With 54.5 mm rain, Chandigarh records wettest November day in 70 years - Hindustan Times
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With 54.5 mm rain, Chandigarh records wettest November day in 70 years

By, Chandigarh
Dec 01, 2023 08:26 AM IST

November this year also wettest since 1972; Maximum temperature in Chandigarh dives by 8.9 degrees to 16.6°C; hail also reported in some parts

The city recorded 54.5 mm rain on Thursday, making it the wettest November day in 70 years, since India Meteorological Department (IMD) started maintaining records for the city.

Commuters caught in the rain in Chandigarh on Thursday. (Keshav Singh/HT)
Commuters caught in the rain in Chandigarh on Thursday. (Keshav Singh/HT)

Before this, the highest amount of rain recorded on a November day was 43.4 mm on November 23, 1989.

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With Thursday’s rain, that took the month’s total to 55.5 mm, this November also became the wettest the month has been in 51 years and second wettest of all time. Before 2023, at 57.2 mm, the highest rain in the month was recorded in November 1972.

IMD officials attributed the rain to a Western Disturbance that became stronger due to a squall line forming over the city.

Meanwhile, the maximum temperature also saw a big dip, going from 25.5°C on Wednesday to 16.6°C on Thursday, 8.7 degrees below normal, and the lowest so far this season.

At 16.6°C, the maximum temperature of the city was colder than Dharamshala, which was at 20°C, but Shimla was colder at 11°C. As clouds started forming in the night, the minimum temperature went up from 12.6°C to 15°C, 4.1 degrees above normal.

As per IMD officials, hail was recorded around 11.37 am at their observatory in Sector 39. Hail particles reached a diameter of up to 0.6 cm. It was reported in other parts of the city as well. Over the next three days, the maximum temperature will remain around 24°C, while the minimum temperature will hover around 13°C.

Speaking about the intensity of rain, IMD Chandigarh director Manmohan Singh said, “While we had detected the WD a couple of days back, it was expected to be weak in nature. A squall line formed between the boundaries of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. This led to the incessant rain, and Chandigarh due to its proximity with Himachal Pradesh was the most affected.”

As per IMD, a squall line is formed when thunderstorms line up in a series or become a rainband. It is usually a short-lived event. While these have formed in the city previously, Singh said it was a rare event in general and even rarer in November.

November is the driest month of the year, as per IMD, with average rain of just 9.9 mm, the lowest out of all months. November also has the least number of rainy days out of all months in the city.

IMD had declared an orange alert in the city while the rain was in full swing in the morning.

Orange alert is the second highest of the four-colour warning system used by the IMD. It asks people to be prepared.

With high humidity and impact of WD likely to reduce from Friday onwards, moderate to dense fog is expected in the city on Friday and Saturday, as per IMD officials.

A yellow warning for this has also been put out by IMD. Second of the four-tier warning system used by the weather department, it asks people to stay updated. There haven’t been any days in the season with moderate or dense fog till now.

The rain led to traffic jams in various parts of the tricity, primarily due to waterlogging.

Waterlogging was witnessed in several areas, including the railway under bridge road near CTU workshop in Phase 1, Industrial Area; Sector 20/30 light point (Sector 20 gurdwara side); near old Labour Chowk (Sector 18/19/20/21 roundabout); Sector 18/19 dividing road; Iron Market Chowk (Sector 29/30/31/32 roundabout); Sector 30 side; GMCH-32 Chowk; near Dakshin Marg and the road from Zirakpur to Tribune Chowk.

In Mohali, rainwater gathered on the roads in Phases 1, 3B2, 4, 5, 7 and 11. Other than this, various parks, including Mango Park in Phase 3, Bougainvillea Garden in Phase 4 and Rose Garden in Phase 3B1, were also inundated.

Amid the traffic chaos, cab prices surged exponentially, leaving passengers in the lurch on a working day. App-based delivery services, like Zomato and Swiggy, also remained shut for most of the day.

The incessant rain caused a tree collapse on the dividing road between Chandigarh’s Sector 18 and 21, leading to a long traffic jam. Trees also got uprooted at Sector 19 and Sector 45.

A cave-in was reported near the Sector 20 petrol pump, leaving vehicles stuck for over an hour, causing major harassment to commuters.

Even the newly repaired roads in Mohali, including the one outside the Sector 3B2 market, got damaged, while huge potholes emerged on several prime roads of the city.

Clouds loom over Craft Mela

A day before the inauguration of the 10-day 13th Chandigarh National Crafts Mela, the heavy rain on Thursday brought along chaos for organisers, with the entire ground at Kalagram getting inundated.

Officials claimed that they will work overnight, if needed, to drain out the water.

UT administrator Banwarilal Purohit will be inaugurating the event at 6 pm on Friday. Organised by the UT department of cultural affairs in collaboration with NZCC, the theme of the 10-day fair is “Mera Mati Mera Desh”.

Featuring approximately 1,000 folk artistes from various states and around 200 craft stalls, offering exquisite handicrafts, the fair is designed to be a vibrant celebration of India’s diverse cultural tapestry.

NZCC director M Furqan Khan said, “We are all prepared for the inauguration and will drain the water from the ground. The shops are already waterproof. We are hoping that it doesn’t rain again.”

Last year, the 12th edition of the fair was held in October, when the footfall was a dismal 15,000, despite the event returning after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, the fair in 2019 had received 82,000 visitors.

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