Northern India was cloudy and drenched by showers in many places today as south-west monsoon arrived in Rajasthan five days before it was due,bringing about a sharp decline in temperatures.
Heavy rainfall and inclement weather was reported in several parts of the region where a farmer was killed in Himachal Pradesh by a lightning bolt in Mandi district this morning.
In Delhi,scattered showers and overcast conditions meant it was a pleasant day for residents with the maximum temperature dropping seven notches from yesterday to settle at 32.8 degrees.
The minimum in the national capital was a notch above normal at 28.8 degrees on what was a highly humid day with moisture content in air ranging between 62 and 72 per cent.
The weatherman has predicted a decent spell of rain over the next couple of days which is expected to keep the mercury below normal levels.
The India Meteorological Department had said yesterday that monsoon is expected to hit Delhi at least a week ahead of its normal onset on June 29.
Weather officials in Rajasthan,meanwhile,announced today that the southwest monsoon had entered the state days before its expected arrival date of June 18.
The monsoon entered through southeast Rajasthan and activated in Udaipur region,MeT officials said,adding that conditions are favourable for its further advance.
Several places in the state received light to moderate rainfall in the last 24 hours with Balesar and Shergarh towns recording maximum of 9-cm rainfall each.
Punjab,Haryana and Chandigarh,too,were today soaked in showers which the local weatherman described as pre-monsoon rainfall.
Maximum temperatures plummeted by up to 14 degrees from the normal due to rain.
It poured during the day in Chandigarh,common capital of the two states,with the city recording 90-mm rainfall.
Showers lashed almost all of Punjab including Ludhiana (87 mm),Patiala (53) and Amritsar (27) while it also rained in Haryana where Panchkula recorded 70 mm rainfall.
The weather office said that the southwest monsoon may hit the two states more than a week ahead of its normal date of arrival,which is between June 29 to July 5.
Himachal Pradesh continued to be lashed by rain for the fourth straight day with showers triggering landslides at several places in Hamirpur,Una and Kangra and Chamba districts.
Intermittent heavy rainfall and thundershowers lashed the lower,middle and higher hills of the state with Ghamroor recording the highest rainfall of 65 mm followed by Una (53 mm) and Dharamsala (48 mm).
The AAP accused the government of "politicising" the occasion by not inviting Kejriwal.