New Delhi records hottest day as temperature crosses 52°C

India's capital city has been hit by new record heat on successive days

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New Delhi residents endured the city's hottest day on record on Wednesday as the mercury crossed 52°C in the Indian capital.

The Indian Meteorological Department recorded 52.3°C in the city's Mungeshpur station.

The average temperature in the city's several weather stations hovered at above 48°C.

Peak power demand in capital on Wednesday was 8,302MW, breaking the record of 7,695MW in 2022.

India has been hit by a heatwave of late that has disrupted daily life.

On Tuesday, city's Safdarjung weather office recorded a maximum temperature of 49.9°C in parts of the city.

On the same day, two stations in the capital recorded the “highest temperature ever” in the city, Mritunjay Mohapatra of the Indian Meteorological Department told The National.

In the Najafgarh area of Delhi, 49.7°C was recorded and in Pitampura and Pusa it was 48.5°C on Tuesday.

Churu in the western state of Rajasthan was the hottest place in the country on Tuesday at 50.5°C, while Sirsa in neighbouring Haryana state recorded 50.3°C.

“It is unbearably hot," Manish Saini, a grocery shop owner in Churu, told The National. "There is a shortage of water. We can't sleep at night because of the heat. We do not have air conditioners.

“No one leaves their home after 10am, we hardly get any customers,” he said.

When the maximum temperature breaches the 40°C mark, this is classed as a heatwave. It is forecast to remain well above the normal seasonal temperature for two or more days, the Meteorological Department said.

Authorities issued a red alert warning – extremely hot temperatures – for Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, western Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat on Wednesday.

North and north-western India experiences a severe summer annually but this year, the temperatures are significantly high due to lack of "Western Disturbance", Mr Mohapatra said.

The Western Disturbance is a weather system that comes from the Mediterranean and brings moisture-rich clouds to the subcontinent and eventually rain.

“Every year, the temperature goes high in the month of May,” Mr Mohapatra said. "Sometimes, it could be so high that there is a heatwave.

"There is no Western Disturbance, no thunderstorm or rain activity, so that’s why the temperature is going up over average. There is subsidence of air over north-western India."

“From May 30, temperatures will fall,” he said.

Updated: May 30, 2024, 12:55 PM