Delhi: Incessant rain brings day temperature to 70-year low

Updated on May 20, 2021 06:11 AM IST

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the rains, caused under the residual impact of Cyclone Tauktae, may continue till Thursday afternoon in some parts of the city.

A cyclist out at Connaught Place during a spell of rain in New Delhi on May 19, 2021. (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)
A cyclist out at Connaught Place during a spell of rain in New Delhi on May 19, 2021. (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The maximum temperature in the Capital fell 16 degrees below normal, weather officials said, after a day-long spell of moderate rainfall, with Delhi recording a maximum temperature of 23.8 degrees Celsius on Wednesday -- the lowest maximum temperature in May for at least 70 years.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the rains, caused under the residual impact of Cyclone Tauktae, may continue till Thursday afternoon in some parts of the city.

The incessant showers led to a sharp drop in the mercury, with the day’s maximum at the Safdarjung weather station, which is considered the official marker for the entire city, falling to 23.8°C, 16 notches below what is considered normal for this time of the year. The minimum temperature was 21.4°C, five degrees below the season’s normal. The Palam observatory recorded a maximum temperature of 25.7°C, 15 degrees below normal. The minimum temperature here was 20.2°C.

“We need to understand that this weather was induced by a rare phenomenon, the cyclonic storms. But it is true that even during peak monsoon, Delhi seldom experiences consistent rain,” a senior Met official said.

According to IMD recordings, Wednesday’s recording was the lowest since at least 1951 -- the year from when IMD started preserving weather recordings in a digitised format. Before Wednesday (May 19), the lowest maximum temperature recorded in the month was 24.8°C, logged on May 13, 1982.

Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre, said till 8.30pm on Wednesday, Safdarjung weather station received 60mm rainfall, Palam observatory recorded 36.8mm rain and Najafgarh station 57mm rain.

Met officials said the all-time record rainfall for May was 60mm, logged at the Safdarjung weather observatory on May 24, 1976.

“Rainfall between 15mm and 65mm is considered moderate. There is a forecast of the rains continuing through Wednesday night. Some parts of Delhi might receive light rain till Thursday afternoon as well,” Srivastava said.

He added that Wednesday’s rain and the consequent drop in temperature were similar to what the city usually experiences during the peak of monsoon in August.

“The maximum temperature will rise by three or four degrees on Thursday, and will continue to rise over the next four days. The cyclone is not forecast to have any impact on or around Delhi at least in the coming four to five days,” Srivastava said.

Met officials explained that the rainfall began in parts of Delhi on Tuesday night under the residual impact of Cyclone Tauktae. The IMD issued an orange alert for Delhi and the National Capital Region on Tuesday, to alert authorities to the possibility of heavy rain and gusty winds.

Cyclone Tauktae (pronounced Tau’Te), which intensified into an “extremely severe cyclonic storm” made landfall on the Gujarat coast late on Monday evening, with wind speed between 150kmph and 160kmph.

A tropical cyclone is an intense circular storm that originates over warm tropical oceans and is characterised by low atmospheric pressure, strong winds followed by heavy rainfall.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Soumya Pillai covers environment and traffic in Delhi. A journalist for three years, she has grown up in and with Delhi, which is often reflected in the stories she does about life in the city. She also enjoys writing on social innovations.

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