Heavy rainfall marked the onset of the southwest monsoon in Delhi on Thursday. The maximum temperature plummeted to 29.4 degrees Celsius at Safdarjung, seven degrees below normal for this time of the year, and 11.5 degrees below the maximum temperature recorded on Wednesday. This is the lowest maximum temperature recorded in June in at least 11 years.
The Safdarjung weather observatory, which serves as a marker for the city, recorded 116.6 mm of rainfall between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm, the highest in the city. Much of this rainfall was recorded before 2.30 pm, with the intensity reducing in the afternoon and evening. The weather observatory on Lodhi Road recorded around 107.6 mm till 5.30 pm, while the one at Ridge in North Delhi recorded 65.2 mm. The weather station at Palam recorded 31.8 mm, the lowest amount in the city on Thursday.
Till June 30, the city had a deficit of around 67% in rainfall for the month. However, the rainfall on Thursday is likely to have covered that deficit.
The monsoon has hit the city after a scorching summer that was Northwest India’s hottest in 122 years in March and April. Both months recorded massive deficits in rainfall – March saw no rainfall at all, while there was a deficit of 98% in April in Delhi.
Cloudy skies and moderate rainfall or thundershowers are on the forecast for Delhi on Friday. The IMD issued an ‘orange’ alert for the city on Friday, which is a warning to be prepared. The impact expected includes traffic disruption and water accumulation. The alert has been lowered to a ‘yellow’ on Saturday and Sunday when light rainfall is likely. A ‘yellow’ alert means ‘be aware’.
Light rainfall remains on the forecast till July 6, and the maximum temperature is also likely to remain below 40 degrees till July 6. On Friday, the maximum temperature is likely to be around 32 degrees Celsius.
The southwest monsoon also covered all of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday. It advanced into parts of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan as well.
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