Delhi records wettest May day in 35yrs, coldest in 70yrs
Delhi on Wednesday recorded 60 mm rainfall till 8:30 pm, the highest 24-hour precipitation in May in 35 years, under the impact of cyclonic storm Tauktae and a western disturbance, the India Meteorological Department said. The city also recorded a maximum temperature of 23.8 degree Celsius, 16 notches below normal and the lowest in the month of May since 1951, the IMD said.
Tauktae and a Western Disturbance resulted in the downpour
The capital had recorded 60 mm rainfall in a 24-hour period on May 24 in 1976. The rainfall in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, northern Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand on Wednesday is a result of interaction between the remnant of the cyclonic storm Tauktae and a Western Disturbance. The Safdarjung Observatory recorded 60 mm rainfall between 8:30 am and 8:30 pm, the IMD said.
Since the combination is rare, 60mm rainfall not a surprise
"May remains generally dry. Normally, Delhi gets a maximum of 30 mm or 40 mm (24-hour rainfall) in this month. The rain lasts only an hour or less," R K Jenamani, senior scientist, national weather forecasting center, said. "But this is a completely different system coming from the Arabian Sea and meeting with a Western Disturbance... the feature is rarest," he said.
Parameters for categorizing rainfall
Rainfall recorded below 15 mm is considered light, between 15 and 64.5 mm is moderate, between 64.5 mm and 115.5 mm is heavy, between 115.6 and 204.4 is very heavy. Anything above 204.4 mm is considered extremely heavy rainfall.
Lesser rain is forecast for Thursday
Rainfall activity is very likely to decrease on Thursday and scattered to fairly widespread rainfall is forecast in the capital. On Wednesday, the incessant rains brought the maximum and minimum temperatures down several notches. "Today, Safdarjung recorded a maximum temperature of 23.8 degree Celsius. This is the lowest maximum temperature since 1951," Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the IMD's regional forecasting center, said.
Delhi's maximum temperature was less than that of Srinagar's
In between, a low of 24.8 degree Celsius was recorded on May 13, 1982. According to the IMD, Delhi's maximum temperature during the day was less than that of Srinagar (25.8 degree Celsius) and Dharamshala (27.2 degree Celsius) up in the north.
Delhi's air quality also saw an improvement
Delhi recorded its air quality in the satisfactory category for the second consecutive day on Wednesday due to rainfall and strong winds. The city recorded a 24-hour average air quality index of 78 on Wednesday. It was 93 on Tuesday. An AQI between 201-300 is considered poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 severe, while an AQI above 500 falls in the severe plus category.