Amid blistering heat in north India, a number of places in the Himalayan region are experiencing high temperatures with the mercury in Thoise in Ladakh's Nubra Valley and Solan hill station in Himachal Pradesh on Thursday soaring to 31 degrees Celsius and 35.5 degrees Celsius respectively.
According to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data, Drass, one of the coldest places in the country where mercury falls below minus 20 degrees Celsius, recorded a high of 22.6 degrees Celsius.
In Himachal Pradesh, Una recorded a maximum temperature of 42.5 degrees Celsius, a departure of seven notches from the normal. Solan registered a high of 35.5 degrees Celsius, a departure of six notches, according to the IMD said.
Ladakh is also witnessing a heatwave. Stakna recorded a high of 25.8 degrees Celsius, Leh 25.7 degrees Celsius, Kargil 28.5 degrees Celsius and Base Camp 23.4 degrees Celsius.
However, the normal temperature at these places was not available to show the difference between normal and increased temperature.
Across the northern hemisphere, a number of countries are experiencing a historic heatwave that shattered all-time temperature records in usually temperate cities. The blistering heat may have caused hundreds of deaths in Canada and the US.
Heatwave conditions were recorded in most places in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, west Uttar Pradesh, northwest Rajasthan and northwest Madhya Pradesh, with severe heatwave conditions at isolated areas in the region.
Delhi's Lodhi Road and Ridge observatory recorded maximum temperatures of 43 degrees Celsius and 43.9 degrees Celsius respectively. Safdurjung, Aya Nagar and Palam recorded the mercury rising to 43.1 degrees Celsius, 43.2 degrees Celsius, 43.1 degrees Celsius respectively.
In Delhi's neighbourhood, Gurgaon sizzled at 44.6 degrees Celsius, seven notches above the normal, as a heatwave swept Haryana and parts of Punjab. Among other places in Haryana, Hisar recorded a high of 44 degrees Celsius, up five notches against normal, while Rohtak and Bhiwani recorded identical maximums of 44 degrees Celsius each.
In Punjab, Patiala recorded a maximum temperature of 41.6 degrees Celsius, up seven notches against normal. Bathinda recorded a high of 41.5 degrees Celsius, up three degrees while Gurdaspur's maximum settled at 40 degrees Celsius.
Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, also reeled under the hot weather recording a high of 40.8 degrees Celsius. In Rajasthan, Alwar, Pilani and Sawai Madhopur 43 degrees Celsius, 43.4 degrees Celsius and 41.3 degrees Celsius respectively. The mercury in Ganganagar and Churu soared to 44.5 degrees Celsius and 44 degrees Celsius.
The IMD has issued a heatwave alert for Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, north Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and northwest Madhya Pradesh over the next two days.
"Due to likely dry westerly/southwesterly winds from Pakistan to northwest India at lower levels, heatwave conditions in isolated/some pockets over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, north Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and northwest Madhya Pradesh (are likely) during next two days," the IMD said.
Heatwave is likely to decrease in intensity and area coverage due to expected southwesterly winds from the Arabian Sea. "However due to increase in humidity in association with these winds, discomfort will continue for the next seven days," IMD Director General Mrutunjay Mohapatra said.