Dust storm in Delhi-NCR, mercury drops; light rain forecast for today
The IMD forecast that there could also be a drizzle on Thursday, which scientists said is an indirect effect of cyclone Vayu. The chances of a heatwave in Delhi are also remote for the next one week.Updated: Jun 13, 2019 09:18 IST
The severe cyclone Vayu put paid to the dust storm that originated over Afghanistan earlier this week, and was supposed to hit Delhi on Thursday. However, it instead triggered a local dust storm that hit the national capital on Wednesday evening with a maximum speed of nearly 90km per hour. The local dust storm also helped to bring down the temperature by more than 10 degrees Celsius
While the day’s maximum temperature at the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) Safdarjung observatory, taken to be representative of Delhi’s weather, was recorded to be 41.6 degrees, it dropped to 30 degrees after the dust storm. At Palam, the temperature dropped from 43.4 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees Celsius after the storm.
The dust storm came as a relief, after temperatures in the national capital had soared well above the 40 degree Celsius mark June 1 onwards. On Monday, it touched 48 degrees in Palam — the second highest Palam ever recorded at the station.
The IMD forecast that there could also be a drizzle on Thursday, which scientists said is an indirect effect of cyclone Vayu. The chances of a heatwave in Delhi are also remote for the next one week, at the very least. Even though the IMD’s observatories in Delhi did not record any rain, there were reports of drizzles from some parts.
“While on one hand, moisture-laden winds are gushing into Delhi and NCR because of cyclone Vayu, on the other hand a western disturbance is affecting north India. Together, these two systems triggered the dust storm over Delhi on Wednesday,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, a scientist with the regional weather forecasting centre of the IMD.
On Tuesday, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (Safar) — the pollution forecasting agency of the union ministry of earth sciences, warned that remnants of a severe dust storm that originated over the Sistan basin in Afghanistan, could hit north India and Delhi on Thursday. But Cyclone Vayu, as it moved further north changed the scenario on Wednesday.
“The cyclone was pulling huge amounts of air towards it, as a result of which the Afghan dust storm deviated from its original path, and entered the northwest Arabian Sea. In turn it got diluted. The cyclone almost killed the Afghan dust storm and stopped it from entering India,” a Safar scientist said.
IMD officials said that because of the south-westerly winds bringing moisture into Delhi and NCR, the sky remained partly cloudy on Wednesday and the maximum temperature was less than on Tuesday.
“The maximum temperature across all locations in Delhi was at least two to six degrees less than yesterday. The maximum difference was spotted in the Ridge. While the maximum temperature recorded at the Ridge was 46.9 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, on Wednesday it was 40.8 degrees Celsius,” an IMD official said.
The IMD is expecting strong winds, dust storms thunderstorms followed by rain later this week and early next week, further bringing the temperature to less than 40 degrees Celsius.