Pune close to its hottest summer in 100 years

April 25th, 2008 - 6:56 pm ICT by admin  

Pune, April 25 (IANS) Pune is witnessing one of its hottest summers in over 100 years. Temperatures here have been hovering above 40 degrees Celsius for the past week and people are rushing to buy air conditioners - once considered a rarity here. “The average daily temperatures Thursday and Friday have been just one and half degrees Celsius less than the record set more than a century back in 1897 when the mercury had hit 43.3 degrees Celsius,” said A.B Majumdar, deputy director general of India Meteorological Department (IMD), here.

The city recorded 42.1 degrees Celsius Friday.

Pune has always been known for its pleasant weather - in between the sweaty coastal temperatures of Mumbai and the dry heat Nagpur faces.

“For Nagpur, 44 degrees Celsius is very normal this time of the year,” Majumdar said.

The massive urbanisation Pune is witnessing seems to be having a negative effect on its weather conditions.

“Island effect is very common in cities - lack of trees and more concrete leads to higher temperatures,” Majumdar explained.

Air conditioners (AC) and coolers were a rarity for Pune residents, but the last couple of years has seen a rise in their sales, said Srinivas J. Buchake, manager at an electronics shop here.

” ACs and coolers had no market in Pune five yaears back, but today they are in much demand. Last year we sold close to 800 coolers between April and June,” Bhuchake added.

Said Anjali Moghe, a Pune resident: ” I always prepare myself for summers. Earlier, I used chicks (bamboo screens) and coolers to beat the heat but now that’s not enough … AC seems to be the only option.”

Past few days Punekars are avoiding even stepping out of their homes.

” Its difficult to go outside during daytime and being at home is also not easy, especially with power cuts. Kids have a tough time,” said Trevani Shetty, a house wife.

The heat wave, met officials say, is expected to continue if not raise the temperatures in the next few days.

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