Second wettest January in a decade in Delhi

The wettest January of the decade for Delhi was last year, when the city received 54.1 mm rainfall over five days.
Rains at North Campus, Delhi University in New Delhi on January 16, 2020.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
Rains at North Campus, Delhi University in New Delhi on January 16, 2020.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jan 30, 2020 08:31 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

This was the second wettest January for Delhi in the last decade, shows data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The Safdarjung observatory, considered to be representative of Delhi’s weather, recorded 48.1 mm rainfall till Wednesday. This is 148% more than the normal 19.3 mm rainfall the city normally receives in January.

The Safdarjung observatory recorded 8mm rainfall in just one day, according to the Met department.

The wettest January of the decade for Delhi was last year, when the city received 54.1 mm rainfall over five days. This year, even December was unusually wet for Delhi, with the city having received 277% above normal rainfall at the Safdarjung observatory.

The city usually receives the highest amount of winter rainfall during February, when then normal long period average rainfall is 22.1 mm.

“This year, the northern plains and the northeast received more than normal the rainfall. Delhi received the second highest January rainfall this year in the last 10 years. There have been several Western Disturbances one after the other since November 3. The next WD is a feeble one and is not likely to bring rain over Delhi and north India, but there will be two or three WDs in February,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice-president of meteorology and climate change at the private weather forecaster Skymet Weather.

Nineteen states other than Delhi also recorded excess -- 60% or more than the normal -- rainfall this January. The excessive rainfall has been attributed to the large number of Western Disturbances during the month.

“There have already been eight or nine western disturbances this month. Usually there are only about three in January. These WDs have brought rainfall not just to Delhi but to much of the Gangetic plains, the Himalayan region, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, and the Northeast,” said Dr RK Jenamani, senior scientist at the IMD.

A Western Disturbance is a storm originating in the Mediterranean region that brings winter rains to the subcontinent.

Light to moderate rainfall is expected to continue in parts of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, northern parts of Madhya Pradesh and over parts of east India till Thursday evening.

Another feeble WD will develop by Friday, which will bring rain to the Himalayan regions.


    Anonna Dutt is a health reporter at Hindustan Times. She reports on Delhi government’s health policies, hospitals in Delhi, and health-related feature stories.

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