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At 30°C, Shimla sees hottest day of season

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Heatwave continued to roast Himachal Pradesh as the mercury soared above normal across the hills on Sunday, setting new temperature records.

The temperatures across the state have been recorded two to six degrees above normal.

Shimla saw its hottest day of the season at 30 degrees Celsius on Sunday. On Saturday, the maximum temperature in the state capital was recorded at 29 degrees. Una sizzled at 44 degrees and was hottest in the state, while Bilaspur saw the maximum temperature of 39.2 degrees Celsius.

In Chamba, the maximum temperature was recorded at 39 degrees, which was higher than that in Bilaspur (37.5 degrees).

Among other stations, Sundernagar, Bhuntar and Nahan recorded a maximum temperature of 37.5 degrees each, Dharamshala 35.2, Palampur 33.7, Dalhousie 29.1, Kalpa 25 and Keylong 22.4 degrees Celsius.

Rain, Thunderstorm from today

Meanwhile, the meteorological department has predicted rain and thunderstorm from Monday till May 19 as a fresh western disturbance gets activated over the region.

Shimla weather office director Surender Paul said yellow alert has been sounded for next two days for thunderstorm, lightning, hailstorm and gusty winds (wind speed 30-40 kmph) at isolated places across the state.

Damage may occur to standing crops, fruit plants and new plantings due to hailstorm and gusty winds besides disruption of power supply, he said, while advising people to follow guidelines issued by the departments concerned.

The weather this year has been a cause of worry for the farmers and fruit growers who are staring at huge losses.

The prolonged dry spell had left Himachal Pradesh with 89% deficit rainfall in April this year, highest in 16 years, as the hill state got scanty showers despite western disturbances hitting the region frequently.

The rain deficit has been 52% in the first fortnight of May as the state received only 16.8mm rainfall against a normal of 34.6mm.

Deficit rainfall has hit more than 500 drinking water supply schemes wherein levels have dropped alarmingly. The state government is considering urging the Centre to declare Himachal a drought-hit state.

As per an estimate, more than 60% agricultural crop was damaged due to dry spell and early summer this year.

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