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Delhi fulfils its February rain quota, more on the cards

Feb 02, 2024 01:42 AM IST

A fresh western disturbance is developing and may bring more rain to Delhi over the weekend, according to the India Meteorological Department.

The first day of February in Delhi was wetter than it was in all of January, with intermittent showers throughout Thursday alone exceeding the Capital’s rain quota for all of the month. However, the showers also pushed Delhi’s minimum temperature to its highest in 59days, in an 5°C jump from Wednesday.

Noida, India- February 01, 2024: Commuters during light rain in winter. There was light rain in Delhi NCR on a cold day, which increased the severe cold in North India, in Noida, India, on Thursday, February 01, 2024. (Photo by Sunil Ghosh / Hindustan Times)
Noida, India- February 01, 2024: Commuters during light rain in winter. There was light rain in Delhi NCR on a cold day, which increased the severe cold in North India, in Noida, India, on Thursday, February 01, 2024. (Photo by Sunil Ghosh / Hindustan Times)

Delhi recorded 27.1 mm of rain till 8.30pm, more than February’s monthly average of 21.3mm, showed data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD). It also underlines a sharp turnaround for the city after an unusually dry January, when Delhi recorded no rain on 29 days, trace rain on one, and 8.5mm (between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm) on the last day of the month.

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It was the Capital’s driest January since 2016.

The minimum temperature, meanwhile, inched up to 12.3°C, four degrees above normal, even as the maximum remained unchanged from 18.6°C a day ago, four degrees below normal.

Read here: Delhi-NCR weather: Rain, thunderstorms hit capital for 2nd day; IMD predicts more showers

Wednesday’s and Thursday’s showers were down to a western disturbance, which is now fizzling away, said IMD officials. However, they added that a fresh western disturbance is developing and may bring Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) rain over the weekend.

“The next western disturbance is likely to be feeble and not as active as the present one, which brought light rain to most parts of Delhi and moderate rain to a number of regions in the city’s central, southern and eastern parts,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, scientist at IMD.

Southwest Delhi’s Palam received 21.7mm in the 24 hours till 8.30, north Delhi’s Ridge station recorded 23.4mm, central Delhi’s Lodhi Road 24.6mm and southwest Delhi’s Ayanagar 7.5mm, showed IMD data.

February wiped out the travails of January, which was largely bone-dry and far more polluted than usual.

The Capital got no rain all month, except January 31, when there was light rain across the city after 8.30am. However, the IMD said these showers were counted in February’s quota of rain, due to the weather agency’s record-keeping methods.

IMD counts monthly rainfall only till 8.30am on the last day of the month. Thus, according to IMD, January officially ended with only ‘trace’ rainfall — a 100% rain deficit as compared to the long-period average (LPA) of 19.1mm for the month.

Last February, Delhi recorded no rain throughout the month, but in 2022, it logged 29.7mm. In 2021 and 2022, it recorded 2.6mm and 1.8mm of rainfall respectively through the month.

IMD data available from 2009 shows that 2013 had the wettest February, with 103.1mm rain.

Forecasts show Delhi’s minimum is likely to hover between 7-9°C till Sunday, while the maximum is likely to be around 19-20°C.

“These are warmer winds in comparison to the icy-cold northwesterly winds. Cloudy skies at night also led to a rise in minimum temperature as they surfaces rapidly lost heat in the absence of fog,” an IMD official said.

Thunderstorm, lightning and strong winds also saw 13 flights being diverted at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport between 12.30 am and 6 am, airport officials said. Naerly 30 flights were delayed too, data on the airport’s website showed.

“The diversions included six flights to Jaipur, two to Amritsar, two to Mumbai, two to Ahmedabad and one to Lucknow.” said an airport official.

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