Delhi weather update: Maximum temperatures in the national capital are predicted to rise gradually but a heat wave is unlikely in the next four to five days, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD). Safdarjung Observatory, the city's primary weather station, recorded a minimum temperature of 25.2 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, two notches below normal.
The maximum temperature settled at 38.4 degrees Celsius, also two degrees below normal. June started on a cooler note in Delhi with back-to-back western disturbances bringing intermittent rains. The maximum temperature has remained well below the 40-degree mark this month so far.
According to the IMD, the Safdarjung Observatory has not recorded a heat wave this year so far. This has happened for the first time since 2014. Meteorologists attributed the excess rainfall and below-normal temperatures this pre-monsoon season (March to May) to higher-than-usual western disturbances- weather systems that originate in the Mediterranean region and bring unseasonal rainfall to northwest India.
However, this doesn't mean that there will be no heat waves going ahead. With the onset of monsoon over Kerala already delayed and meteorologists anticipating sluggish progress beyond the southern peninsula due to Cyclone Biparjoy, temperatures over many parts of the country, including Delhi, are likely to remain above normal for a longer-than-usual period.
The IMD had last month predicted normal to below-normal monsoon in northwest India which means more drier and hotter days.
Coolest May in 36-years:
Delhi recorded its coolest May in 36 years with excess rainfall bringing the average maximum temperature down to 36.8 degrees Celsius this time, according to the IMD. The weather station recorded 13 heat wave days in the pre-monsoon season last year- nine in April and four in May. It saw just one heat wave day during this period in 2021, four in 2020 and one in 2019.
The threshold for a heat wave is met when the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40 degrees Celsius in the plains, 37 degrees in the coastal areas, and 30 degrees in the hilly regions, and the departure from normal is at least 4.5 notches.
(With PTI inputs)