Delhi records driest first five months since 2018: IMD data | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Delhi records driest first five months since 2018: IMD data

Jun 08, 2024 01:55 AM IST

Delhi experienced its driest start to the year since 2018 with only 44.7mm of rainfall in the first five months, impacting temperatures and monsoon predictions.

The Capital recorded its driest start to the year since 2018 with only 44.7mm of rainfall recorded at Safdarjung – the weather observatory representative of Delhi’s weather – during the first five months of the year. This amounts to only 42% of the long-period average of 104.8mm, which Delhi’s base observatory receives in the first five months of the year.

Experts attributed the poor rainfall to the lack of active western disturbances this year, which in turn also caused higher-than-normal temperature through most of northwest India. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
Experts attributed the poor rainfall to the lack of active western disturbances this year, which in turn also caused higher-than-normal temperature through most of northwest India. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)

In 2018, the city received 43.5mm of rainfall in the start of the year, India Meteorological Department (IMD) data analysed by HT showed.

To put the numbers in context, in the first five months of 2023, the city recorded 204.7mm — nearly five times this year’s figure. In 2022, the total amount of rainfall was 165.9mm till May 31; 210.5mm in 2021; 194.4mm in 2020; and 126.6mm in 2019.

HT looked at the data from Safdarjung from 2012, the latest figures available.

Experts attributed the poor rainfall to the lack of active western disturbances this year, which in turn also caused higher-than-normal temperature through most of northwest India — a problem that compounded particularly from mid-May, when heatwaves were recorded in large swathes of the country. Delhi recorded four consecutive heatwave days between May 17 and 20, with a much longer 12-day streak seen from May 25 till June 5.

During this spell, the maximum went as high as 46.8 degrees Celsius (°C) at Safdarjung on May 29 — the second-highest maximum for the station in May, behind the all-time high of 47.2°C, which was recorded on May 29, 1944. The highest maximum at any Delhi station this season is 49.9°C, which was recorded at north Delhi’s Narela on May 28, they added. To be sure, a station in Mungeshpur recorded a temperature of 52.9°C but IMD later said this was due to faulty apparatus.

Even the scant rainfall that has been recorded this year, has come in flashes, with most of the year remaining dry, IMD data shows. Out of the 44.7mm recorded in the first five months, about 72% or 32.5mm of rain was logged just in February, which is the only month when Delhi got excess rainfall this year.

“Delhi and large parts of northwest India have not seen many active western disturbances. It’s not important how many western disturbances are recorded, but how feeble or strong they are,” said IMD DG Mrutyunjay Mohapatra.

“We have not seen many strong western disturbances that can bring rain, which provides a cooling effect. This is also the reason why we have been recording such intense heatwaves, as there has practically been no rain in large parts of the northwest India since May 15,” Mohapatra added.

No respite till the arrival of monsoon?

June is not likely to be too different, but once the monsoon arrives in Delhi, the situation is likely to change again, he said.

Earlier this month, IMD retained its outlook of an above-normal monsoon this year, reiterating what it said in April that between June and September, monsoon rainfall should be around 6% over the normal mark of 87cm. It is likely to be above normal over central India, around normal over northwest India and below normal over northeast India.

IMD data showed Delhi did not record any rain in January this year. It recorded 32.5mm in February, an excess over the monthly LPA of 21.3mm. In March, when Delhi normally receives 17.4mm, it recorded only 4.3mm. In April, it received 7.5mm as against a monthly normal of 16.3mm, and in May only 0.4mm against a normal mark of 30.7mm.

Delhi generally sees one to two good spells of pre-monsoon rain in May, which helps reduce the rise in temperature seen at this time of the year. The Capital received 111mm in May last year, 47.7mm in 2022, and 144.8mm in in 2021.

Mahesh Palawat, vice president at Skymet meteorology, said Delhi has suffered in April and May, similar to most of northern India.

“Normally, we see two to three good spells of rain in April and May, which is on account of a strong cyclonic circulation and western disturbance. This time around, though we have seen moisture-laden easterly winds come to northern India, the cyclonic circulations have been so weak, it has only caused cloudiness and or very light rain in places. Hailstorm and strong dust storms, another common feature of the pre-monsoon period too are missing,” said Palawat.

Last year, in the monsoon months of June, July, August and September, Delhi received 660.8mm, which was slightly above the normal monsoon precipitation of 640.1mm from June to September. In 2022, the monsoon was slightly underwhelming, recording 516.9mm. In 2021, the monsoon broke several records as Delhi recorded 1,169.7mm in these four months.

Catch every big hit, every wicket with Crickit, a one stop destination for Live Scores, Match Stats, Infographics & much more. Explore now!

Stay updated with all top Cities including, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and more across India. Stay informed on the latest happenings in World News
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, July 20, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On