Why is North India including Punjab & Delhi witnessing record-breaking high temperatures? Explained

New Delhi on Tuesday, May 28, recorded its all-time high maximum temperature at 49.9 degrees Celsius while Faridkot in Punjab witnessed 47.4 °C.

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At a time when the Lok Sabha Elections fever is at its peak, North Indians have been witnessing scorching heat, and multiple cities in India are witnessing record-breaking high temperatures. While heatwave in India is not a new thing, the sweltering Indian summer has not only forced people to stay indoors but also heart-related problems are increasing. Delhi on Tuesday, May 28, recorded its all-time high maximum temperature as the mercury in India's capital, touched 49.9 degrees Celsius.

Not only this, the granary of India- Punjab is also witnessing record high temperatures. On May 26, the temperature in Faridkot, Punjab was recorded at 47.4 °C, which is only 0.3 °C less than May 21, 1978, the day with the highest recorded temperature in Punjab. On the said date, the maximum temperature of Punjab was recorded at 47.7 °C in Amritsar. Even in Patna, the capital of Bihar, people have been forced to stay indoors due to the roasting temperature. Apple Weather has forecasted 42 to 43-degree Celsius for the next seven days which means that there will be no respite from the heatwave in Bihar. 

Now, the question arises what is 'India's high-temperature reason' or why India is witnessing unprecedented high temperatures, especially in 2024 Summer? Below is what we know so far- 

India heatwave reason explained

As per a report, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) tracked heat waves in six major cities in India and the dangerous trends contributing to high temperatures. The CSE analysed that severe heat waves in India have worsened the Urban Heat Island Effect, i.e. when the temperature in urban areas is higher than in rural areas, resulting in a difference. A program officer named Sharanjeet Kaur was quoted saying that high temperature and humidity are crucial to understanding cities' heat stress. 

"Usually, heatwaves occur between March and July, but nowadays, we are witnessing more humidity than heat, resulting in heat stress. The temperature is relatively high at night. Pavements and concrete structures absorb the heat during the day, which gets trapped, resulting in warmer nights."

The CSE outlined that heat stress results from a deadly combination of air temperature, land surface temperature, and relative humidity, which leads to acute thermal discomfort and heat stress in cities.

What is the IMD saying on heatwave?

As per DD, large parts of northern India have been reeling under a fierce heatwave over the last few weeks. IMD has forecast that heat wave to severe heat wave conditions prevailing over Northwest and Central India are likely to reduce gradually from Thursday. These conditions are very likely to prevail in Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Odisha till Thursday. No significant change in maximum temperatures is predicted over Northwest and Central India for Wednesday. The temperature prevailing over these regions is expected to fall by 2-3 degrees Celsius in the next few days.