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The maximum temperature in Delhi may touch 42-degree Celsius on Saturday. (Representational)New Delhi: A ‘severe heat wave’ scorched Delhi on Friday, with the Safdarjung Observatory, its base station, recording a maximum temperature of 41.6 degrees Celsius, seven notches above normal and the highest this year so far, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).The meteorological office has issued an orange alert, warning of a severe heat wave in the national capital on Saturday too.Barring two, all automatic weather stations in the city recorded maximum temperatures above 42 degrees Celsius on Friday, IMD data showed.The maximum temperature at most places in Delhi was recorded at least seven degrees above normal.The weather stations at Mungeshpur, Najafgarh, Pitampura and Sports Complex recorded maximum temperatures of 43 degrees Celsius, 43.3 degrees Celsius, 43.4 degrees Celsius, and 43.9 degrees Celsius, respectively.The heat wave is likely to intensify further, and the maximum temperature at the Safdarjung Observatory may touch the 42-degree Celsius mark on Saturday, the IMD said.However, cloudy conditions may bring some relief from the stifling heat from Tuesday.The IMD uses four colour codes for weather warnings — green (no action needed), yellow (watch and stay updated), orange (be prepared) and red (take action).Parts of the national capital have been reeling under a heat wave since last week with their maximum temperatures hovering above 40 degrees Celsius.IMD officials said a prolonged dry spell has led to “severe” hot weather conditions in northwest India.The weather department said northwest India and adjoining parts of central India are predicted to see more intense and frequent heat wave conditions in April.”The frequency of intense heat wave conditions will be higher in April as compared to March. We expect the heat wave conditions to continue till April 15 in some parts,” an official said.For the plains, a ‘heat wave’ is declared when the maximum temperature is over 40 degrees Celsius and at least 4.5 notches above normal. A ‘severe heat wave’ is declared if the departure from normal temperature is more than 6.4 notches, according to the IMD.India recorded its warmest March in 122 years with a severe heat wave scorching large swathes of the country during the month.The weather department attributed the heat to the lack of rainfall due to the absence of active western disturbances over north India and any major system over south India.The country as a whole recorded a rainfall of 8.9 mm, which was 71 per cent less than its long period average rainfall of 30.4 mm. It was also the third-lowest precipitation in March since 1901 after 7.2 mm in 1909 and 8.7 mm in 1908.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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