Delhi hits 52.3 degrees, highest-ever recorded temperature in India


India reported its highest-ever temperature at 52.3 degree Celsius today. A temperature monitoring station in Delhi’s Mungeshpur reported this figure at 2.30 pm.

Explaining the reason behind the rising temperature, India Meteorological Department (IMD) regional head Kuldeep Srivastava said the city’s outskirts are the first areas to be hit by hot winds from Rajasthan.

“Parts of Delhi are particularly susceptible to the early arrival of these hot winds, worsening the already severe weather. Areas like Mungeshpur, Narela and Najafgarh are the first to experience the full force of these hot winds,” he told news agency PTI.

The temperature was more than nine degrees higher than expected, the second day of record-breaking heat, and pushed up the mercury by more than degree from the 2002 record of 49.2 degree Celsius.

It also rained in Delhi briefly on Wednesday evening, which is likely to raise the humidity level.

The IMD issued a red alert health notice for Delhi, with an estimated population of more than 30 million people. The alert warns there is a “very high likelihood of developing heat illness and heat stroke in all ages”, with “extreme care needed for vulnerable people”.

India is no stranger to searing summer temperatures, but years of scientific research have found climate change is causing heatwaves to become longer, more frequent and more intense.

The national capital reported its all-time high power demand of 8,302 megawatts (MW) amid the heatwave as more and more residents turned on power-intensive air-conditioning, electricity department officials said.

Other areas that reported extremely high temperature are both in the desert state Rajasthan – 51 degree Celsius in Phalodi, and 50.8 degree Celsius.

Sirsa in Haryana recorded 50.3 degree Celsius.

A fall of up to 4 degree Celsius over south Rajasthan districts – Barmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Sirohi, and Jalore – has been recorded today due to moist wind incursion from the Arabian Sea, indicating the beginning of the heatwave reduction over northwest India.

Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) data, which uses computer models to process current weather observations to forecast future weather, are of the view that this decreasing trend would further extend northwards bringing gradual respite from heatwave conditions from May 30.

Also, incursion of moist winds from the Bay of Bengal from Thursday is likely to cause a gradual fall in maximum temperature over Uttar Pradesh.