While most of us were expecting the Heat to notch up a gear or two, yesterday the Summer heat over Tamil Nadu not just notched a couple of gears but went onto Overdrive as North Tamil Nadu & adjoining parts of Rayalaseema region sizzled under the relentless afternoon sun. In a day which started almost a degree higher than the previous day by 9 in the morning saw Westerlies dominate right through leaving no chance for the moist sea breeze to give any respite.
Tiruttani recorded a very high 44.5 while coastal areas in North TN like Chennai, Cuddalore, Pondicherry recorded 3 degrees higher day time temperatures compared to Sunday and in most cases 5 / 6 degrees higher than Saturday highs. Both Chennai observatories recorded their hottest day since May 2015 when Nungambakkam recorded 41.1 and Meenambakkam recorded 42.4 during the third week of the month.
Going by numerical models there is unlikely to be any immediate respite as the day time conditions are likely to be oppressive and near heat wave conditions are likely to prevail over most parts of North Tamil Nadu, Coastal Andhra Pradesh under the strengthening Westerlies. Models indicate many places in Vellore, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram, Tiruvannamalai and parts of Villupuram districts to see day time temperatures peak around 42°C.
As one can see from the temperature anomaly chart it would be an understatement to say oppressive afternoon conditions are likely to prevail as large swathes of North Tamil Nadu is likely to see day time temperatures to be around 4 / 5°C above normal. Most of Tamil Nadu sees average maximum temperatures of less than 40 for this time of the year and according to IMD’s parameter of 5 to 6 degrees above normal is heat wave condition hence theoretically we might see lesser places fall under the Heat Wave definition.
Nevertheless it would make a lot of sense to take adequate precautions as the current prevailing conditions are bordering on heat wave. Chennai is likely to see similar conditions as yesterday with models indicating Easterly sea breeze expected to make a difference after 12 PM though the maximum temperatures could be a shade lower than yesterday but overall the heat quotient will be high and avoid day time travel especially if you are using a Two Wheeler.