NEW DELHI: Summer has started setting in early this year in Delhi with the India Meteorological Department predicting that the maximum temperature is likely to stay at 30C or above.The day temperature was 29.6C, five degrees above normal, on Saturday at Safdarjung, which is the city’s base station. The mercury crossed the 30-degree mark at some stations – Lodhi Road at 30C, Ridge at 30.4C, Pitampura at 30.6C and Sports Complex at 30.8C. The maximum temperature at Safdarjung was 29.8C on Friday, making it the hottest February day in two years. Met officials said temperatures usually remain continuously high from the last week of February.Temperature to be 30-32 degree Celsius for the next few daysAn analysis of IMD’s data from the past 10 years shows that this February has witnessed five days so far when the day temperature surpassed 29oC. In contrast, the highest maximum temperature in February 2021 was 28.4oC.During the period from February 1 to 18, there were three days in 2021, one day in 2017 and two days in 2015 when the day temperature was 29oC or above. The analysis of the past 10 years’ data during the same period showed that the mercury didn’t touch 29oC in 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2016, 2014, 2013 and 2012.According to IMD’s criteria, January and February are considered winter months, while summer starts setting in from the last week of February. However, many days were four to six degrees higher than normal in February this year. And no relief is expected as the forecast of the IMD of the next five days says that it is likely to hover in the range of 30-32oC. It is likely to touch 31oC on Sunday and may rise further to 32oC on Monday.”No active western disturbance has impacted the plains in February till now and there have been clear skies. Since no rainfall activity has been recorded, the maximum temperatures have remained high. In the remaining days of the month, the day temperature is predicted to remain in the range of 29-32oC,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, head, regional weather forecasting centre, IMD. He added that no western disturbance is expected to impact the plains till February 24.Meanwhile, the minimum temperature on Saturday settled at 11.7oC, one degree above normal. It is likely to rise to 13-14oC in the next few days.