Pre-monsoon heat builds across northern India
Soaring temperatures contrast with severe storms and heavy rain in other parts of India.
Temperatures across central and northern India have been in excess of 40C in recent days, and after a brief respite over the weekend, it could become even hotter during the early to middle part of next week.
Weekend temperatures in New Delhi are expected to return to the seasonal average of 36 to 37C. This is the result of a western disturbance – an area of low pressure which originates over the Mediterranean or Caspian Seas before travelling across the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan before entering India from the west.
As well as bringing cooler air to New Delhi, this disturbance has brought heavy rain, strong winds and thunderstorms to the northern states of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
Once the disturbance passes through, temperatures will rise again. From New Delhi to Lucknow and Ahmadabad, temperatures of 42 to 43C are likely from Monday to Wednesday.
In eastern states of India, severe storms, known as Kalboishakhis, have killed at least 15 people in recent days. The contrast between cold air over the Himalayas to the north and increasingly humid air in advance of the summer monsoon, creates the perfect atmosphere for severe thunderstorms and deadly tornadoes to develop across the region, including Bangladesh.
These storm systems usually fade away in the second half of April, and our forecast suggests that this will indeed be the case.