For more than a week, parts of India have been gripped by a heatwave that has sent temperatures soaring up to six degrees Celsius above average.
The heat has mostly affected central and northwestern India, with cities across the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan seeing daily highs of over 42C.
This week, temperatures in cities such Khargone, Nagpur and Bhopal have not yet dropped to their seasonal average highs – normally between 37 and 39C. Overnight lows have also been following the trend, staying warmer than average for much of the region.
The heat is now beginning to also shift north into the states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Warm winds from the south are blowing towards this region and helping to lock in the heat.
Parts of New Delhi recorded heatwave conditions on Thursday as temperatures passed 40C. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that New Delhi could see the warmest day of the season on Friday, with the official maximum temperature likely to exceed 40C.
The IMD has advised people to stay indoors due to the rising temperatures. If they do need to go out during the middle of the day, they should carry an umbrella and stay well hydrated.
Thunderstorms and gusty winds between 30 and 40 kilometres per hour may also lead to a dust storm as a disturbance passing through will bring more moisture and instability to the area. This may give a small break in the heat for New Delhi, but the heat is expected to continue throughout the weekend.
Relief from the heat is still weeks away until the southwest monsoon kicks in.
On average, the monsoon starts in Tamil Nadu at the very end of May and reaches central India’s Madhya Pradesh state by June 15.