India has seen the highest temperature of 2020 with mercury rising to 47.6 degrees Celsius in the last two days, said Rajendra Kumar Jenamani, head of Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre.
The heatwave will start subsiding from May 28 as easterly winds will start blowing in northern parts of the country, he added.
With temperatures surpassing the 45 degrees Celsius-mark across several parts in north India, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a "red" warning for Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Rajasthan for the next two days.
The IMD has also issued an orange warning for heatwave for east Uttar Pradesh, said Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of IMD's Regional Meteorological Centre.
He cautioned that temperatures could soar up to 47 degrees Celsius in some parts over the next 2-3 days. This is also for the first time this summer season that a red warning has been issued for heatwave, Srivastava said.
"Heatwave conditions over some parts with severe heatwave over isolated pockets are very likely over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha and Telangana during the next five days," the IMD said in its daily bulletin on May 24, the day when Pilani in Rajasthan recorded 46.7 degrees Celsius.
It added that heatwave conditions in isolated pockets over Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Gujarat, central Maharashtra and Vidarbha, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Yanam, Rayalseema and north interior Karnataka are also likely during the next 3-4 days.
The Odisha government has also asked district collectors to take precautionary measures for tackling the heatwave condition as the mercury soaring above 40 degree Celsius in at least 14 places of the state. The collectors were asked to take measures to handle the situation which include immediate repair of tube wells and piped water supply projects, supply through tankers in habitations facing drinking water scarcity and opening of drinking water kiosks at strategic locations.
A heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature is at least 40 degrees Celsius and the departure from normal temperature is 4.5 degrees Celsius to 6.4 degrees Celsius.
For the plains, a heatwave is declared when the actual maximum temperature is 45 degrees Celsius and severe heatwave when it is 47 degrees Celsius or above.(With inputs from agencies)