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Mumbai Hit by Intense Heatwave, Recorded Decade’s Highest Temperature



Mumbai grappled with an intense heatwave on April 16, as per reports from the Santacruz Observatory which noted a maximum temperature of 39.7 degrees Celsius, marking a significant departure from the norm by 6.3 degrees. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had issued a heatwave warning for Mumbai, Raigad, and Thane for the period spanning April 16 and 17.

Officials from IMD pointed out that heatwave conditions were highly likely to persist in the districts of North Konkan, which include Mumbai, on the following day. A retrospective analysis of the April month temperatures over the past ten years, from 2014 to 2023, highlighted that the 39.7-degree mark recorded at Santacruz on that day was the highest in a decade.

Sushma Nair, a scientist at IMD Mumbai, explained that the heatwave alert extended into April 17. The prevalent easterly winds at lower levels, coupled with an anticyclonic circulation in mid-levels, contributed to the escalated temperatures. When the maximum temperature in a coastal city surpasses 37 degrees Celsius, with a deviation exceeding 4.5 degrees, a heat wave advisory is issued. However, a respite from the extreme conditions is anticipated post April 17, with a known trend of rising heatwaves in the coastal region witnessed in recent years.

While certain parts of Mumbai, particularly the suburbs, endured severe heat waves, Colaba registered a relatively lower temperature of 35.2 degrees Celsius. The disparity in temperatures can be attributed to ongoing construction activities which intensify the heat in the suburbs.

IMD experts predicted hot and humid weather to persist on April 18 and 19 in Mumbai. In a related incident, disruptions were reported in the Mumbai Monorail service as a guideway wheel malfunctioned around 10 a.m., leading to a partial halt in train operations for three hours. Passengers were subsequently de-boarded, with regular services only resuming at 1 a.m., showcasing the impact of the soaring temperatures on infrastructure.

Rachel Adams

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