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Winds keep Delhi mercury from breaking February record, temperature to dip this weekend

Strong winds came to the rescue of Delhi’s residents, keeping the city’s temperatures from soaring on Friday
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 11:15 PM IST

Strong winds came to the rescue of Delhi’s residents, keeping the city’s temperatures from soaring on Friday. India Meteorological Department (IMD) scientists said while the forecast for Friday showed that the mercury levels were set to peak and break the record for the highest temperature to ever be recorded in February, strong winds during the day kept the temperatures a notch short of that mark.

On Friday, the maximum temperature recorded at the Safdarjung observatory, considered the official marker for the city, was 33°C, seven higher than the season’s normal. But the minimum temperature touched 15.2°C, three above normal, and the highest recorded this season.

IMD recordings show that apart from three days, this February has seen temperatures three to four degrees higher than the season’s normal. This has primarily been because of fewer western disturbances that have impacted the city this month, which has kept the skies clear and thereby allowed uninterrupted sunlight during the day.

Met officials said that the city will witness a slight respite from the heat on Saturday. Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre said strong winds will help Saturday’s mercury drop by one to two degrees. He also explained that the minimum temperature on Friday rose as a result of the high day time temperature recorded a day before. On Thursday, the maximum temperature recorded in the national capital was 33.2 degrees Celsius, the highest in February since 2006.

“On Friday, the wind speed touched 25kmph for a while in the afternoon, which kept the maximum temperature lower than what was forecast. The wind speed will be on the higher side on Saturday too,” Srivastava said.

He added that the temperatures will fall further from Sunday.

“Wind directions are changing from Sunday and there is also a forecast of an active western disturbance passing over Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. These states are experiencing rain and snowfall and the winds coming from these states will bring cold winds, which will lead to this drop,” said Srivastava.

Meanwhile, the air quality on Friday also improved marginally but stayed in the ‘poor’ zone. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recordings show that the overall air quality index (AQI) of Delhi was 229. On Thursday, the average AQI was 298, also in the ‘poor’ zone.

Union ministry of earth science’ air quality monitoring centre, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (Safar), said that an increase in wind speed and boundary layer height is forecasted for Saturday and this is likely to influence AQI positively.

“The AQI is forecasted to stay well within the ‘poor’ category on February 27 and February 28. Though ventilation is favourable for better AQI, an increase in mineral dust contribution is expecting in the coming days as the winds are from dry desert regions,” the Safar forecast read.

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