At eight notches above the normal, Thursday’s maximum temperature beat Wednesday’s record of 32.5 degrees Celsius. Before this, the highest day-time temperature was recorded on February 25, 2006, at 32.1 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature on Thursday, too, increased from 12 degrees Celsius on Wednesday to 13.4 on Thursday. Safdarjung — the capital’s base station — crossed the 33-mark for maximum temperature on Thursday while the sports complex weather station in east Delhi had a high of 34.1 degrees Celsius.
Only one western disturbance has affected the plains this month and its absence has led to warm day conditions. “There are no clouds and due to clear sky, the days are warm. Nearly four-five western disturbances affected the western Himalayan region this month, but only light rain and snowfall was recorded in the hills,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, scientist at IMD and head of Regional Weather Forecasting Centre. “If there was moderate rain or snowfall in hilly areas, the temperature here could have decreased,” Srivastava added.
Met officials said another reason for the rise in temperatures was that westerly winds had been blowing from the Rajasthan side to Delhi.
According to India Meteorological Department’s forecast, the maximum temperature could touch 34 degrees Celsius on Friday, while the minimum is likely to remain around 13 degrees Celsius. There are chances of mist/shallow fog during morning hours.
However, the mercury is predicted to drop slightly from Saturday due to strong winds. The Met department said the maximum temperature might dip to 33 degrees Celsius on Saturday and likely to decrease further to 29 degrees Celsius on March 2.
“As the wind speed is likely to pick up to 25-30 kmph from February 27, the temperature may not rise. Strong winds will also help in cleaning Delhi’s air,” said Srivastava.
The overall air quality index (AQI) of the national capital on Thursday was 298 in “poor” category. Delhi’s air quality improved after wind speed picked up during the day.