IMD predicts rain, hail for Delhi and NW India | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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IMD predicts rain, hail for Delhi and NW India

Apr 12, 2024 06:08 AM IST

IMD warns of thundershowers, hail, and strong winds in northwest India this weekend, impacting agriculture. Delhi sees hottest day, relief expected.

Parts of northwest India, including the national capital Delhi and the grain bowl states of Haryana and Punjab, are expected to be hit by thundershowers and hail that will accompany strong winds this weekend, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Thursday, urging farmers to consider early harvesting to avoid damage to crops.

Delhi recorded its hottest day of the season at 39.1°C on Wednesday, as the summer began taking hold. (Vipin Kumar/ HT Photo)
Delhi recorded its hottest day of the season at 39.1°C on Wednesday, as the summer began taking hold. (Vipin Kumar/ HT Photo)

Delhi recorded its hottest day of the season at 39.1°C on Wednesday, as the summer began taking hold. But some respite can be expected due to what weather scientists said was the arrival of a western disturbance, which will also have a strong impact on the Western Himalayan region. On Thursday, the maximum temperature in the Capital was 39°C.

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“Over the northern plains, we are expecting rain, thundershowers, and hail mainly on April 13 and 14. We have also given impact-based warnings for the agriculture sector, and they need to prepare accordingly. There is an expected impact on the agriculture sector,” said M Mohapatra, director general of IMD.

Another IMD official noted that wheat farmers need to be cautious as wheat is ready for harvest in most northern states, including Haryana and Punjab.

Orange and yellow category warnings have also been issued for all of northwest and central India on April 12 and 13, indicating that these states need to be on alert for severe weather activity.

Kuldeep Srivastava, scientist at IMD, said Delhi can expect widespread light rain. “We can expect strong winds and local dust storms on Saturday, with light rain occurring towards the evening. Wind speeds should touch up to 50 km/hr on Sunday, with chances of more rain during the day,” he said, stating though the impact of the western disturbance will weaken from Monday onwards, isolated parts of the city may still see some rain.

Delhi is yet to receive any rain in the month of April. The long-period average (LPA) for monthly rain in April is 16.3mm. Last year, Delhi received 20.1mm during the month of April.

A western disturbance originates over the Mediterranean region as moisture heavy system that drifts eastwards over parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India before it is halted by the Himalayan ranges, where it triggers heavy rains.

Its effects will also be felt in parts of central India. IMD issued advisories for farmers in northwest and central India, recommending early harvesting of matured crops, fruits, and vegetables, and storing them in safer places or covering them with tarpaulin sheets.

In Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, Marathwada, and Sikkim, farmers have been advised to use hail nets or hail caps in fruit orchards to protect them from mechanical damage. In Jammu & Kashmir, they have been asked to make arrangements to drain out excess water from crop fields to avoid water stagnation.

A gradual fall in maximum temperatures by 3-5 degrees Celsius over northwest India is expected in the next couple of days, and a dip of 2-3 degrees Celsius over many parts of West India during the next three days.

The Union government’s purchases of wheat for state-held inventories is on course to reach a three-year high in 2024-25 due to an early start to procurement operations and a bountiful crop following two straight years of lower output, HT reported.

A bumper harvest is critical this year as the government’s stocks -- needed to provide free grains to 800 million beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act -- have plunged to a seven-year low.

Two years of poor output had prompted the Union government to sell a record 10 million tonne of wheat in the open market to boost supplies and curb record cereal inflation.

Sufficient procurement, which refers to the government’s purchases of farm produce at federally fixed floor prices, is also vital this year because wheat inventories are barely above the buffer or mandatory emergency reserve of 7.6 million tonne as on April 1.

Wheat reserves in state-run granaries totalled 9.7 million tonnes on March 1, down from 11.7 million tonnes in March 2023, according to official figures.

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