With rainfall recorded at 23.7mm, Thursday was the wettest Republic Day in Delhi in the last six years. The city experienced almost non-stop rain during the course of the day.
The only other time in the six year period that it had rained on Republic Day was in 2015. This year it was almost 20 times more than 2015, when rainfall was recorded at 1.4mm.
Despite the rain, the temperature in the capital never went over 18.1°C and the minimum temperature was recorded at 16°C. The maximum temperature was 4 degrees below normal, while the minimum was 7 degrees above normal.
It felt colder in the city, because of the winds that kept blowing at speeds around 5-10 kmph, according to officials at the Regional Weather Forecasting Centre (RWFC).
It is expected to get drier and cooler on Friday, with the RWFC expecting the maximum and minimum temperatures to be 17°C and 14°C respectively, and winds to be blowing at similar speeds.
The MeT department has not predicted any rain on Friday, but the day will remain ‘partly cloudy’.
“If somebody switches on the fan in a room, we feel colder, even though the temperature does not change. Something similar happens when wind starts blowing in the winter. And just like the fan, the stronger the wind, the colder we feel,” explained a weather expert.
However, neither the cold, nor the rain dampened the spirits of those at the Republic Day parade, as thousands braved cold winds, and the drizzle to attend the parade.
Rains played spoilsport for President Pranab Mukherjee’s last ‘At Home’ programme of his tenure as heavy downpour forced change of the venue from majestic Mughal Gardens in the open to the confines of Durbar and Ashoka halls.
With around 3,000 guests descending for the ‘At Home’ function hosted by the President on the 68th Republic Day, Rashtrapati Bhawan had thrown open its Banquet hall and ‘Upper Loggia’ to accommodate everyone.
The President along with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were seated in the Ashoka hall while the remaining guests were accommodated in other three places.
Among VVIP’s present at the occasion were Vice President Hamid Ansari, Chief Justice of India J S Khehar, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shanker Prasad, former mrime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
The Vice President was seen greeting 97-year-old Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, who has been attending the function on wheel chair.
After the national anthem was played, the President, whose term comes to an end this July, went around meeting the guests in all the three halls before taking his seat, the Prime Minister was seen chit-chatting with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, who was the special guest at the Republic Day parade.
Gandhi and Mahajan were seen holding each other’s hands and having a word with smile on their faces.