Maharashtra's Bhira fumes at 46.5 degrees. But is the data correct?

IMD believes that the observatory where the temperature was recorded is surrounded by three hills and thus could have seen some unusual heating.

It was a first for Bhira, a small village in Raigad district of Maharashtra, to have recorded a maximum temperature of 46.5 degrees Celsius on Tuesday. The district has never in the past crossed the 45-degree mark. Surprised with the sudden change in temperature, meteorologists from Mumbai will be visiting the village to understand the reason behind the surge in temperature.

The temperature on Tuesday was not just one or two but seven degrees above normal on Tuesday. What in fact raised eyebrows was the fact that the maximum temperature dropped to 41 degrees Celsius within the next 24 hours. For the period between 1961 and 1990, Bhira recorded an average temperature of 39.3 degrees C in March.

Claiming that the rise in temperature is unusual since the region is in the Konkan belt, officials from the Meteorological Department Mumbai said that they will visit the observatory on Friday to find out if there is something wrong with the reading.

The official added that since the observatory is surrounded by three hills, it could have seen some unusual heating.

“On Wednesday, Bhira’s temperature dipped drastically. We suspect that the hot winds on Tuesday afternoon could have raised the temperature. However, considering the wind pattern and all the other factors, we will study the observatory,” Kamble added.

Not just Bhira, 13 observatories in the nearby areas have recorded a maximum temperature above 40 degrees C making it amply clear that the region will experience a hot summer. The Indian Meteorological Department has already issued a warning of heatwaves at a few isolated places over Madhya Maharashtra and Vidarbha until Friday.