Weather forecasts in India rarely come true. The year 2012 has however been an exception. The entire north India was reeling under scorching summer heat.
The year 2012 proved the top ten warmest years globally and in India since 1850 – over 160 years, as predicted. According to Dr. Ajit Tyagi, director general of Indian Meteorological Department, “Temperatures have been on the higher side during the last decade due to global warming”.
According to Press Trust of India, by mid June 2012, vast swathes of the North Indian plain continued to reel under intense heat wave with mercury breaching 44 degrees Celsius. The capital Delhi at 43.2 degrees Celsius was already 4 degrees above normal.
The people in Uttar Pradesh State of India were the worst hit, with the town of Ballia in Uttar Pradesh recording a high of 44.5 degrees Celsius. Punjab and Haryana were no better with Amritsar sweltering at 46.6 degrees Celsius, five degrees above normal, while Ludhiana at 44.2 degrees Celsius, was only slightly better. The other places like Patiala and Chandigarh with maximum temperatures at 43.6 degrees Celsius and 42.3 degrees Celsius were at least three degrees above normal. In the state of Rajasthan, Sri ganganagar was the hottest place where the maximum temperature was only slightly less than 45 degrees Celsius.
The sweltering summer heat this year compounded the woes of Indians where long power cuts at the peak summer is a norm rather than an exception. The capital city of India, Delhi is no exception to power cuts. Many in the capital struggled to survive the heat compounded by power cuts and lack of water supply. The situation was even more unbearable for the elderly with ailments like blood pressure and heart problem
While the Meteorological Department forecast in the last week of May that the worst was over, the Delhi temperature on May 30 proved the prediction wrong turning this day into the hottest day of the month at 45 degrees Celsius, keeping the Delhites indoors, while the power peak demand touched a record high of 5155 MW. It is quite unusual in Delhi to have mercury shot up to 45 degrees Celsius in the month of May. The unbearable Delhi heat crippled the residents to deal with day to day life and weather related diseases like dysentery, diarrhea and fever.