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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

Delhi witnesses second driest June in 26 years

Even though the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast that Delhi could receive a slight drizzle this week, the city might have to wait a few more days before the rain relief.

delhi Updated: Jul 02, 2019 08:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A man drinks from a water pipe along a highway on a hot summer day,  New Delhi, Sunday, June 30, 2019.
A man drinks from a water pipe along a highway on a hot summer day, New Delhi, Sunday, June 30, 2019. (Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)
         

An ‘unusual’ heat wave swept through Delhi on Sunday with the temperature level touching 42 degrees in the national capital.

Delhi, this year, has also encountered its second driest June in 26 years.

Even though the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast that Delhi could receive a slight drizzle this week, the city might have to wait a few more days before the rain relief.

“As of today, we are expecting the southwest monsoon to hit Delhi around July 7. A low pressure area has developed over the Bay of Bengal and this will help the monsoon wind to advance further into central and west India,” said KJ Ramesh, director general of IMD.

The IMD’s Safdarjung observatory, which is taken to be a representative of Delhi’s weather, received just 11.4 mm rain this June. This is the second driest June since 1993. In June 2010, the observatory received around 3.9mm rain — the driest June till date. In 1992, Safdarjung received around 10mm rain.

“Delhi (as a whole) is still reeling under 89% rain deficiency, the maximum in the country. Chandigarh with around 81% deficiency comes next. East, Central and South West Delhi are most rain deficient, with more than 95% deficiency. North Delhi received the maximum rain in June and has around 58% deficiency,” said a senior official of the regional weather forecasting centre.

With hardly any rain, the mercury has shot up again in the past few days. On Sunday, the maximum temperature at Safdarjung was 42.2 degrees Celsius, which was five degrees above normal. Palam, at 44.8 degrees Celsius, experienced severe heat wave conditions.

“Usually the temperature doesn’t rise to such extreme levels during the end of June because of the approaching monsoon. But this year, we have seen how rains have evaded Delhi causing the mercury to shoot up to 48 degrees Celsius in Palam – the highest temperature ever recorded in June. There were unusually long heat spells, with the temperature hovering above 40 degrees Celsius for almost 20 days at a stretch,” said the official.

The high level of humidity has aggravated the condition. The heat index – the combined effect of humidity and temperature – is rising adding to the discomfort level.

Relief, however, is expected soon.

With drizzle expected over the next few days and light rain likely to hit the national capital around Wednesday, the temperature will go down.

“Moisture-laden winds are gushing in because of a low pressure over the Bay of Bengal. This could lead to some drizzle over the next two to three days. On Wednesday there could be light rain. The cloudy sky and the drizzle will help to bring down the day temperature,” said the official.

First Published: Jun 30, 2019 20:43 IST

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