NEW DELHI (AFP) - A city in northern India has shattered the national heat record, registering a searing 51 deg C - the highest since records began - the weather office said on Friday (May 20).
The new record in Phalodi, a city in the desert state of Rajasthan, is the equivalent of 123.8 Fahrenheit and comes as a heatwave sweeps the nation.
It tops a previous record of 50.6 deg C set in 1956.
"Yesterday (Thursday) was the hottest temperature ever recorded in the country... 51 degrees in Phalodi," said Mr B.P. Yadav, a director of the India Meteorological Department.
Temperatures in northern India regularly hit the high 40s in May and June - the hottest months of the year - but topping 50 deg C is unusual.
The weather office has issued warnings of "severe heat wave" conditions across large parts of India's northern and western regions through the weekend.
India declares a heatwave when the maximum temperature hits 45 deg C, or five degrees higher than the average for the area in previous years.