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Heatwave: IMD issues 'red alert' for most North Indian states, asks people to stay indoors

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New Delhi, May 25: The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued red alert for most North Indian states, with the day temperature likely to touch 46 degrees Celsius by Tuesday.

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"Heatwave will prevail in many places and severe heatwave in isolated places. Mainly clear sky with strong surface winds (20-20 kilometres per hour)," the IMD forecast said.

The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative figures for the city, recorded a high of 44.4 degrees Celsius, which was five notches above the normal, on Sunday. The minimum temperature was recorded at 28.7 degrees Celsius, two notches above the normal.

Heatwave: IMD issues 'red alert' for most North Indian states, asks people to stay indoors

The weather stations at Palam, Lodhi Road and Ayanagar recorded their respective maximums at 45.4 degrees Celsius, 44.2 degrees Celsius and 45.6 degrees Celsius.

Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the regional forecasting centre of the IMD, said some respite from the stifling heat is expected in the national capital on May 28 due to a fresh Western Disturbance and easterly winds at lower levels. "Dust storm and thunderstorm with winds gusting up to 60 kilometres per hour is likely over Delhi-NCR on May 29-30," he said.

Besides Delhi, the IMD has issued "red warning" in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Rajasthan for the next two days. It has issued "orange" warning for eastern Uttar Pradesh.

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    This is the first "red" warning issued for heatwave this summer, Srivastava said. The IMD issues colour-coded warnings depending on the intensity of any weather system in ascending order - green, yellow, orange and red.

    "The warning has been issued to caution people not to step out between 1 pm and 5 pm, when the heat is most intense," IMD's head of Regional Meteorological Centre Kuldeep Srivastava said.

    The heatwave warning comes at a time when lakhs of migrant workers are walking back to their home states amid the Coronavirus lockdown and several were seen crossing the Yamuna river in Delhi at night to escape the daytime heat.

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