May 19 was India’s hottest day on record as temperatures reached 51 Celsius in Rajasthan. Severe heatwave conditions continue across much of the state, with Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat also experiencing unusually high temperatures.
Much of South Asia has recorded high temperatures, the worst of which has been across Pakistan and northwest India, with daytime highs around the 50C mark as the pre-monsoon heat returns to the region.
May and June are the region’s hottest months as temperatures climb ahead of the monsoon and maximum temperatures often pass 40C, but 50 degrees is exceptional, and is expected to continue through the weekend and beyond, and is not likely to abate till the clouds roll in bringing the summer monsoon downpours. The rains are not expected across southern India before the beginning of June.