India sets new heat record as temperatures soar

Indian children try to cool off amid soaring temperatures in Allahabad on May 17, 2016
Indian children try to cool off amid soaring temperatures in Allahabad on May 17, 2016

Temperatures have soared to a scorching 51 degrees Celsius in one Indian city, meteorologists said Friday, with the ferocious heat setting a new national record.

Northern Phalodi wilted as the mercury reached a new high, equivalent to 123.8 Fahrenheit, beating a 60-year-old record.

"Yesterday (Thursday) was the hottest temperature ever recorded in the country... 51 degrees in Phalodi," said B.P. Yadav, a director of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Hundreds of people die every year from the heat in India, with May and June usually the hottest months.

The latest record high came as the IMD issued warnings of "severe heat wave" conditions across large parts of India's north and west, including the capital Delhi, where temperatures hit 47 degrees Celsius earlier this week.

Zoo animals in the capital were treated to cold baths and given electrolytes to prevent dehydration.

Demand for electricity in the city of 25 million people surged to a record high on Thursday as sweltering residents turned on their air conditioners.

Police officers on the beat were given oral rehydration solution and special "cooling scarves" containing water-absorbent crystals to keep their body temperature down, local papers reported.

The capital's hospitals have seen a spike in cases of heatstroke, while authorities in many states have ordered schools to break for summer earlier than normal due to the heatwave.

A bicycle rickshaw driver takes a rest in Amritsar on May 19, 2016, as temperatures in some parts of India rise above 50 degrees
A bicycle rickshaw driver takes a rest in Amritsar on May 19, 2016, as temperatures in some parts of India rise above 50 degrees Celsius
Drought, forest fires

Temperatures in northern India regularly hit the high 40s in May and June, but topping 50 degrees is unusual.

India declares a heatwave when the maximum temperature reaches 45 degrees Celsius, or five degrees higher than the average for the area in previous years.

Ahmedabad city in Gujarat state recorded its hottest day in a century when the mercury touched 48 Celsius.

The heatwave comes as India faces its worst water crisis in decades, with about 330 million people, or a quarter of the population, suffering from drought after two weak monsoons.

Drinking water is running short in many states and poor rains have prompted extreme measures, including stationing armed guards at reservoirs and sending water trains to the worst-affected regions.

Officials have forecast an above-average monsoon this year, offering hope for the struggling agriculture sector that employs about 60 percent of the population.

But the monsoon is only forecast to hit the southern state of Kerala on June 7—six days later than usual—before sweeping across the country.

That means it will be weeks before the cooling rains reach India's arid plains.

The dry conditions have aided the spread of that recently swept through the hills of northern Uttarakhand and part of Himachal Pradesh states, which draw tens of thousands of tourists every year.

But elsewhere in the country there were warnings of floods as Cyclone Roanu approached the east coast after causing havoc in neighbouring Sri Lanka.

Last year, India suffered one of its deadliest heatwaves in which more than 2,400 people died.


Explore further

Rain brings relief as India heatwave death toll tops 2,200

© 2016 AFP

Citation: India sets new heat record as temperatures soar (2016, May 20) retrieved 24 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-05-india-temperatures-soar.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
225 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

May 20, 2016
Send the Deniers to Northern Phalodi.

May 20, 2016
And they will still assert it was our fault, not theirs.

May 20, 2016
Runaway trace gas!

May 20, 2016
India has its share of deniers, too. In particular they like to deny a need to for them to do much about it, by insisting that the West caused it and has the resposibility to fix it. India has the resources and knowledge to base its energy future on solar and biomass and nuclear instead of coal. It's time for India to become a leader in fighting global warming.

May 20, 2016
Send the Deniers to Northern Phalodi
George Kamburoff does seem to enjoy the idea of moving large numbers of people around with a wave of his hand.

You have many such delusions of grandeur George?

We know you do.

May 20, 2016
Phalodi...similar to latin 'phallous'.. guess those poor folk gettin' really screwed by the heat. Still not as hot as Scottie's Castle in Death Valley in summer, butt hen no large cities in that dry valley to have to suffer heat stroke.

May 20, 2016
India has been canceling plans for coal-fired electric plants recently. None too soon, it looks like. But at least they're doing something about it.

May 20, 2016
India is the globe.
Meanwhile, globull warming has left the Atlantic.
http://www.ctvnew....2045397

May 20, 2016
This is the sudden effect of El Nino anomaly of 3.4C in addition to the local climate change. Antarctic ice is continually increasing.

Check today's NASA-JPL news:

http://www.jpl.na...160520-1

May 20, 2016
*sigh*

May 21, 2016
Typical deniers of AGW typically are of the arrogant anti-humanists isolationists types. Check for the entire Republican party.

May 21, 2016
India is the globe.
Meanwhile, globull warming has left the Atlantic.
http://www.ctvnew....2045397


Did you read your linked article?
It does not say what you think, no, not at all.

May 21, 2016
India is the globe.
Meanwhile, globull warming has left the Atlantic.
http://www.ctvnew....2045397


Did you read your linked article?
It does not say what you think, no, not at all.


Are you asking these people to read? That's a bit unrealistic don't you think?

May 21, 2016
Yeah the article is about energy distribution, not energy content. The idea that energy content is "less" because "global warming has gone from the Atlantic" is just dumb. Of course the energy distributes unevenly within the system. That's what weather is. It doesn't mean the energy build-up isn't there. And the fact that other areas have higher-than-average seasons is because, hey, that's where the energy is at the moment.

And don't even get me started on using the single indicator of Atlantic hurricane activity. For most regions (and there are some exceptions) the forecast is for less hurricane and cyclone activity of larger magnitude. So the number of storms is irrelevant in most areas anyway.

May 22, 2016
Da Schneib said:
India has been canceling plans for coal-fired electric plants recently. None too soon, it looks like. But at least they're doing something about it.


It is certainly a policy change, but it is not yet dealing with the problem, just not making it even worse. Only when our energy is from truly sustainable/non-carbon based systems will we actually be "doing something about it." Of course, in comparison to our own U.S. government policy of encouraging expanded carbon drilling/mining/burning, India is way ahead of us. Even my much better California State policy is failing us. Also, our "free trade" allows us to ship all over the world to increase the whole planet's global warming issues of severe drought, wildfires, flooding and even increasing earthquakes as all that melted ice unlocks our previously frozen plate tectonics.

Problem for us all is that it is too late to prevent when the crisis is already now so obvious that we're trying to change our systems.

May 29, 2016
India is the globe.
Meanwhile, globull warming has left the Atlantic.
http://www.ctvnew....2045397

aaa its my favorite monkey... let's play shall we.... :D

meanwhile the global warming in your skull continues... now now monkey, let those 2 corn seeds inside cool down a bit there's plenty more brainless thoughts you still need to post... ;)

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more