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“Record” Temperatures in Delhi, Not All They Seem

May 17, 2022

By Paul Homewood

The truth behind those so-called “record temperatures” in Delhi:



We are told that Delhi experienced record temperatures on 15th May, with 49.2C set at Mungeshpur, which surpassed the previous record of 48.4C at the Indira Gandhi (Palem) International Airport in 1998.

However, alarm bells soon began ringing, when we learnt that temperatures elsewhere in Delhi were nowhere near their record. For instance, at Safdarjun Airport, one of the longest running weather stations and the Base Weather Station for Delhi, temperatures peaked at 45.6C, well below the 1944 record of 47.2C.

Similarly at the Gandhi/Palam Int Airport, this week’s temperature of 46.4C was also far lower than the 48.4C in 1998.

So what lies behind this contradiction?

The Hindustan Times offers some clues:


For a start, they note that the weather stations that set the record and second highest temperatures only started up this year:

On Sunday, all 11 weather stations across Delhi recorded maximum temperatures above 45°C, but Mungeshpur and Najafgarh (in south-west Delhi) recorded readings above 49°C, numbers that the national capital has never clocked.

To be sure, the automatic weather stations in the two neighbourhoods only started operations this year, so no past data is available. Safdarjung, the base weather station for Delhi, recorded a maximum of 45.6°C, five degrees above normal. The all-time record for Safdarjung is 47.2°C, recorded on May 29, 1944.

This is a strict no-no, whenever records are being claimed. As we know, local factors can create higher temperatures. These records may therefore be the result of local siting, rather than climate. Only long running stations should be used when records are considered for this reason. We have no way of knowing whether these two sites were even hotter in 1944 or 1998, as there were no thermometers there.

The Hindustan Times goes on to discuss these local factors:

A semi-urban area characterised by a combination of concretised spaces and open farm fields, Mungeshpur also overlooks a number of industries in Haryana, a factor that residents said could be feeding the ongoing heat spell.

“Earlier, we had a lot of trees in the area. But slowly, development work, such as the Bawana industrial area, which is not too far away, or on the Haryana side, where a number of factories have sprung up, are all adding to emissions and the heat. The village has also evolved and with construction work, the number of trees has reduced,” Singh said, adding that the low-cost ACs installed in most homes wilted in the face of the record heat.

Over towards Najafgarh, Kartar Singh (74), voiced similar views.

“If one looks at the Najafgarh area towards the city, there are hardly any trees left and traffic congestion is a major problem. Even in the farming area and fields, there aren’t as many trees as there used to be,” said Singh.

Paras Tyagi, an environmental activist, who runs CYCLE India, an NGO, said open spaces are harder to find in Najafgarh now, with green cover along the roadsides also reducing due to construction work.

“Land values have appreciated over time and Najafgarh has turned into a concrete jungle over the last couple of decades. Our research clearly shows due to lack of implementation of the Delhi Master Plan and due to poor local planning, this historic town has been irreparably damaged in terms of congestion and concretisation,” he says.

Clearly both sites are heavily affected by urbanisation and the results are meaningless for climate purposes.

The IMD also give a hint:

A senior official from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said westerly winds from Rajasthan are likely impacting the Mungeshpur and Najafgarh stations more than others in the city.

“These hot and dusty westerly winds hit Delhi’s western side first, and all stations in this part of Delhi are bound to have a higher maximum temperature,” said the official, adding that local factors such as the lack of green cover and presence of concrete structures exacerbate the problem

With the hot winds coming from the deserts to the west, it is inevitable that these sites to the west of the city would tend to see the highest temperatures, just as they would have done in the past when there were no weather stations there.

I am not aware whether the Indian Meteorological Dept have officially endorsed these “records” yet. But I would hope that they conclude that they do not meet the necessary standards.

  1. Chaswarnertoo permalink
    May 17, 2022 5:16 pm

    Warmists lie. The only way to keep the scam going.

  2. jimlemaistre permalink
    May 17, 2022 5:24 pm

    “Records” . . . little more than superficial data . . . maybe 100 years, if you are lucky. The Roman Warming Period and The Middle Ages Warming period both ‘Pre-date’ these records. Doing comparisons to these and current warming . . . THAT would be evidence . . . In the absence thereof . . . ALL of this is pure conjecture and scare-mongering to fuel environmentalist propaganda . . . absent historical fact beyond 100 years . . . coming out of the coldest period in 2,500 years, The Little Ice Age . . .

  3. May 17, 2022 6:52 pm

    The WMO has a large team of “star” climatologists who look at these events, in case the local meteorologists come to the wrong conclusion, this is what Phil Jones (yes, the star of climategate) said about the heatwave in Siberia of last summer:

    “The record is clearly indicative of warming across Siberia,” said the noted UK climatologist and committee member Dr Phil Jones.

    Here is the full press release:

  4. Tim Spence permalink
    May 17, 2022 7:48 pm

    Scraping out the bottom of the barrel, if they go any lower they’ll have oil spurting out of the ground.

  5. John Hultquist permalink
    May 18, 2022 4:29 am

    Let’s assume the temperature sensors work as they are supposed to.
    The readings are interesting — not really records and not related to a warming Earth.
    Just interesting.
    Last year at my house in central Washington State the temp went to 46.7° C (116°F).
    This was not fun, nor CO2 induced, but it was interesting.
    Now, April and May have been unusually cold.
    Today, Mt. Rainier created a series of “circular clouds” that drifted eastward and dissipated.
    The web has nice images.
    Last Friday we had a double rainbow.
    The atmosphere is interesting.

    • Gamecock permalink
      May 18, 2022 10:51 am

      Lenticular clouds?

  6. Phoenix44 permalink
    May 18, 2022 7:39 am

    So maximum temperatures varied by 3.5 degrees across Delhi!.

    It is likely the coolest were “wrong” or the hottest? Difficult to think of ways they low ones could have been made lower.

  7. Gerry, England permalink
    May 18, 2022 10:42 am

    And it is not just India. Page 5 of today’s Mail has yesterday as the hottest day of the year so far citing a high of 81.5f (27.5C) at …’ll probably have guessed….Heathrow Airport! Yes, it was a warm day yesterday and driving around the M25 in the early evening – past Heathrow – I saw 76f on the car thermometer.

  8. avro607 permalink
    May 18, 2022 11:06 am

    Another factor to give a high reading in Delhi,is if the measuring device has been replaced from a mercury themometer to an electronic one.These devices are quicker to respond to fleeting high temps than a mercury thermo.,and thus higher temps than previous will be recorded,and of course gleefully promoted by the alarmists.

    • dave permalink
      May 18, 2022 5:53 pm

      “To be sure [these are new stations]…”

      Stop reading there! Will look again in thirty years’ time (the minimum period for climate).

      Or will not look.. Expect – and indeed hope – to be defunct by then.

  9. avro607 permalink
    May 18, 2022 11:25 am

    Thanks to mwhite above.I looked up Waddington on the chart,and yes,it was hot in 1976. Working inside a Vulcan was rather sweaty,but looking after the most beautiful aircraft in the world,it did not bother me at all.
    Happy Days. Bud Nalton, Systems Chief.

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      May 18, 2022 2:06 pm

      You’ll be pleased to know, that Waddington’s “Gate Guard” Vulcan, is getting some TLC. She’s currently sitting outside the hangars, being repainted.

  10. avro607 permalink
    May 19, 2022 8:46 pm

    Thanks Adam.

  11. Ralph Hayburn permalink
    May 22, 2022 9:43 pm

    Hi Paul

    What a fabulous job you’re doing.

    You might like to look at an article in the Washington Times newspaper by Jerry Jung on 20 May, ‘Ethanol and inflation’.

    Very best wishes


    Dr Ralph H C Hayburn Colwyn Bay N Wales

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