf some pockets over West Rajasthan on Saturday, the weather department said.
The weather department has also issued a heatwave warning for Uttar Pradesh for Saturday and Sunday. On Friday, Jhansi was the hottest place in Uttar Pradesh with a maximum temperature of 46.1°C, 3.1°C above normal. Agra recorded 45.4°C, Prayagraj 45°C, Kanpur 44.5°C and Aligarh and Banda 44°C.
The IMD also said that heatwave conditions prevailed in Nagpur, Akola and Chandrapur districts of Maharashtra on Friday, with maximum temperatures over 45°C in the Vidarbha subdivision.
The National Disaster Management Authority said on Friday that 23 lakh migrant labourers have travelled to their hometowns by train between May 12 and May 21. These trains were arranged by the Centre to ferry workers home amid the coronavirus crisis. However, NDMA said the data for workers who walked home is not available.
“They are very vulnerable to heat strokes if they are walking,” Gandhinagar Institute of Public Health Director Dilip Mavlankar told the Hindustan Times. “They will have to drink a lot of water and take rest frequently. They should choose cooler parts of the day to walk like mornings and evenings.”