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New Delhi records highest-ever temperature at 49.9 Celsius

New Delhi records highest-ever temperature at 49.9 Celsius

Temperatures have crossed 50C in parts of northern and central India as the country grapples with extreme heatwave conditions. This week, more than 37 cities in the country recorded temperatures over 45C. On Tuesday (May 28), temperature in capital Delhi's Narela and Mungeshpur areas hit a record-breaking 49.9C. India's weather office has issued a severe heatwave alert for parts of the city.

A consumer court in Delhi stopped hearing cases on Tuesday, after the judge said it was too hot to work without air conditioning.

Churu in the western state of Rajasthan and Sirsa in the northern Haryana state were among the hottest places in the country, with temperatures over 50C. Rajasthan's Jaipur city reported three deaths due to heat stroke on Tuesday.

Indian summers, which extend from March to September, are usually hot and humid. But the weather department has said the country is likely to experience longer and more intense heatwaves this year. This month, the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat saw nine to 12 days of heat wave, with temperatures between 45-50C, it said.

In June, maximum temperatures are likely to remain above normal, India Meteorological Department (IMD) chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said this week, adding that northwestern India is expected to see heatwave conditions for four to six days compared with three normally. The IMD has also predicted an above-average monsoon season for the country this year.

The monsoon is forecast to hit the coast of the southern state of Kerala on May 31.

The IMD warned of the heat's impact on health, especially for infants, the elderly and those with chronic diseases. At the same time, West Bengal state and the northeastern state of Mizoram have been hit by gales and lashing rains from Cyclone Remal, which hit India and Bangladesh on Sunday, killing more than 38 people.

Bangladesh's Meteorological Department said the cyclone was "one of longest in the country's history", blaming climate change for the shift.