Temperatures touched 42.5 degree Celsius due to late onset of sea breeze
It seems to be a season of records with mercury levels soaring to new highs with frightening regularity. Saturday, with temperatures touching 42.5 degree Celsius, was the hottest day this summer breaking the previous day’s record. On Friday, the weather observatories in Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam recorded 42 degree Celsius.
The city continued to toast under the scorching sun, forcing many people to remain indoors. Those who had to step out had a tough time with tree cover scarce on most roadsides. S. Ilavarasi, a resident of Villivakkam, said “Usually, the heat comes down after 3 p.m. But, on Saturday, it was unbearably hot even in the evening. My eyes were burning and I found it difficult to keep them open even during a short drive to Kilpauk.” The temperature on Saturday was five notches higher than the average.
Sea breeze, which plays a crucial role in bringing down day temperature, set in only around 5 p.m. in Nungambakkam. The onset was delayed by two hours when compared to Friday. In Meenambakkam, weather models did not detect the setting in of sea breeze until 6 p.m., officials said. The delay in onset of the sea breeze led to peaking of the maximum temperature, they said.
Y.E.A .Raj, deputy director general of meteorology, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai, said that the second half of May is usually the hottest period of the year as the north westerly component of the wind increases. “On Friday, the northwesterly component led to mercury levels soaring. The strong westerlies did improve power generation but made the day uncomfortable for residents,” he said.
The sizzling heat wave in northern India also influenced temperatures in the city. “We expect the trend to continue for two more days,” he said.
Last year, the temperature soared to 42.5 degree Celsius on May 29. According to Meteorological data, the highest ever temperature recorded in the city, which was on May 31, 2003, was 45 degree Celsius.
Officials of the Meteorological department said that there is a chance of rain in the city over the next two or three days. Weather models indicate that north coastal Tamil Nadu, including Cuddalore and Chennai, may get some rainfall.