Mercury level soars to season high in Chennai city on Sunday

Sunday was the hottest day of the year in the inner city with Nungambakkam recording the maximum temperature of 42.3 degree Celsius. The all-time high maximum temperature was 45 degree Celsius recorded in 2003. The earlier top reading recorded within city limits this season was on May 17 when the Nungambakkam observatory showed 41.8 degree Celsius.

While Nungambakkam recorded maximum temperature at 42.3 degree Celsius, Meenambakkam recorded a slightly higher temperature at 42.8 degree Celsius on Sunday. Both the weather stations recorded four degrees above normal maximum temperature. This season’s highest in Meenambakkam was 43.4 Celsius on May 19.

The weather was scorching hot during the day with winds starting to blow very late in the afternoon only after about 2.30 pm.

“I stopped my two-wheeler on the road side near a tree and waited for more than hour before resuming my trip to a relative’s place. It was terribly hot today,” said M. Raja, a resident of Anna Nagar.

While many preferred to stay indoors, the effects of hot weather caught up with them in the form of malfunctioning of their cooling systems, as the high mercury levels played havoc with the air conditioner’s compressors.

“There was no breeze today. We were sweating profusely. Even the two hours of scheduled power cut looked a demon for us due to this hot weather,” said K. Kavitha, a homemaker in Kodambakkam.

“The weather is expected to stay hot for another week. We will get some respite only after the southwest monsoon sets over Kerala,” said Dr Y. E. A. Raj, deputy director general of Meteorology, Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC).

While India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast June 1 as possible day for onset of southwest monsoon, Dr Raj expects the rains to begin in Kerala by June 4 or 5, which could ease the weather conditions a bit in Chennai.

While noting that heavy winds from the northwest direction are the main cause of the rise of mercury levels in the city, he said that the incoming solar radiation is also very high over Chennai, as it is situated in the northern most latitude in Tamil Nadu.

He further said the soaring mercury levels in the Rayalseema and adjacent regions are also contributing to the hot weather in Chennai and Vellore.

Among the districts, Vellore recorded the highest temperature of 42.7 degree Celsius on Sunday followed by Cuddalore at 42 degree Celsius. Trichy (38.8), Madurai (39.6) and Nagappatinam (38.8) are the other districts that recorded high temperature.

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