Delhi sees highest-ever rainfall in 122 years in January
Delhi has recorded 88.2 millimeters of rain in January so far, the highest ever for the month in 122 years. This is the most rainfall recorded in the national capital in January since the India Meteorological Department (IMD) started collecting records in 1901. The previous record was set in 1989 when the city received 79.7 millimeters of rainfall.
- Delhi has been hit by a series of unexpected weather phenomena that have occurred nearly every month.
- Due to the rapid climate change, monsoon rains in the capital city have now exceeded 1,000 millimeters for the third time in the last two decades.
- There is still one week left in the month of January, however, the IMD has predicted no rainfall from January 24-29.
The national capital saw 1512.4mm of rainfall till December 29 in 2021. "This is the fourth time in 121 years after 1933, 1964, and 1975 that Delhi has received more than 1,200 mm of rainfall in the capital," the IMD said. Since 1950, Delhi received the highest amount of rainfall in January in the year 1989, followed by 1995 and 2022.
On Sunday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) was 202 in the "poor" category, as compared to 316 ("very poor") on Saturday. "AQI improved significantly due to wet deposition of particulate matter by rain," said the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). A dust storm that originated in the Gulf region will not affect Delhi's air quality, it added.
Authorities said Delhi has already seen six western disturbances (WDs) this month. "Last weekend, we saw over 40 mm of rainfall at almost all stations, and this was the most active western disturbance of this winter season," said IMD scientist RK Jenamani. Although Delhi has recorded six to seven WDs in January in the past, their intensity was less.
Usually, one active spell of rain is seen during this time and even then, the rainfall isn't much, Jenamani said. "This time around, we have seen two active spells with both spells bringing moderate rainfall, leading to several records tumbling," Jenamani said.
The impact of cooler winds from snow-covered hills will result in a further dip in the minimum temperature, the IMD said. The minimum temperature is forecast to linger around 6-7°C during the next five days, it said. For the following three days, the maximum temperature might stay around 16°C, before gradually rising to 17°C or 18°C.
On Sunday, the maximum temperature in Delhi remained at a low 14.9°C. Saturday's maximum temperature was 14.7°C, the lowest this winter so far. Meanwhile, the minimum temperature was recorded at 10.5°C, three degrees above usual. The average maximum temperature in the national capital till January 23 was 18°C, 1.9 degrees lower than the usual average of 19.9°C.
The IMD confirmed that there will be no rain and only a minor amount of fog at India Gate during the Republic Day parade on January 26. There may be some fog in the morning, however, visibility will not drop below 500 meters, it said. The maximum temperature at India Gate is expected to be between 17-19°C, while the lowest will be 5-7°C.