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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019

With no rains since June 1, Delhi the only 100% rain-deficient state in country

Overall, India is reeling from 42% rain deficiency this month, with Jammu and Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep the only states or Union Territories with higher-than-average rain.

delhi Updated: Jun 14, 2019 07:30 IST
Joydeep Thakur
Joydeep Thakur
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A man drinks from a glass of sweetened rose milk offered to passersby to beat scorching temperatures on the occasion of Ekadashi at Safdarjung Enclave in New Delhi, India, on Thursday, June 13, 2019
A man drinks from a glass of sweetened rose milk offered to passersby to beat scorching temperatures on the occasion of Ekadashi at Safdarjung Enclave in New Delhi, India, on Thursday, June 13, 2019(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
         

The national capital tops India’s rain-deficiency chart in a dismal June, during which the city is reeling from its longest heatwave in at least three decades. According to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data, Delhi did not get any rain between June 1 and 13, making it the only 100% rain-deficient state in the country.

Overall, India is reeling from 42% rain deficiency this month, with Jammu and Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep the only states or Union Territories with higher-than-average rain.

“While Delhi usually receives around 14.1mm rain between June 1 and 13, this year there has been no rain so far. Delhi is the only state across the country which has not received any rain since June 1. The last time it rained in Delhi was on May 15,” said a senior IMD official who asked not to be named.

“This is something unusual. Every year since 2011, Delhi had received some rain during the first two weeks of June. In 2017, Delhi encountered at least four days of rain in the first two weeks. It was the wettest June in 10 years,” said another official from IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre (RWFC) in the Capital.

The lack of rain pushed the maximum temperature in the Palam and Safdarjung weather stations to 48 degrees Celcius and 45.6 degrees Celcius on Monday. The mercury touched a high of 42.9 degrees in Palam and 41.2 degrees in Safdarjung on Thursday.

“Rain deficiency is one of the primary reasons behind the extreme temperature Delhi recorded this June. Rainfall during this time of the year helps to keep the mercury level under check,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, a scientist with RWFC

The IMD is, however, expecting some respite over the next few days with rain and thundershower expected in Delhi early next week due to moisture-laden south-westerly winds gushing in because of severe cyclone Vayu over the Arabian Sea.

“There are high chances of rain and thundershower on Monday and Tuesday. Over the weekend the sky is likely to remain cloudy and there are chances of light rain too,” Srivastava said.

The dry spell extends across most of north and central India. In north India, Haryana (2mm rain) was 84% deficient between June 1 and June 13; Uttar Pradesh (5.4mm) 74% deficient; and Rajasthan (2.8mm) 77% rain deficient.

In central India, Madhya Pradesh (2.9mm) was 88% deficient, Gujarat (4.8mm) 78%, and Maharashtra 17.8mm (69%).

Most parts of central and peninsular India have also experienced between 40% and 60% rain deficiency.

The monsoon made landfall in Kerala on June 8, a week later than usual, marking the official start of the four-month-long rainy season.