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Mercury rising: At 48 degrees Celsius, Delhi records a 100-year high

Abhishek Waghmare/New Delhi 11 Jun 19 | 01:59 AM

The Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi recorded a temperature of 48 degrees Celsius on Monday, which is the highest at the airport in the last century for the month of June. 

Monday’s temperature breached the previous all-time high (for June) of 47.8 C recorded exactly five years ago on June 9, 2014, official data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) shows.

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The all-time record for all months in Delhi (airport region) is 48.4 degrees Celsius recorded in May 1998.

In the entire swathe of the northern plains, from Amritsar in Punjab to Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, maximum temperatures neared or breached their all-time record for June on Monday. Towns in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, too, faced the heat.  

The capital city was saved from the extreme temperature to some extent, with the mercury rising to 45.6 degrees Celsius, a degree lower than the all-time high of 46.7 degrees Celsius for June recorded on June 17, 1945, two years before independence.

While the maximum temperature at the airport was 8 degrees Celsius above the normal for this day, in the city, it was 6 degrees Celsius above normal. The minimum temperature, however, was 27.2 degrees Celsius, lower by a degree than the normal for this day.

Mercury had risen not only in the capital city. According to IMD data, Churu town in Rajasthan recorded a maximum temperature of 50.3 degrees 

Celsius, and crossed the 50 degrees Celsius-mark for the third time this summer. Banda town in Uttar Pradesh’s Bundelkhand was the second hottest at 49.2 degrees Celsius.

Delayed monsoon has partially made this possible, meteorologists said.

“Due to the delayed monsoon winds, moisture content in central and northern plains is lesser than normal, and there is nothing to cool the region down. The upcoming depression will bring in some moisture and cooler days after June 13," said DS Pai, head of forecast at the IMD.  

Delhiites faced this extreme temperature with dryness in the air, as relative humidity dropped from 41 per cent in the morning to 29 per cent in the evening. Temperatures are expected to fall as the month end nears, weather agencies have predicted.

While central and northern India battles with an extreme heat wave, pre-monsoon showers and monsoon rain have brought some relief in the southern peninsula. A cyclonic system (at the deep depression stage currently) has formed in the north Indian Ocean and is advancing towards the Arabian Sea.

The Met department has issued an advisory on Monday evening that this cyclonic system would intensify into a severe cyclonic storm with winds up to 135 kmph when it reaches near the coast of Saurashtra in Gujarat. The system will bring cooler winds from the Arabian Sea into the mainland, coolingdown towns in north and central India, including the capital.

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