The maximum temperature breached the 44 degrees Celsius mark in parts of Delhi on Wednesday, even as winds carrying dust from Rajasthan pushed the capital’s air quality to the “very poor” category, according to India Meteorological Department.
However, “widespread rainfall” is likely to bring down the mercury and pollution levels on the weekend, it said. The Safdarjung Observatory, considered the official marker for the city, recorded a minimum of 31.4 degrees Celsius, the highest minimum temperature this year so far, and a maximum of 42.2 degrees Celsius.
On April 28 too, the observatory had recorded a maximum of 42.2 degrees Celsius, the highest temperature recorded this year so far, the IMD said.
In Najafgarh and Pitampura, the mercury settled at 44.1 degrees Celsius and 44.3 degrees Celsius, it said.
The likely formation of a low-pressure area over north Bay of Bengal around June 11 and its movement towards north-westerly direction may lead to “fairly widespread to widespread rain and thundershowers over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and west Uttar Pradesh on June 12 and June 13,” the IMD said.
It also predicted “heavy” rainfall at isolated places in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi on June 13. Notably, Delhi has not recorded any heatwave so far this summer.
“It is likely to be the first time since 2014 that there will be no heatwave this year,” an official said.
Frequent Western Disturbances kept the mercury in check. Cyclone Tauktae also led to “record” rains last month, the official said.
The city’s air quality deteriorated to the “very poor” category due to the dust-carrying winds blowing from Rajasthan. The 24-hour average air quality index value was 305 on Wednesday. It was 205 on Thursday, according to Central Pollution Control Board data.
An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 severe, while an AQI above 500 falls in the severe plus category.
With inputs from NDTV