Mumbai sizzles at 40.3°C, no respite expected today

Monday was season’s hottest day; IMD says temperatures may dip only from Wednesday

March 26, 2019 01:27 am | Updated 09:27 am IST - Mumbai

Making a splash: A boy takes a dip at Juhu chowpatty to beat the heat on Monday. Dinesh Parab Dinesh Parab

Making a splash: A boy takes a dip at Juhu chowpatty to beat the heat on Monday. Dinesh Parab Dinesh Parab

It’s not even peak summer season yet, but Mumbai was sweating it out at 40.3 degrees Celsius on Monday, the season’s hottest day. Tuesday may bring no respite, says the weather gauge: temperatures are likely to remain similar.

Mumbaikars were lucky this year as the winter chill extended to a few days in March before summer settled in. Maximum temperatures started climbing only after March 15, coupled with humidity. On March 15, the city recorded a maximum temperature of 36.6 degrees Celsius, a sharp rise from 30 degrees Celsius up until then. On Saturday, the India Meterological Department’s Santacruz observatory recorded a maximum temperature of 35.4 degrees Celsius, another sharp rise. The weather bureau had forecast similar temperatures for Sunday, and accordingly, temperatures hit a maximum of 36.7 degrees Celsius.

On Monday, the mercury peaked at 40.3 degrees Celsius on average, seven degrees above normal, according to the IMD’s Santacruz observatory. Many Mumbaikars took to social media to share news of the heat, some even sharing screenshots of temperatures in their localities.

In 2018, the maximum temperature for March was 41 degrees Celsius but in 2017 and 2016, the mercury had not peaked beyond 39 degrees. In 2015, the maximum temperature had touched 40.8. The all-time March record for Mumbai is 41.7 degrees Celsius on March 28, 1956. Meanwhile, the minimum temperature on early Monday morning stayed at 22 degrees Celsius, which is normal for the season. Asked if Mumbai is experiencing a heat wave, an IMD Mumbai scientist said, “There are conditions that need to be checked for concluding a heat wave. Temperatures have to be 4.5 degrees Celsius above normal consistently for two days, and at more than two stations. This seems to be a localised phenomenon. It is happening as wind direction is north easterly to easterly. Winds are travelling from a hotter region, landward side towards Mumbai.”

After Tuesday, there will be some respite: Mumbai will see a drop in temperatures, says the IMD.

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