29 May 2024

A temp of 52.3 degrees in Delhi seems very unlikely: Rijiju, what IMD said?

New Delhi: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is currently examining the temperature sensor at the Mungeshpur automatic weather station in Delhi to verify its accuracy, said IMD Director General M. Mohapatra. This station recorded an unprecedented 52.3 degrees Celsius today, the highest temperature ever reported in India. 

Average across the city ranges between 45-50 degrees

Dr. Mohapatra noted that out of the 20 monitoring stations in Delhi, 14 have reported a temperature drop, with the average across the city ranging between 45-50 degrees Celsius.

He emphasized that the Mungeshpur station's reading requires confirmation. Although some observatories in Delhi have recorded slightly higher temperatures, the Mungeshpur reading warrants a thorough investigation.

A team of specialists has been dispatched to Mungeshpur to inspect the temperature sensor, Dr. Mohapatra added. He also suggested that local factors might be influencing the unusually high reading.

Sensor error? 

"The maximum temperature across Delhi NCR ranged from 45.2 to 49.1 degrees Celsius. Mungeshpur's 52.9 degrees Celsius is temperature has been possibly recorded due to a sensor error or local factors. The IMD is currently reviewing the data and sensors," the IMD stated later in the evening.

A temp of 52.3 degrees in Delhi seems very unlikely: Rijiju

Earth Sciences Minister Kiren Rijiju commented, "This is not yet official. A temperature of 52.3 degrees Celsius in Delhi seems very unlikely. IMD senior officials have been instructed to verify this report. The official position will be announced soon."

The reported temperature is over nine degrees higher than expected and follows a second consecutive day of record-breaking heat, surpassing the previous record of 49.2 degrees Celsius set in 2002 by more than a degree.

Delhi experienced brief rainfall on Wednesday evening, which is likely to increase humidity levels.

Delhi's primary weather station, the Safdarjung observatory, recorded a maximum temperature of 46.8 degrees Celsius, the highest in 79 years.

Red alert health advisory issued for Delhi

The IMD has issued a red alert health advisory for Delhi. The alert warns of a "very high likelihood of developing heat illness and heat stroke in all ages" and advises "extreme care for vulnerable individuals."

India regularly experiences scorching summer temperatures, but extensive research indicates that climate change is making heat waves longer, more frequent, and more intense.

Delhi reported an all-time high power demand 

Amid the heat wave, Delhi reported an all-time high power demand of 8,302 megawatts (MW) as residents increasingly used air-conditioning, according to electricity department officials.

Other regions reporting extremely high temperatures include Phalodi in Rajasthan with 51 degrees Celsius and Sirsa in Haryana with 50.3 degrees Celsius. Rajasthan's Barmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Sirohi, and Jalore districts recorded a temperature drop of up to 4 degrees Celsius due to moist winds from the Arabian Sea, signaling a reduction in heatwave conditions over northwest India.

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