CHENNAI: The worst of the summer season in the city may have just begun as Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam stations registered 39.2°C and 40.1°C, the highest so far this year. While IMD has forecast day temperatures to hover at 38°C for the next two days, bloggers said the city is likely to touch 40°C before ‘Kathiri veyil’ or the hottest month ends this week.
On Monday, the two city stations recorded temperatures that were 1.1°C and 1.3°C above normal respectively. At 40.1°C, Meenambakkam also recorded the highest temperature among the IMD’s observatories in the state on Monday. As temperatures rose, humidity dropped to 76% and 57% in the two stations making the day hot and dry.
IMD has forecast maximum and minimum temperatures to be around 38°C and 29°C in the city and its suburbs for the next 48 hours. The agency has also forecast thunderstorms with light rain over some areas with partly cloudy skies.
An official said the rise in temperature was due to the change in the wind direction from easterlies or winds from the sea to westerlies or land breeze ahead of the onset of southwest monsoon. “The westerlies, which are hot and dry, are moving consistently over the state and the city. This is leading to the rise in temperature,” a meteorologist said.
Seabreeze was also too weak to move into the land. Weather watchers said on Monday a delayed weak seabreeze, which flowed into the land by late afternoon, also led to the record high temperatures. According to IMD, except for 2019, highest temperatures were recorded only during the last week of May in the last 10 years. And except for 2018, when the highest temperature was 39.1°C, every year, at least since 2012, saw the mercury crossing 40°C in May.
“Weather models show high day temperatures till June first week. Nungambakkam is most likely to record 40°C temperature sometime later this week,” said blogger Pradeep John.