Heat wave grips India, mercury soars

May 26th, 2010 - 10:32 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) Many parts of north and east India continued to reel under a heat wave with the mercury nearing a scorching 50 degrees Celsius in Jalgaon in Maharashtra and touching 47.9 in Haryana’s Hisar Wednesday, officials said. Many deaths have been reported from various places due to the intense heat.

“There is a heat wave condition in the country with rising temperatures, including in the national capital. It will take some time for the condition to subside,” India Meteorological Department (IMD) director B.P. Yadav told IANS.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - the US climate agency that monitors global weather using satellites - the first four months of 2010 have been sizzling hot and north India has not been this high temperature in the last 100 years.

In Maharashtra, the extreme heat has resulted in 61 deaths, officials said.

The maximum temperature in the state touched a sweltering 49 degrees Celsius in Jalgaon in north Maharashtra. The weather conditions were similar in many other parts of the state.

“The deficit rainfall in the state, except in the Konkan region, has led to a heavy water crisis in Maharashtra,” an official said.

In Orissa, government officials confirmed at least 25 deaths because of the extremely hot weather the past two weeks or more.

Hirakud town in Sambalpur district, 330 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, recorded 44.5 degrees Celsius Wednesday, the day’s highest in the state.

The other places that recorded high temperatures were Bhabanipatna at 44.1 degrees Celsius, Jharsuguda at 43.2 and Titlagarh at 43.8 degrees Celsius.

Delhi also sizzled with the maximum temperature touching 45.2 degrees Celsius, four notches above the average for this time of the year. This is the highest temperature recorded in May since 2006.

An IMD official said: “As per our data, in May 2006 the highest temperature recorded in Delhi was 45 degrees Celsius on May 7. So today’s maximum temperature has broken the five-year record.”

The minimum temperature similarly was a notch above the average at 28.8 degrees Celsius.

The Met department said the temperatures in the national capital could touch 46 degrees in the coming days.

In Haryana, Hisar sweltered at 47.9 degrees Celsius Wednesday. Karnal recorded 45 degrees followed by Ambala’s high of 44 degrees Celsius.

The Haryana government ordered all schools in the state to be shut from May 27 to May 31 due to scorching heat wave, effectively advancing by four days the summer recess which normally begins June 1.

In Punjab, Amritsar recorded a sizzling 47 degrees Celsius. The highest ever temperature recorded in Amritsar so far is 47.7 degrees Celsius on May 21, 1978.

The heat wave conditions were clearly intensifying over the state, with the industrial city of Ludhiana reeling at 46.5 degrees while Patiala town recorded a high of 45.6 degrees.

Chandigarh recorded its highest temperature of the season at 43.2 degrees.

In Uttar Pradesh, the state’s southern parts are the worst-hit by the heat wave.

“Barring the southern regions, the weather conditions are normal in rest of the state. Except the southern parts of the state, westerly winds have subsided in other regions and the temperature is hovering around 40 degrees Celsius,” state Met director J.P. Gupta told IANS.

In Lucknow, the maximum temperature was 40.8 degrees Celsius, one degree above the average, while the minimum settled at 27.4 degrees Celsius.

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