Heatwaves Skip Delhi’s Summer for the First Time in a Decade

According to MET authorities, there won't likely be a heatwave in the coming week. Heatwave conditions typically end in the Delhi region by June 10.

Safdarjung, the city's primary meteorological station, failed to record a single scorching day during the height of the summer for the first time in ten years.

What is a heat wave?

A heatwave is characterised by a maximum temperature that is at least 40 degrees Celsius and 4.5 degrees or higher than the average temperature, according to the India Meteorological Department. When the high temperature reaches 45 degrees Celsius, a heatwave also happens. When the highest temperature is 6.5 degrees or higher than average, an extreme heatwave is declared.

The intricacies of temperature in 2023 Delhi

Safdarjung, Lodhi Road, Palam, and Ayanagar did not record any heatwaves lasting three to four days, although stations like Ridge in north Delhi, Mungeshpur, Najafgarh, and Sports Complex in CWG Village did. The heatwaves were caused by temperature variations at several stations that were getting warm due to dry air from Rajasthan and Haryana.

The majority of Delhi's scorching days take place during the peak summer months of April through the first 10 days of June. It was different this year. On April 16 at 40.5 degrees Celsius, the mercury reached the 40-degree barrier for the first time. On April 20, the temperature fell below that level. The temperature increased to 42.5 degrees Celsius on May 12 after a break of 21 days, before dropping to below 40 degrees on May 24. Since then, it has not yet reached 40 degrees Celsius.

IMD's statement

"Due to the influence of an active western disturbance, the city recorded rain, cloud and strong winds in the last week of April, first 10 days of May and the last week of May. This May saw five active western disturbances. These impacted the plains of north-west Delhi. Usually, two-three western disturbances affect the region in May," said Kuldeep Srivastava, scientist and head, Regional Weather Forecasting Centre, IMD.

"With the effect of western disturbances diminishing, the mercury will now rise gradually. However, gusty winds on Thursday and Friday could prevent a sharp rise in the temperature," added Srivastava.

Forecast for Thursday

Wednesday's high was 38.4 degrees Celsius, which is two degrees higher than average but lower than Tuesday's peak of 39.5 degrees. Compared to 23 degrees a day before, the minimum temperature was 25.2 degrees, two below average. Between 78% and 31%, the humidity fluctuated.

The high and low on Thursday is expected to be 40 degrees and 26 degrees, respectively. Although a heatwave is unlikely to occur over the next week, the meteorological service predicts that daytime highs of up to 42 degrees Celsius is going to happen during the next few days.