Kiren Rijiju calls Delhi’s 52.3°C temperature reading ‘very unlikely’, shares IMD statement

  • Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of Earth Sciences, had asked the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) to verify the data of Mungeshpur weather station.

Livemint
Updated29 May 2024
New Delhi: A macaque plays at a fountain at Vijay Chowk on a hot summer day amid heatwave, in New Delhi, Wednesday
New Delhi: A macaque plays at a fountain at Vijay Chowk on a hot summer day amid heatwave, in New Delhi, Wednesday(PTI)

Delhi's Mungeshpur locality on Wednesday saw mercury rise up to 52.9 degrees Celsius, marking a record-breaking temperature in the national capital. While the nation gasped at the grip of severe heatwaves, union minister Kiren Rijiju questioned the reading, calling it ‘very unlikely’. 

Taking to microblogging site X, Kiren Rijiju said, "It is not official yet. Temperature of 52.3°C in Delhi is very unlikely. Our senior officials in IMD have been asked to verify the news report. The official position will be stated soon {sic}," 

Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of Earth Sciences, had asked the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) to verify the data of Mungeshpur weather station in Delhi

Hours later Rijiju shared an official statement from IMD, which said "Mungeshpur reported 52.9 degrees Celsius (127.2 Fahrenheit) as an outlier compared to other stations," the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a statement, referring to a station in a Delhi suburb.

"It could be due to error in the sensor or the local factor. IMD is examining the data and sensors."

On Tuesday, two Delhi stations, at Mungeshpur, as well as in Narela, posted readings of 49.9 degrees Celsius.

Mungeshpur weather station logged a maximum of 52.3 degrees Celsius on Wednesday afternoon, making it the highest-ever temperature recorded in India. On Tuesday, two Delhi stations, at Mungeshpur, as well as in Narela, posted readings of 49.9 degrees Celsius.

In 2022, Delhi temperatures were recorded to have hit 49.2C.

In 2016, 51C was recorded in Phalodi on the edge of Rajasthan's Thar Desert, the highest confirmed temperature in India.

"Temperature over urban areas varies from place to place," the bureau added, saying variations could be due to factors such as the "proximity to water bodies, barren land", parks or dense housing.

Delhi remains sweltering in a heatwave. The IMD this week issued a red alert health notice for the capital, which has an estimated population of more than 30 million people.

The alert warns there is a "very high likelihood of developing heat illness and heat stroke in all ages", with "extreme care needed for vulnerable people".

(With agency inputs)

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