Mumbai: Sunday was the hottest day in March this summer with the maximum temperature touching 41 degrees Celsius – 8 degrees higher than the previous day; Mumbai is experiencing such sweltering heat in March after three years. Temperature in March is known to sputter and sneak into the 40s. The second highest temperature recorded this season was on March 11 — 37.8 degree Celsius.
As against this, in 2017, the highest maximum temperature recorded in March was 38.4 degrees Celsius; in 2016 it was 38.2 degrees Celsius; and in 2015 it had touched 40.8 degrees Celsius. However, the highest maximum temperature recorded thus far in March was 41.7 degrees Celsius on March 28, 1956.
A senior official of IMD said they expect a further rise in mercury in the coming days. “Temperatures, not only in Mumbai but all across Maharashtra, are likely to witness a huge spike in the next two days; there can even be heatwave like conditions, as we expect the mercury in several parts to hover around 40 degree Celsius,” said an IMD official.
He added that the reason for the heat spell was the low-level circulation over the Arabian Sea near south Gujarat, which had brought the North Easterly winds to the coast, causing the temperatures to rise. Officials said the hot conditions are likely to persist this month in Mumbai with minor fluctuations. “This is the seasonal weather forecast for March; however, sporadic fluctuations cannot be ruled out,” said KS Hosalikar, deputy director-general of the western region, IMD.
The humidity levels on Sunday also remained low, leading to hot but dry conditions. The humidity level during the day on Sunday was 90 percent at Colaba and 79 percent at Santacruz.
The doctors said the sudden and extreme change in weather may affect the health of residents. “Mumbai does not usually witness cases of heatstroke that occur due to dry heat, because of the high humidity. However, due to loss of body fluids, people tend to drink juices or others beverages available outside, which can lead to infections,” said a senior doctor of KEM. “People should keep themselves hydrated at all times and a pinch of salt in water or lemon juice will keep their bodies cool,” the doctor advised.
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