India Declares Severe Heat Wave; Temperatures Reach 52 Celsius

People sit in front of a table fan to cool off on a hot summer afternoon in Varanasi, India, on May 29, 2024.

India has issued a heat wave as temperatures in New Delhi reached a high of 52.3 degrees Celsius (126.3 Fahrenheit). Scientists say Asia’s scorching temperatures this summer will be worsened because of human-driven climate change.

Local government officials imposed limits on water usage, issuing the equivalent of $24 in fines for people participating in activities that require copious amounts of water, like washing cars.

The criteria for declaring a heat wave in India requires the maximum temperature to be 4.5 to 6.4 degrees Celsius (40.1 to 43.52 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than usual. A severe heat wave alert is issued when temperatures are at least 6.5 degrees Celsius (43.7 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than normal.