Written by 18:53 World

126 Degrees in India: New Delhi Sweats Through Its Hottest Day Ever Recorded

New Delhi recorded its highest temperature ever measured on Wednesday — 126 degrees Fahrenheit, or 52.3 degrees Celsius — leaving residents of the Indian capital sweltering in a heat wave that has kept temperatures in several Indian states well above 110 degrees for weeks.

In New Delhi, where walking out of the house felt like walking into an oven, officials feared that the electricity grid was being overwhelmed and that the city’s water supply might need rationing.

The past 12 months have been the planet’s hottest ever recorded, and cities like Miami are experiencing extreme heat even before the arrival of summer. Scientists said this week that the average person on Earth had experienced 26 more days of abnormally high temperatures in the past year than would have been the case without human-induced climate change.

Although late-afternoon dust storms and light drizzle in New Delhi had brought hope of some reprieve on Wednesday, the weather station at Mungeshpur, northwest of the capital, reported a recording of 126 degrees around 2:30 p.m. Dr. Kuldeep Srivastava, a scientist at the regional meteorological center in Delhi, said it was the highest temperature ever recorded by the automatic weather monitoring system, which was installed in 2010.

In a statement later on Wednesday evening, India’s meteorological department said the Mungeshpur station was “an outlier compared to other stations.” It said it was assessing whether that station’s recording of a higher temperature than other stations around Delhi was due to an error or a local mitigating factor.

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Last modified: 30 May 2024
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