Temperatures pass 50 C as grueling India heat wave enters 2nd week with no end in sight
Temperatures passed 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) on June 2, in northern India as an unrelenting heat wave triggered warnings of water shortages and heatstroke.
With monsoon rains still several weeks away, intense heat will maintain a firm grip on northern India, as well as neighboring Pakistan into the middle of June.
The heat began to build across central and northern India during mid to late May and intensified further last week as many locations, including New Delhi, reported their highest temperatures of the year.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday were the hottest days so far this year in the National Capital Region (NCR). Temperatures soared to 46.8 C (116 F) on Thursday at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport. Friday and Saturday saw similar conditions with a high around 46 C (115 F) both days. High temperatures of 42-44 C (108-112 F) were reported from Sunday to Thursday.
Indian laborers sleep on a sidewalk in Prayagraj, India, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Widespread high temperatures of 42-47 C (108-116 F) will persist across northern India and Pakistan through at least the coming week. Temperatures can reach 50 C (122 F) in the hottest locations.
The city of Churu endured such heat from June 1 to June 3 as temperatures reached or exceeded 49 C (120 F) each day.
Another peak in the heat is expected from Saturday into Monday as temperatures may exceed 46 C (115 F) in New Delhi and the NCR, nearing all-time record levels.
Other locations that will endure daily dangerous heat include Hyderabad, Nagpur, Patna, Indore and Lucknow.
Farther west, the temperature rose to a blistering high of 51.1 C (124 F) in Jacobabad, Pakistan, over the weekend and climbed to at least 49 C (120 F) on Monday and Tuesday.
The extreme heat will continue into Friday with daily high temperatures of 44-49 C (112-120 F). Temperatures may creep back above 49 C (120 F) this weekend.
Actual temperatures will not be as extreme in Karachi, with daily high temperatures of 36-39 C (97-102 F) expected on most days this week. Sweltering humidity, however, will create dangerously higher AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures.
Unfortunately, this heat is not expected to break any time soon, as dry weather prevails and monsoon rainfall remains far away for northern India and Pakistan.
AccuWeather meteorologists are predicting a near-normal monsoon for the country as a whole; however, northwestern India and Pakistan are forecast to endure a drier-than-normal season, with the arrival of rainfall delayed a week or more.
Monsoon rainfall typically spreads over northwestern India, including the NCR, during mid- to late June.
Residents are reminded to take the necessary precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses as the hot weather may hold firm through the entire month of June.
Wear light clothing, drink plenty of water and avoid strenuous activities during the midday and afternoon hours, which are the hottest times of the day. Worsening air quality can add to health concerns.
Warm nights will make this heat wave even more dangerous, as homes and businesses without air conditioning will be unable to adequately cool before temperatures rapidly climb during the morning and midday hours.
The elderly and children are more prone to heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke and heat exhaustion during long-duration heat waves such as this.
India endures lengthy heat waves each year prior to the arrival of monsoon rainfall. More than 6,000 heat-related deaths have been reported in India since 2010, according to the Times of India.
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