Mercury soars to 48 degrees in Maharashtra; rush at hill, sea resorts

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Mumbai, May 21 : With the mercury rising above 40 degrees Celsius in many parts of Maharashtra and even 48 degrees at one place on Monday, people took for the cooler climes of hill stations or sea resorts to escape the heat.

Temperatures touched 48 degrees in Chandrapur, which became the hottest in the state, while many parts of Vidarbha like Gadchiroli was 47 degrees, Nagpur and Wardha were at 46 degrees, and Akola, Yavatmal and Amravati were 45 degrees.

Several other districts in Marathwada like Parbhani notched 45 degrees and Aurangabad, Nanded and Osmanabad recorded 42 degrees and many other parts of north and west Maharashtra, were in the 40-plus degrees range, according to India Meteorological Department data.

Mumbai and adjoining coastal belt districts were a sweltering 34-36 degrees with the high humidity making life miserable for the people.

Skymet Weather has attributed the high temperatures in most parts of the state due to the prevalence of dry and hot northwesterly winds sweeping over the region from the hotter areas of Sindh and Baluchistan.

However, it expects a brief respite from hot weather conditions in Vidarbha which are likely to be hit by rains and thundershowers over the next couple of days.

The hot weather had driven people to the cool climes of hill stations or sea resorts across the state with most places recording full bookings as the summer holiday season veers to and end within a fortnight.

According to a Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) official, most popular hill-stations like Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani (Satara), Matheran (Raigad), Jawhar (Palghar), Lonaval-Khandala (Pune), Amboli (Sindhudurg), Bhandardara (Ahmednagar), Chikhaldhara (Amravati), among others have recorded full turnout of tourists spelling boomtime for hoteliers and allied tourism services.

The weekdays are also going full in most places including sea resorts like Dahanu, Thane, Palghar, Alibag, Kihim, Murud-Janjira, Harnai, Ganpatipule and others on the Konkan region where tourists cool out in the Arabian Sea waters.

Meanwhile, according to weather officials, a a low-pressure area has built up over the south-west Arabian Sea with an upper air cyclonic circulation extending upto 3.6 kms above the sea-level.

This could concentrate into a depression in the next 48 hours with the likelihood of intensifying into a cyclonic moving towards west-north-west and towards northern Africa over the next three days.

Accordingly, warnings have been issued to fishermen against venturing out in the high seas over the next couple of days.