Even though June ends in less than a week, the city seems to be experiencing an extended summer, going by the peaking mercury levels.
For the past few days, residents have had to put up with the scorching heat. Even the scattered light showers in a few localities have not helped bring down the temperature.
Travelling on arterial roads that do not have any tree cover was arduous for many, with the temperature hovering around 38 degree Celsius and 39 degrees over the last week.
On Saturday, weather observatories in Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam registered 39.5 degrees Celsius and 40.1 degree Celsius respectively, which is three degrees above the average temperature.
Officials of the Meteorological department said the southwest monsoon activity has not been vigorous over the neighbouring States. Due to this, there is less moisture in the atmosphere over the Chennai region. Also, the city’s residents are feeling hotter thanks to the clear skies that have prevailed in the last few days.
So far, the city has experienced less than one mm of rainfall. In June, Chennai generally receives 6 cm of rain. Meenambakkam too, has registered scanty rainfall levels of 3.1 mm. Last year, the city received 13 cm of rainfall in June.
However, officials say the lack of rainfall will be compensated for in the coming months when the monsoons get intense. While the maximum temperature in Nungambakkam was 38.8 degree Celsius, Meenambakkam recorded 41.1 degree Celsius on Sunday. The department forecasts the same weather for Monday.
Mercury levels have peaked beyond 40 degrees Celsius in five years over the past decade.
The highest temperature recorded was 42.5 degrees Celsius on June 4, 2003 followed by 41.6 degrees Celsius on June 18, 2005.
Keywords: Chennai heat wave