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At 33.6 Degrees Celsius, Delhi Sees Third Hottest February day in 54 Years
An IMD official said that the lack of strong western disturbances was the primary reason for the early heat in Delhi and other parts of northwest India.
It seems as if summer has arrived unusually early as Delhi on Monday (February 20, 2023) recorded its third hottest February day since 1969. The maximum temperature at the national capital's primary weather station Safdarjung observatory soared to 33.6 degrees Celsius, nine notches above normal. The automatic weather station at Pitampura recorded a maximum temperature of 35.1 degrees Celsius, a departure of 10 degrees from normal. The Najafgarh and Ridge stations in the capital recorded maximum temperatures of 34.6 and 34.2 degrees Celsius, which was 9 to 10 notches above normal.
An India Meteorological Department (IMD) official said that Delhi recorded an all-time high of 34.1 degrees Celsius on February 26, 2006, and a maximum temperature of 33.9 degrees on February 17, 1993.
"This is the third highest maximum temperature in Delhi in the 1969-2023 period," another IMD official said.
Lack of strong western disturbances primary reason for early heat in Delhi
Head of the IMD's regional forecasting center Kuldeep Srivastava said that the lack of strong western disturbances was the primary reason for the early heat in Delhi and other parts of northwest India.
"The weather in northwest India is primarily regulated by western disturbances. Since there has been no active western disturbance in the region since January 29, the temperatures have gone up appreciably," he said.
A few feeble western disturbances have led to below-normal precipitation in the hills, he added.
Maximum temperatures are already showing a rising trend and the mercury may soar to 40 degrees Celsius and above in one or two meteorological subdivisions of northwest India in the first half of March, he said.
Early heat may adversely affect wheat and other crops
Significantly high temperatures over northwest India, Gujarat, Konkan, and Goa may have an adverse impact on wheat and other crops, the IMD said on Monday.
Maximum temperatures in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Konkan, Goa, and coastal Karnataka have remained in the range of 35 to 39 degrees Celsius -- four to nine degrees above normal -- since February 13.
Maximum temperatures in Punjab, Haryana, and Chandigarh have also remained five to nine degrees Celsius above normal since February 18.
"This higher day temperature might lead to an adverse effect on wheat as the crop is approaching the reproductive growth period, which is sensitive to temperature," the IMD said.
High temperatures during the flowering and maturing periods lead to a loss in yield. There could be a similar impact on other standing crops and horticulture, it said.
The IMD said farmers can go for light irrigation if the crop appears to be under stress.
"To reduce the impact of higher temperatures, add mulch material in the space between two rows of vegetable crops to conserve soil moisture and maintain soil temperature," it added.