Clear sky over India Gate on Tuesday. Overnight rain improved the air quality, bringing AQI to the ‘moderate’ range. (Arvind Yadav/HT)
Clear sky over India Gate on Tuesday. Overnight rain improved the air quality, bringing AQI to the ‘moderate’ range. (Arvind Yadav/HT)

Another weather record: Coolest day in June ever

At 17.9°C, Delhi records lowest minimum temperature in June so far after rainfall caused by western disturbance, cyclone.
By Sadia Akhtar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 02, 2021 02:29 AM IST

A dust storm and late-night rain brought Delhi’s minimum temperature on Tuesday down to 17.9 degrees Celsius, the lowest ever recorded in June, ensuring that the city continued the trend of breaking some historical weather record every month since August 2020.

According to IMD data, the previous lowest minimum temperature recorded in Delhi in June was 18 degrees Celsius on June 17, 2006.

HT reported last week that the Capital was on a weather barrier-breaking streak for at least the last nine months.

In August 2020, the city recorded 236.5mm rainfall, the highest for the month since 2013. In September, it recorded the warmest month in almost two decades.The Capital’s average maximum temperature that month was 36.2 degrees Celsius, breaking the previous record of 36.1 degrees Celsius in 2015. The last time Delhi recorded higher average maximum temperature in September was in 2001, when the mercury soared to 36.3 degrees Celsius.

In October, the city broke a 58-year-old record by clocking a mean minimum temperature of just 17.2 degrees Celsius. In November, it broke an even older record, with the month’s mean minimum temperature dropping to 10.2 degrees Celsius, a level last seen in 1949.

In December, the city witnessed eight “cold wave” days, the highest since 1965, while January recorded the highest number of cold wave days since 2008 (at seven days) and also broke the record for the highest rainfall for the month in 21 years (56.6mm).

Then, there was sudden change. February was the second warmest in 120 years, with the mean maximum temperature in the month touching 27.9 degrees Celsius, falling marginally short of the all-time record of 29.7 degrees Celsius in 2006. March recorded the hottest day in 76 years, with the mercury levels touching 40.1 degrees Celsius on March 29.

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 degrees Celsius.

In May, under the impact of Cyclone Tauktae, Delhi broke the record for the highest single-day rainfall for the month ever, with 119.3mm of precipitation on May 19-20.

And now, a new record has been set on the first day of June.

Early on Tuesday, between 1am and 2.30am, the Capital experienced moderate to heavy rain and gusty winds of 50-70 kmph, accompanied by thunder. As per IMD data, around 16mm of rainfall was recorded in the 24 hours beginning 8.30 am on Monday and 8.30 am Tuesday. Rainfall between 15 mm and 65 mm is considered “moderate”.

Weather officials attributed the rain to “western disturbances and induced cyclonic circulations”.

“Usually, pre-monsoon activities are triggered due to western disturbances and induced cyclonic circulations. These act as trigger mechanisms for the development of thunderclouds which further leads to pre-monsoon intense weather activities such as dust storms or thundershowers,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice-president of Skymet weather services.

Following the rain, the minimum temperature -- 17.9 degrees Celsius, as per the Safdarjung observatory, which is considered representative of Delhi -- was 10 degrees below “normal” for this time of the year, and nearly seven degrees below Monday’s 25 degrees Celsius.

The maximum temperature was recorded at 33. 6 degrees Celsius, seven degrees below the normal temperature for this time of the year.

Met officials and scientists said that while these extreme weather recordings are the immediate result of temporary atmospheric events in and around the Capital, the larger role of the climate crisis in the overall shifting of weather patterns is evident.

“This time we have observed a relatively cooler summer. We are yet to record a heatwave, and according to our forecast, it is unlikely there will be any heatwave. Usually, in Delhi heatwave days are recorded till June 15, after which pre-monsoon activities start in this region,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre.

Meanwhile, the air quality improved on Tuesday on account of the rain, with Delhi recording an AQI of 115 (moderate) -- an improvement from Monday’s 135, according to data from the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB)

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