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Hottest April in 122 years; Delhi's max temp settles at 43.5 deg C

Hottest April in 122 years; Delhis max temp settles at 43.5 deg C
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New Delhi: Northwest and central India experienced their hottest April in 122 years with average maximum temperatures reaching 35.9 and 37.78 degrees Celsius respectively, the weather office said on Saturday.

Delhi continued to reel under a heatwave on Saturday as the maximum temperature here settled at 43.5 degrees Celsius, five notches above the season's average, the India Meteorological Department said.

The IMD, however, predicted dust and thunderstorms on Monday and Wednesday which is likely to give some respite to residents from the scorching heat.

"Heatwave is likely to sweep across the region on Sunday too. People are likely to get some respite from the heat as the city would witness dust or thunderstorm on Monday and Wednesday. There will be partly cloudy sky on Tuesday," IMD officials said.

For the plains, a heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature is over 40 degrees Celsius, and at least 4.5 notches above normal.

Addressing a press conference, India Meteorological Department Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said northwest and west-central parts of the country — Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana — will continue to experience above-normal temperatures in May as well.

Nights would be warmer in May in most parts of the country, except in some regions of south peninsular India, Mohapatra said.

The average temperature observed pan-India for April was 35.05 degrees, which was the fourth-highest in 122 years, he said.

"The average rainfall in May 2022 over the country is most likely to be above normal," Mohapatra said.

However, parts of northwest and northeast India as well as the extreme southeast Peninsula are expected to get below normal rainfall in May, he said. The high temperatures in March and April were attributed to "continuously scanty rainfall activity", he said.

In March, northwest India recorded a deficit in rainfall of around 89 per cent, while the deficit was nearly 83 per cent in April, mainly on account of feeble and dry western disturbances, Mohapatra said.

North India witnessed six western disturbances but they were mostly feeble and moved across the higher parts of the Himalayas, he said, adding the last three western disturbances caused strong winds in parts of Delhi and dust storms over Rajasthan in April.

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