Rain deficiency causing Delhi heat spell, no respite in sight | cities | Hindustan Times
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Rain deficiency causing Delhi heat spell, no respite in sight

Met officials said 29% rain deficiency from March 1 main cause for the dry spell; no rain forecast in the next week

cities Updated: Jun 01, 2018 10:09 IST
Joydeep Thakur
Joydeep Thakur
Hindustan Times, new Delhi
In the March-May period, Delhi usually receives 43 mm of rain . But this year it received only around 30.7 mm.
In the March-May period, Delhi usually receives 43 mm of rain . But this year it received only around 30.7 mm.(Anushree Fadnavis/HT photo)

City residents, who have been reeling under the worst heat-spell in the past five years, may continue to suffer due as the local meteorological department forecast does not predict rains in the next week.

Officials said the day temperature would likely touch 43 degrees Celsius on Sunday.

“There aren’t any chances of rain anymore in the next one week at least. The temperature is expected to remain above 42 degrees Celsius and could even shoot up to 44 degrees over the weekend again,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, a senior scientist with the Regional Weather Forecasting Centre (RWFC) in New Delhi.

Meteorologists said one of the primary reasons behind the intense heat-spell is rain deficiency in the region. Delhi, along with entire northwest India, is reeling under rain deficiency. The national Capital has received around 29% less rain from normal between March 1 and May 30.

Worst bout in 5 years
This year, the temperature hovered above 40°Celsius mark for 16 days in a row. The last time Delhi encountered such a warm spell was in 2013.

“This year in May, the temperature hovered above the 40 degrees Celsius mark for around 16 days at a stretch. The last time the city encountered such a long heat spell was in 2013, when the mercury remained above the 40 degrees Celsius mark for around 17 days,” said a senior official of the RWFC.

The highest day temperature that Delhi has encountered this season was on May 26 when the mercury shot up to 45 degrees Celsius at Safdarjung, which is taken to be a representative of the city’s weather.

The city, however, has witnessed higher day temperature in previous years. The maximum temperature had shot up to 45.7 degrees Celsius on May 24, 2013. It was the highest temperature Delhi has witnessed in the month of May in the past decade. The highest May temperature ever recorded in Delhi was on May 29, 1944, when the mercury shot up to 47.2 degrees Celsius

While the local meteorological department had predicted that there could be a dust storm on Tuesday and rain and thunderstorm on Wednesday providing some relief, all Delhi got was some strong winds on Tuesday evening.

On Thursday, the day temperature shot up to 42.1 degrees Celsius, which was two degrees above the normal. At Palam it was 43.6 degrees Celsius which was three degrees above normal.

Rain, thunderstorms and dust storms at regular intervals help to keep the rising mercury level under control during the pre-monsoon season, officials said.

“This year there has been very less rain both in the winter and in the pre-monsoon season. Most of the western disturbances that came had hit the hilly regions depriving the plains of northwest India of rain. There has also been intense heat over Pakistan and west Asia. The IMD has already predicted that summer would be particularly harsh across northwest India this time,” said AK Jaswal, a former scientist of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

For example, in 2014 there were at least 10 days of rain in May. Due to this, the heat spell didn’t continue for more than three days at a stretch.

“But this year while Delhi has received around 29% less rain between March 1 and May 30, Rajasthan with a deficiency of 67% is the worst hit states in the north west region,” said a senior IMD official. During the March-May period, Delhi usually receives around 43mm of rain. But this year it received only around 30.7 mm of rain.