<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With clear skies and the absence of any significant weather system over the sea, several parts of western, northwestern and central India, along with the Gangetic plains, are witnessing this summer’s first heat wave. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that “under the influence of prevailing winds and clear sky conditions, maximum and minimum temperatures increased over parts of northwest, west and central India by 4-6 degrees above normal. It has led to heat wave conditions.”This has left Marathwada, Vidarbha, western Rajasthan and Saurashtra sizzling, with dry and hot conditions. On Monday as well as Tuesday, many cities in these regions crossed the 40-degree Celsius mark. On Monday, maximum temperatures over 42 degrees Celsius was recorded in Barmer, Jaisalmer, Dessa, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Malegaon and Chandrapur.In Mumbai, Thane and Pune, too, the temperatures soared 5-6 degrees above normal. Thane recorded 43 degrees Celsius on Monday while Pune recorded 40 degrees Celsius on Tuesday. The IMD said that the heat wave is “very likely” to continue in parts of Rajasthan, western Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Marathwada and Vidarbha in the coming two to three days.“The prevailing conditions are characteristic of the summer season when there is an absence of any major weather activity. This means that the skies are clear, there is little chance of clouding and despite the lack of really hot winds, temperatures do tend to rise,” said K Sathi Devi, scientist, National Weather Forecasting Centre (NWFC).Private weather forecaster Skymet said that the spike in mercury levels in the western parts is due to “dry northerly-northeasterly winds”, which, being “drier”, lead to a rise in temperature over the region.The IMD’s summer forecast had said that heat wave conditions are likely over much of north, northwest, central, east central India and even over plains of the Himalayas. During a heat wave, maximum temperatures soar 5-6 degrees above normal. According to the IMD, the average minimum temperatures, too, are going to increase by over 1 degree Celsius, largely in the northwest and plains of Himalayas.