New Delhi: After a brief respite, northwestern and central parts of the country were back in the grip of a heatwave, with temperatures settling above 44 degrees Celsius across several towns and cities, officials said on Saturday.
The weather office said heatwave conditions were likely to prevail for the next two to three days over Rajasthan, Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Vidarbha, south Uttar Pradesh and north Madhya Pradesh.
"Strong surface winds with speed of 30-40 kmph were very likely over Rajasthan and northwest Madhya Pradesh on June 4-5," the India Meteorological Department said.
On Friday, Chandrapur in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra recorded the highest maximum temperature of 46.4 degrees Celsius, while at least 40 cities and towns across the northwest and central parts of the country reported maximum temperature of 44 degrees and above.
The weather office said that the maximum temperature was expected to rise by two degrees Celsius over most parts of northwest and central India.
Temperatures have remained on the higher side in parts of northwest and central India due to absence of thunderstorms induced by western disturbance or extra-tropical weather systems during the pre-monsoon months of March-May.
Northwest India experienced the season's first thunderstorm on May 24, which brought down the mercury across the region.
Meanwhile, the weather office has forecast increase in rainfall activity over southern peninsula from June 7 onwards. It has also forecast rains in northeast India and sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim during the next five days.