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Maharashtra: Bhira records blistering 46.5 degrees Celsius, IMD raises doubts

Mumbai: Even as Maharashtra is reeling under intense heat, the Met department suspects that the unusually high temperature of 46.5 degrees Celsius recorded by a temperature mapping centre at Bhira in Raigad district could be wrong.

The weather forecaster has decided to conduct an inquiry into the unusual event and will send an observer from Mumbai on Thursday.

Officials said though the temperature mapping equipment is the agency’s, those recording the temperature at Bhira are not the employees of the Met department though they were trained by them. “We will visit the location and find out why such a high temperature is being recorded,” an official said.

The temperature mapping centre at Bhira, near a private dam, recorded the temperature as high as 46.5 degrees Celsius for 24 hours ending at 8 AM on Wednesday.

“The IMD has reported temperature as high as 43 degree Celsius on Monday. It was a holiday on Tuesday, hence temperature was not recorded.

“When the temperature (at Bhira) was reported to be 46.5 degrees Celsius, we realised that something is wrong as no other place nearby recorded so high a temperature,” said SG Kamble, divisional in-charge of Regional Meteorological Department at Colaba in Mumbai.

“It clearly means, the recorded figures are to be doubted,” he said.

For instance, Akola, on Wednesday, recorded temperature at 44 degrees Celsius. Its nearby areas such as Wardha, Nagpur and Chandrapur have recorded 43 degrees Celsius. But in the case of Bhira, no nearby region had reported even 43 degrees Celsius,” said the weather department official.

“Bhira village is located in the Sahyadri mountains in Raigad. It is a village close to a dam. The mountains are covered with dense forest. The height of the mountains around Bhira would be minimum 2,000 feet. In such a situation, if the mapping centre shows 46.5 degrees, it should be doubted,” he said.