Monster cloud over Delhi triggers rain, expect more downpour on Monday
A monster cloud standing nearly eight km thick triggered rain and thundershower in the city on Sunday afternoon.delhi Updated: May 21, 2017 23:36 IST
Darkness descended over Delhi as a monster cloud standing nearly eight km thick triggered rain and thundershower in the city on Sunday afternoon.
Even though the city came to a near-standstill for a few minutes, the rain and gusty winds helped to bring down both the pollution and mercury levels drastically.
With more such rain in store for Monday, experts predicted that Delhiites cannot only hope for some respite from the scorching heat but also from the high pollution levels at least for the next two days.
“There were at least six cloud cells, which entered from the south of the city. The main cloud cell was at least 8 km tall. The entire system measured around 150 km in length and around 50 km in breadth covering almost the entire city. It was a huge system, moving pretty fast. In just one and half hour the system reached Meerut,” said an official of the regional weather forecast centre in New Delhi.
Met officials blamed it on two systems — a Western Disturbance and a cyclonic circulation — that converged over the north western states. This gave rise to the cloud which then moved towards Delhi-NCR.
The system triggered strong winds sometimes gusting up to 90 km per hour. The rain, however, was short-lived and not much. While areas such as Safdarjung received around 2.2 mm of rain, Palam and Ridge areas received less than 0.4 mm. Aya Nagar received around 8 mm of rain. Reports of hail also poured in from some places.
The rain and thundershower not only helped to bring down the temperature but also improved the city’s air quality. The Air Quality Index of Delhi maintained by System of Air-quality-weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) improved from ‘Very Poor’ to ‘Good’ within just 30 minutes. Both PM10 and PM2.5 levels dropped by at least five times.
The storm also broke branches of trees and snapped wires. While the city’s civic body control room received around 15-20 calls of broken branches blocking roads, the telephone lines of the local met department conked off. There were however no reports of any injuries or casualties.
“It was so dark that even at 5.30 pm that it almost seemed like 7 pm. I could see people standing on the road even after getting drenched. Cars refused to move as drivers feared that tree branches could break and fall on them. Traffic almost came to a standstill near India Gate,” said Shalini Sharma, who was stranded in the snarl.