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India: New Delhi to face more dangerous heat after enduring hottest April day since 2010

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
April 20, 2017, 1:05:21 PM EDT

While the extreme heat will be trimmed in northwestern India next week, no lasting relief will come until the monsoon starts.

Thursday marked the hottest April day for New Delhi since 2010.

"Temperatures soared to 43.2 C (109.8 F) at Safdarjung Airport and 44.9 C (112.8 F) at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Thursday," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.

"Safdarjung, which is located closer to downtown New Delhi, has not recorded a temperature that high since the middle of April 2010," she said.

Temperatures on Friday will equal or slightly eclipse Thursday's extreme highs as the dangerous heat holds.

India April 20

Also on Friday, highs will once again approach or exceed 43 C (110 F) from Punjab and Rajasthan to Uttar Pradesh and western Odisha. The warmest locations will record temperatures exceeding 46 C (115 F).

Other locations that will endure dangerous heat on Friday include Telangana, northern Andhra Pradesh and eastern Maharashtra.

The extreme heat has prompted officials in Telangana to commence summer vacations early for all schools starting on Friday, according to the Times of India. Schools will also be closed in Tamil Nadu.

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"The extreme heat will gradually be trimmed from northwestern India, including New Delhi, this weekend into the middle of next week as the jet stream drops southward," Pydynowski said.

However, the relief from the heat will be modest next week as high temperatures will still be above normal most days.

"High temperatures of 38-41 C (100-105 F) are expected in New Delhi early next week, replacing the current 43-44 C (110-113 F) heat," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls.

India midweek April 20

At the same time, the heat will intensify in West Bengal with temperatures set to soar to around 40 C (104 F) in Kolkata by midweek.

The dangerous heat follows an unseasonably warm end of March and first half of April throughout much of India.

While heat waves happen every year in India, the early arrival and persistence of the heat are particularly worrisome.

Millions of residents and animals will remain at risk for dehydration, heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

India heat

A girl splashes water on her face in the Arabian sea in Mumbai, capital of the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Thursday, March 30, 2017. The state is experiencing a heat wave condition with temperatures crossing 40 degrees Celsius in several areas, according to news reports. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

No lasting relief from the heat is expected until the monsoon arrives, which means dangerous heat will be a concern into June.

The monsoon typically spreads from southeast to northwest across the country during the month of June, and no significant change from normal timing is expected this year.

"Arrival of the monsoon will be in early June across southern India, but is not expected to reach the National Capital Region until late June or early July," said Nicholls.

As a result, locations will continue to deal with brutal heat for another two months or longer, creating a very dangerous situation.

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 off from the extreme daytime heat.

Staying hydrated and avoiding extended exposure to the sun and heat during the daytime are crucial, especially during the hottest parts of the day.

"A near- to slightly below-normal monsoon this year overall [is expected], with the greatest deficits across southeastern and northwestern India," said Nicholls.

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