Heat wave conditions prevailed across Haryana and Punjab on Tuesday with most areas experiencing 40-plus degree Celsius temperatures.
The maximum temperatures hovered between 40 to 44 degrees, up to five degrees above normal.
Hisar, Narnaul and Bhiwani towns in Haryana were the hottest at 43.5 degrees Celsius.
Amritsar city in neighbouring Punjab recorded a high of 37.7 degrees.
Ludhiana and Patiala cities were much hotter at 40.3 and 41.4 degrees respectively.
Chandigarh recorded a high of 40.9 degrees.
Met department officials said rain and storms were expected over the region in the next 48 hours.
In view of the intense heat wave sweeping the region, Agra district authorities on Wednesday directed school managements to change class timings to ensure children reached home early by 12.30 p.m. or 1 p.m.
The mercury soared to touch 45 degrees Celsius here on Tuesday, while Mathura was hotter at 47.2 degrees Celsius.
The met office, however, have promised some respite in the next two days due to the cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal.
The historical monuments here, including the Taj Mahal, have a deserted look with the number of footfalls falling sharply.
The Agra district courts too have changed their schedule, opening earlier at 8.30 am.
Meanwhile, half the city is struggling with acute water shortage. Long queues at hand pumps and municipal water tanks have become a routine feature, particularly in the Trans-Yamuna area.
Delhiites might get some relief from the sweltering heat on Wednesday as the weatherman has forecast thunderstorm and dust storm in the national capital.
It was a warm Wednesday morning with the minimum temperature settling at 24.4 degrees Celsius, normal for this time of the year.
Humidity was recorded at 49 per cent.
The weatherman has forecast partly cloudy skies with the possibility of dust storm/thunderstorm towards the afternoon and evening and gusty winds of speed 30 to 40 km/hr.
The maximum temperature is likely to settle around 42 degrees Celsius.
The national capital reeled under searing heat on Tuesday, recording a maximum temperature of 43.7 degrees Celsius, the highest for the season so far.