India: Stifling heat to challenge highest temperatures so far this year

By Courtney Spamer, AccuWeather meteorologist
March 26, 2018, 1:44:40 AM EDT

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Residents across India will have to take the necessary precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses this week as the first major heat wave grips the country.

Most places across India have already experienced temperatures above normal more than a few days this month. This includes the cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad.

However, even hotter air will move in for the last full week of March.

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Temperatures will slowly climb for the first half of the week, likely reaching their peak by Tuesday or Wednesday across the country.

Northern India will see the biggest swing in temperatures, and it will reach the farthest above normal. The region is expected to have temperatures surpassing 38 C (100 F) for several days in a row. Some places will top out in the lower 40s C (104-110 F).

"For New Delhi, this would be well above normal for late-March, which is around 31 C (88 F)" said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty.

"However, temperatures over 38 C (100 F) have not been that uncommon in recent years," Douty added.

In both 2016 and 2017, temperatures in New Delhi surpassed 38 C (100 F) several times before the end of March.

Average temperatures in Nagpur are higher, when compared to New Delhi, and closer to 37 C (99 F). Temperatures this week are expected to still rise farther above normal, topping out above 40 C (104 F).

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"Air flowing in from the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal should hold temperatures below 38 C (100 F) on most days this week along the coast, including in Mumbai," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said. "However, AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will eclipse that mark due to high humidity in place."

Heat of this magnitude can certainly be dangerous. People are urged to avoid strenuous activity during the midday and afternoon hours and drink plenty of fluids to reduce the risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

The elderly and children are most susceptible to heat-related illness, especially when nighttime temperatures remain well above normal levels, not allowing homes to cool from the extreme daytime heat.

Additionally, unhealthy air quality conditions are anticipated over much of the country. The conditions could cause difficulties for those with respiratory problems.

No significant relief from the heat is on the horizon by next weekend. Instead, it's likely that waves of heat will continue through the first week of April.

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