127mm in 3 hours: Parts of Delhi get unusually heavy spell of rain
- Met department said more rain is expected in the city over the next couple of days. There is a forecast of heavy rain on Monday
The current trend of short, intense and spread out rains continued in Delhi on Sunday with showers ranging from 27.6mm to 126.8mm being recorded within a few morning hours at different weather stations in the city.
Kuldeep Srivastava, IMD’s head of regional weather forecasting centre, said, “More showers are expected over the next couple of days. Given that August, when the city receives maximum rainfall, is still left, we may have a slightly above normal monsoon this year.” He added that there is a forecast of heavy rains in Delhi and NCR on Monday.
The city has been breaking a weather record every month since August 2020. For instance, this February was the second warmest in 120 years, with the mean maximum temperature in the month touching 27.9 degrees Celsius (°C), falling marginally short of the all-time record of 29.7°C in 2006.
Then March this year recorded the hottest day in 76 years, with the mercury levels touching 40.1°C on March 29.
But then, after a sweltering February and March, the conditions changed again in April and the lowest minimum temperature in at least a decade was recorded on April 4, at 11.7°C.
July 2021 has kept with the record-breaking pattern: it started off with an unusually hot day when the maximum temperature spiked to 43°C. Over the next eight days, there were four heatwave days – a frequency not seen since 2014. Around this time, the monsoon should have arrived – but it would not till nearly the middle of the month on July 13, which was the latest onset since 2013. And in a span of three weeks, the monsoon has now dumped more rain this month than it did in any year since 2003.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the Safdarjung weather station, which provides the representative data for the city, received 28.2mm rain on Sunday, the rainfall recording at Lodi Road was 27.4mm and 29.6 mm at Palam weather station. However, the rainfall recording at Ridge weather station, which is in the heart of the city, was 126.8mm.
Similarly, last week on Tuesday, when Delhi received the season’s heaviest rain so far, 100mm rain fell in a span of three hours between 5.30am and 8.30am.
Then, on Friday, the Safdarjung observatory received a bulk of the 41.6 mm rainfall between 2.30pm and 5.30pm. But, barely 2km away at Lodi Road, showers were more intense with the weather department recording over 62mm rain. Similarly, on Thursday, while Safdarjung and Lodi Road recorded 72mm and 73.4mm respectively after a spell of heavy downpour, areas around southwest Delhi’s Palam observatory remained completely dry.
Experts said rain and monsoon patterns have changed over the last decade.
Mahesh Palawat, vice-president (meteorology and climate change) at the Skymet Weather, a private weather forecasting agency, said such change in monsoon patterns are being observed over the city over the last decade and climate crisis may have a larger role to play. “Instead of being more uniform and evenly distributed, we have been noticing that rainfall in Delhi and the neighbouring states has become more intense and lasts for shorter duration. Because of this, the number of rainy days has also reduced. This causes flooding in cities because the ground is unable to absorb such high quantity of rainwater,” Palawat said.
As rains lashed parts of the city on Sunday, there was a rerun of the scenes of knee-deep water on roads and underpasses. The worst affected stretches were GT Road from Mukarba Chowk to Azadpur Chowk, Okhla underpass, Sri Aurobindo Marg under the AIIMS flyover, below the Defence Colony flyover, Ring Road near Nauroji Nagar market, Nangloi to Mundka, and Rohtak Road near Mundka.
According to the public works department (PWD), severe waterlogging was also reported from Yamuna Bazar, Khanpur, Rohtak Road, Lodhi Road, Azadpur underpass, Zakhira underpass, Shakti Nagar underpass, Kirari and Sagarpur.