1. Home
  2. English
  3. Delhi Sizzles at 52.3 Degree Celsius, Highest in India
Delhi Sizzles at 52.3 Degree Celsius, Highest in India

Delhi Sizzles at 52.3 Degree Celsius, Highest in India

Social Share

Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, May 29: Delhi, the national capital of India recorded the highest-ever temperature in the country at 52.3 degrees Celsius at 2.30 PM on Wednesday.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said Delhi’s Mungeshpur area recorded the highest-ever temperature though some showers in the evening brought in some respite from the extreme heatwave. Besides this, Delhi has also reported its all-time high power demand of 8,302 megawatts (MW) amid a severe heatwave condition across major cities in north India.

A temperature monitoring station in Delhi’s Mungeshpur reported this figure at 2.30 pm. A senior weather department official, however, said they are checking whether the sensors gave the correct reading to confidently confirm if this was indeed the hottest day ever in the country.

Delhi has been reeling under severe heatwave conditions over the past few days. While the maximum temperature has been hovering around the 50 degrees Celsius mark, the minimum is inching closer to the 30 degrees.

The weather office had earlier warned of extreme heat in most parts of the national capital. The IMD forecast for Wednesday predicted a maximum temperature of 45.8 degrees. However, at 2.30 pm today, the weather station in Delhi’s Mungeshpur recorded a temperature of 52.3 degrees Celsius, the highest-ever in any part of India.

Not to miss an opportunity to bring in politics and attack the local Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, the Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena criticised the chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and the concerned Delhi minister for their “lack of sensitivity” and “seriousness” for the labourers.

Mr Saxena directed the officials to ensure a paid break for labourers from noon to 3 pm, water and coconut milk at construction sites, and water pitchers at bus stands and said but for the lack of sensitivity and seriousness for the poor labourers, such measures should have been taken by the local government long back.

Explaining the reasons behind the rising temperature, the IMD regional head Kuldeep Srivastava said the city’s outskirts were the first areas to be hit by hot winds from Rajasthan. “Parts of Delhi are particularly susceptible to the early arrival of these hot winds, worsening the already severe weather. Areas like Mungeshpur, Narela and Najafgarh are the first to experience the full force of these hot winds,” he said.

The temperature was more than nine degrees higher than expected, the second day of record-breaking heat, and pushed up the mercury by more than degree from the 2002 record of 49.2 degree Celsius. Delhi’s primary weather station Safdarjung observatory recorded a maximum temperature of 46.8 degree Celsius, highest in 79 years.

The IMD issued a red alert health notice for Delhi, with an estimated population of more than 30 million people. The alert warns there is a “very high likelihood of developing heat illness and heat stroke in all ages” with “extreme care needed for vulnerable people.”

India is no stranger to searing summer temperatures but years of scientific research have found climate change is causing heatwaves to become longer, more frequent and more intense.

Amidst the heatwave, the national capital also reported its all-time high power demand of 8,302 megawatts (MW) as more and more residents turned on power-intensive air-conditioning, electricity department officials said. The officials said this was the first time in the history of the national capital that power demand has crossed the 8,300-MW mark — 100 MW more than what power distribution companies had predicted.

Among other areas recording extremely high temperatures were Phalodi (51 degree Celsius) in Rajasthan and Haryana’s Sirsa (50.3 degree Celsius). The weather office earlier warned of extreme heat in most parts of the national capital.

A fall of up to 4 degree Celsius over south Rajasthan districts – Barmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Sirohi, and Jalore – has been recorded on Wednesday due to moist wind incursion from the Arabian Sea, indicating the beginning of the heatwave reduction over northwest India.

Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) data, which uses computer models to process current weather observations to forecast future weather, are of the view that this decreasing trend would further extend northwards bringing gradual respite from heatwave conditions from May 30. Also, incursion of moist winds from the Bay of Bengal from Thursday is likely to cause a gradual fall in maximum temperature over Uttar Pradesh.

Temperatures over 50 degree Celsius are often considered rare in the world. The places that have recorded such high temperatures are mostly in the Middle East or the South Asia region.

In the past, countries like Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan as well as India have recorded temperatures above 50 degree Celsius. Besides them, the United States and Australia have also breached this mark in the past.

The highest official temperature registered so far is 56.7 degree Celsius, recorded on July 10, 1913, at Greenland Ranch, Death Valley, California in the US, as per the Guinness Book of World Records. In 2012, though, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) had invalidated the record for the highest recorded temperature — 58°C — about 100 years ago in Libya’s El Azizia.

In Africa, the hottest known temperature is 55 degree Celsius, recorded in Tunisia’s Kebili in 1931. Further, it stated that Iran holds the record for Asia’s hottest official temperature — 54 degree Celsius — recorded in 2017. In Australia, a temperature of 50.7 degree Celsius was recorded at Oodnadatta on January 2, 1960.

In Europe, the highest temperature recorded ever was 48.8 degree Celsius on the Italian island of Sicily. This was on August 11, 2021. Meanwhile, the maximum temperature in the United Kingdom had reached 40.2 degree Celsius on July 19, 2022.

Two hours after Delhi recorded the country’s highest-ever temperature at 52.3 degrees Celsius, the national capital received showers this afternoon, bringing some respite from the extreme heat.

Mahesh Palawat, vice president of Meteorology and Climate Change at Skymet Weather, said, “In open areas with vacant land, there is increased radiation. Direct sunlight and lack of shade make these regions exceptionally hot. When wind blows from the west, it affects these areas first. As they are on the outskirts, temperatures rise rapidly,” Mr Palawat added.

To add to Delhiites’ problems, a water crisis is on the horizon. Delhi minister Atishi has said the Haryana government was not giving the national capital its share of Yamuna water and this has led to water crisis in some areas. The AAP government on Wednesday directed Delhi Jal Board to form 200 teams to monitor and minimise water wastage. Washing cars with hose pipes, overflowing tanks and use of drinking water for commercial purposes will now attract a fine of ₹ 2,000.



Your email address will not be published.

Join our WhatsApp Channel

And stay informed with the latest news and updates.

Join Now
revoi whats app qr code