Several parts of north India reeled under an intense heatwave with many districts in Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh posting temperatures over 45 degrees Celsius or five degrees above what is normal.
Churu in Rajasthan registered 47° C whereas Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh recorded 46° C. The State and district administrations have warned the residents to take precautions.
On Sunday, the India Meteorological Department had forecast “heatwave to severe heatwave conditions” over northwest, central and adjoining peninsular India for most of the week along with heavy rain over northeast India.
Many parts of coastal Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Maharashtra also saw temperatures soar above 42° C, triggering heatwave conditions.
The heat was due to dry northwesterly winds prevailing over northwest and central India. The IMD said that summer temperatures in May — on average — were lower than usual mostly due to several rain-bearing Western Disturbances.
High summer temperatures in north India are one of the factors important for drawing in the monsoon rain into Kerala. However, cyclone Amphan delayed this advent. The IMD had said that it expected the monsoon to hit Kerala only on June 5, while Skymet, a private weather forecast agency, disagreed saying it might hit the State by May 28. Beginning Saturday, May temperatures are finally in the realm of normal for this time of the year in north India.