Heatwave conditions intensified in most of the northern states of India on Monday, with Churu in Rajasthan scorching at 47.5 degrees Celsius and the mercury breaching the 46-degree mark in parts of the national capital.
While the daytime temperatures in most of Rajasthan were around 45-47 degrees Celsius, Punjab and Haryana too sizzled, with Narnaul recording the highest of 45.8 degrees Celsius. Allahabad was the hottest in Uttar Pradesh at 46.3 degrees Celsius.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD), which had issued a red colour-coded alert for north India for May 25-26 when the prevailing heatwave conditions are expected to peak, said dust and thunderstorms are likely to bring some relief on May 29-30.
The heatwave continued to sweep the national capital, with the weather office issuing an "orange" warning for parts of Delhi on Tuesday.
The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative figures for the city, recorded a high of 44 degrees Celsius, four notches more than normal.
Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the regional forecasting centre of the IMD, said some respite from the stifling heat is expected on May 28 due to a fresh western disturbance and easterly winds at lower levels.
In Rajasthan, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot appealed to the people to stay indoors and drink as much water as possible.
Intense heat wave conditions were likely at some places in Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaipur, Ajmer, Bharatpur and Kota divisions, the weather office in Jaipur said.
Due to the activation of the western disturbance, light rains are expected in Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaipur and Bharatpur on Friday and Saturday, it added.
Stifling heat gripped Punjab and neighbouring Haryana.
In Haryana, Hisar sizzled at 45 degrees Celsius, four notches above normal limits while Bhiwani recorded a high of 43.1 degrees Celsius.
Karnal, too, braved intense heat at 43 degrees Celsius, up five notches against normal limits.
In Punjab, Patiala recorded a high of 43.6 degrees Celsius, up by five degrees. Amritsar and Ludhiana too recorded above-normal maximums of 42.8 degrees Celsius and 43.1 degrees Celsius, respectively.
Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, also experienced a hot day at 42 degrees Celsius, four notches above normal limits.
In Uttar Pradesh, day temperatures rose appreciably over Varanasi, Faizabad, and Lucknow divisions as blistering heat gripped many parts of the state.
The weatherman has forecast dry conditions in the state and warned of heatwave at isolated places over the next few days.
The weather office said rain and thunderstorm were "very likely" at isolated places over eastern Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.
Heat wave conditions are also likely in isolated pockets over Punjab, Chhattisgarh, interior Odisha, Gujarat, Madhya Maharashtra, Marathawada, interior Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar and Jharkhand during the next two-three days, the IMD said.
In large areas, a heat wave is declared when the maximum temperature is 45 degrees Celsius for two consecutive days and a severe heat wave is when the mercury touches the 47-degree Celsius mark for two days on the trot.
In small areas, like Delhi, heat wave is declared if the temperature soars to 45 degrees Celsius even for a day, according to the IMD.