Health and Fitness

Thunderstorm helps lower Delhi’s rainfall deficit

With rainfall and a thunderstorm that broke a long, mostly dry spell, the temperature plummeted in Delhi-NCR on Monday. The maximum temperature recorded on Monday was 31.5 degrees Celsius, eight degrees below the normal for this time of the year.

The minimum temperature recorded early on Monday was 17.2 degrees Celsius, nine degrees below the normal, and the lowest for the month of May since 2004, when a minimum temperature of 16.7 degrees was recorded in May. The lowest minimum temperature recorded in May 2021 was 18 degrees Celsius, while it was 20 degrees in May 2020. The temperature began to dip on Monday morning, when it fell from 29 degrees to 18 degrees between 5.40 am and 7 am. Strong winds of around 80 kmph were recorded over Delhi-NCR on Monday morning.

According to IMD scientists, this was the first storm of ‘moderate intensity’ this season. The Safdarjung weather observatory, which provides representative figures for the city, recorded 12.3 mm of rainfall between 5.30 am and 8.30 am on Monday. This has helped lower the season’s deficit, said R K Jenamani, scientist, India Meteorological Department (IMD). From February 25 to May 20, the Safdarjung weather station has recorded only 1.7 mm of rainfall, which is the lowest for this period since 1945, Jenamani said. In 1945, the same period recorded no rainfall at all, he added.

The normal amount of rainfall for the season at Safdarjung is 41.6 mm. So far, the city has recorded 15.6 mm, which is a deficit of around 63%. From March to May, the normal occurrence of thunderstorms in Delhi is for around 12 to 14 days, but this season recorded only four to five such days till Monday, and these were mostly dry, Jenamani said.

The maximum temperature at the Gurgaon weather observatory fell below 30 degrees Celsius and settled at 29.4 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature was also low at Gurgaon, settling at 16.5 degrees Celsius on Monday. Southern Haryana, particularly Faridabad and Gurgaon, recorded heavy rainfall on Monday, Jenamani said. Gurgaon recorded around 73.4 mm of rainfall. In Delhi, the Aya Nagar weather station recorded the highest amount of 52.2 mm on Monday, while Palam recorded 27.6 mm.

The rainfall was brought by an active western disturbance that began to affect parts of Punjab on Sunday night, then the clouds moved towards Haryana and Delhi, before moving eastwards to Uttar Pradesh, Jenamani said. The peak of the thunderstorm and rainfall activity was seen on Monday morning, but cloudy conditions would persist till Monday evening or Tuesday morning, Jenamani said. He added that the impact of the thunderstorm could mean that heat wave conditions are likely to remain suppressed till around May 29 or 30.

An IMD bulletin issued on Monday evening stated that a western disturbance lies over north Pakistan. The intensity of the rainfall brought by the western disturbance to parts of northwest India would peak on Monday and reduce from Tuesday onwards, according to the bulletin. While there is likely to be no significant change in maximum temperatures over northwest and central India during the next two days, it could rise by two to four degrees thereafter.

In Delhi, the maximum temperature is likely to remain below 40 degrees Celsius till May 26, the forecast indicates. Cloudy skies and light rainfall are on the forecast for Tuesday as well, when the maximum temperature could settle at 34 degrees Celsius. While the maximum temperature is likely to hit 40 degrees once again on May 27, it could rise further to 41 degrees Celsius on May 28 and 29.

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