Several parts of north and west India reeled under scorching heat wave with the temperature touching 50 degrees Celsius in Rajasthan's Churu district on Tuesday.
The national capital recorded a maximum of 47.6 degrees Celsius in the Palam area, while most places here saw their maximum temperatures six notches above the normal.
In large areas, a heat wave is declared when the maximum temperature is 45 degrees Celsius for two consecutive days and a severe heat wave is when the mercury touches the 47 degrees-mark for two days on the trot. In small areas like Delhi, heat wave is declared if the temperature soars to 45 degrees Celsius even for a day, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
Severe heat wave conditions prevailed in parts of Rajasthan, with the mercury touching 50 degrees Celsius in Churu district. This is the second-highest maximum temperature recorded in the district in the month of May in the last 10 years.
The district had recorded a high of 50.2 degrees Celsius on May 19, 2016, according to the meteorological (MeT) department. Bikaner, Ganganagar, Kota and Jaipur recorded maximum temperatures of 47.4 degrees Celsius, 47 degrees Celsius, 46.5 degrees Celsius and 45 degrees Celsius, respectively, it said.
The weather office has predicted severe heat wave conditions in Churu, Bikaner, Hanumangarh and Ganganagar districts during the next 24 hours. In Delhi, the Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative figures for the city, recorded a maximum of 46 degrees Celsius, as Delhi sweltered under a scorching heat wave.
The last time the mercury at the Safdarjung weather station touched the 46-degrees-Celsius mark was on May 19, 2002, said Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the regional forecasting centre of the. The all-time record for Safdarjung in May is 47.2 degrees Celsius, recorded on May 29, 1944.
The last time the Palam Observatory recorded such a high temperature in May -- 47.6 degrees Celsius -- was on May 18, 2010, Srivastava said. The IMD said the weather stations at Lodhi Road and Aya Nagar recorded their respective maximum at 45.4 degrees and 46.8 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, advancement of the monsoon which was hindered by super cyclonic storm Amphan will start from Wednesday, Devi said. According to the IMD, the monsoon is likely to hit Kerala on June 5, four days after its normal onset date. The IMD has also cautioned fishermen along the coasts of Kerala, Karnataka not to venture out for deep sea fishing from May 30-June 4.