This is a collection of articles, mainly from the Delhi- based press.
This page is under construction. Data will continue to be added over the next several years.
A quick Definition
Easterly winds in north India are a feature of the monsoon. The frequency of these flows usually increases through June, as the monsoon comes closer. Once the monsoon arrives over the region, easterly winds predominate.
i) Heat wave conditions are when the maximum temperature in an area is four or more degrees above the normal temperature. (The Times of India)
ii) In large areas, a heatwave is declared when the mercury touches the 45-degree mark for two consecutive days and a severe heatwave is when the temperature soars to 47 degrees Celsius for two days on the trot, according to the India Meteorological Department.
In small areas, like the national capital, a heatwave is declared if the maximum temperature is recorded at 45 degrees Celsius even for a day, it said. (PTI)
Delhi, May/ June
As in 2019
See graphic, ' Relative Humidity in Delhi, 29 May- 2June 2019 '
Warm weather: When does it arrive?
2012-19: The first 30°C day of the year in Delhi
See graphic, '2012-19: The first 30°C day of the year in Delhi'
The highest temperatures recorded
Delhi: 1944, 2013, 2016-18
Delhi’s all-time high temperature (in May) was 47.2 degrees recorded on May 29, 1944.
The temperature at Safdarjung touched 45 degrees or more on just three days in [2016-18]
once in May 2018
and twice in June 2017.
The highest temperature in Delhi in [2009-18] was
45.7 degrees recorded on May 24, 2013.
2019, 30May- 5 June
How does one wake up to a minimum temperature of 34 degrees Celsius, or plan the day when mornings, afternoons and evenings melt into one solid time block, seamlessly dissolving in each other under a burning, brutal sky? Life in Rajasthan’s Churu now is like living on the edge of a tandoor. The glow of the fire seemingly inches away from scalding the skin.
50.8 degrees Celsius and 50.3, it was the hottest place in the world. And it’s driving people crazy. For more than a week now, the temperature has hovered around that point. Men and women have altered their work cycle, eating habits and even lifestyle to cope with the blistering heat. Nothing seems enough.
What has added to our agony is the power cut that starts from 4am, when it’s already close to 35 degrees C,” said Radhey Sharma, a retired government employee at the Housing Board Colony in Churu. “Thereafter, we go out and bring at least 10 kg of ice, which is like a regular grocery item these days, to put it in the water tank and air-coolers.”
There’s a rush of people at the district hospital, all complaining of vomiting, diarrhoea, heat stroke and skin ailments. Leaves of doctors have been cancelled and the entire district is on high alert.
“At least 70 patients are admitted in various wards for different heat-related problems,” said Dr Goga Ram, principal medical officer, Churu government hospital. He doesn’t expect the footfall to recede in the days to come.
Not surprisingly, says another doctor, Churu’s people have quickly changed the way they eat. Chaach (butter milk), raw onion, curd and chapati have become some kind of a universal breakfast, with many skipping lunch altogether. “During such weather, it’s better to fill oneself up with fluids,” explained the medical man. “The more you consume oily stuff and carbohydrates, the greater the chances of compounding health problems.”
Out on the road, it’s almost eerie. By 10.30am, when most of India is bustling, the streets start emptying out in Churu. Public places are deserted, there are few passengers at railway stations and bus stands, and taxi-wallahs are nowhere to be seen.
Farmers, those mostly out in the unforgiving sun, hit their fields at 4am. It’s the same pattern that’s followed in neighbouring Binasar, Poti, Satara, Jasrasar and Jaasasar. “We don’t have an option,” said Balram Chaudhary in Jasrasar village, 24 km away from Churu. “By 7 am, it’s already simmering.”
It is toughest for nomadic people like the Gadiya-Lohars, some of whom work as ironsmiths by the roadside. “We wear wet cloths,” said Manhori as she hammered away near a furnace.
On measures taken by the district administration, a senior officer said they are sprinkling water all around, urging people to drink more water and regularly assessing the situation at hospitals. There isn’t much anyone can do when it’s so hot that birds start falling off trees.
The temperature also touched 47.3 degrees Celsius. Some saw it as bit of a respite. “It is a temporary relief,” said an officer at the Churu Met office. He wasn’t trying to be funny.
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