India heatwave
Temperatures soared to 47C in parts of Delhi as the Met Department issued a weather alert for northern parts of India. SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images

Parts of India have been undergoing an intense heatwave this week, with temperatures soaring to 47C in Delhi on 18 May, forcing the country's Met Department to issue a "red warning". The warning is expected to remain in place for at least three days, with Delhi seeing record-breaking power consumption on 19 May as a result of the heat.

According to the Press Trust of India, the power demand in the capital breached the 6,000 megawatts mark for the very first time. The State Load Despatch Centre recorded a maximum power load of 6,044 megawatts at 3.36pm IST, despite the fact that power outages dominated large parts of the city and maximum temperatures dropped slightly to 43C.

A spokesperson for the India Meteorological Department said on 19 May: "Heatwave conditions continued to prevail at most places with a severe heatwave at a few places over west Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha and at isolated places over Haryana and Delhi, east Rajasthan, east Uttar Pradesh and central Maharashtra."

Minimum temperatures in Delhi on 19 May were 28.6C, with humidity levels rising to 56% at times. For 20 May forecasters have predicted clear skies bringing more heatwave conditions, with dust and thunderstorms have been predicted for the night.

While northern parts of the country struggle with the heat, the Met Department issued a cyclone warning in parts of southern India on 18 May. Southern parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh were warned to be on alert for 48 hours, and fishermen were advised not to venture into the seas due to a fear of "very rough seas".

Heavy rainfall is also expected across Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, while Chennai and Kerala had already begun to see heavy rainfall. Chennai reportedly experienced the heaviest rainfall since the December 2015 rains that led to massive flooding and destruction in the city.