Heavy rain lashed several parts of Delhi on Monday night and Tuesday morning, leading to a dip in temperature as well as pollution levels.
On Tuesday, the Safdarjung observatory — considered the official one for the city — recorded 42 mm of rain, much higher than the average of 35 mm that the city receives in the whole of January and February. The maximum temperature on Tuesday was recorded at 19.4 degrees Celsius, two degrees below normal. The minimum was 12.5 degrees Celsius, five degrees higher because of the overnight cloud cover trapping heat closer to the ground.
The heavy cloud cover on Tuesday morning, preceded by heavy rain the previous night, led to a dark and windy morning.
Behind the winter showers
An active western disturbance over North Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir, coupled with an induced cyclonic circulation, is the main reason behind the snow and rainfall in northwest India. This also created low pressure over Delhi. Warmer, moisture-laden winds from the south-east hitting the cooler city, as a result, led to the heavy rainfall. According to IMD officials, rain is not unusual during this time of the year. A repeat of heavy rain is not expected this week as the western disturbance is moving away, officials said, adding that a low cloud cover will remain, leading to a drop in temperature.
The air quality, however, improved significantly due to strong winds and rain. While it was in the ‘very poor’ category on Monday, it improved to ‘satisfactory’ in the evening, recording a 98 AQI value. This is the best air quality Delhi has seen since October last year.
With light rain and higher wind speed in the offing, the coming two days will see air quality in the ‘moderate’ to ‘poor’ range.
According to officials at SAFAR, Wednesday too will see air quality in the ‘moderate’ range. “The last time that air quality was in the ‘satisfactory’ range was on October 12 last year. Last night’s rainfall along with high wind speed cleaned the air. More than the rainfall, faster winds which have made a difference,” officials at SAFAR said.
Wednesday, too, is expected to see light rain and an overcast sky. The temperature over the remainder of the week, meanwhile, is expected to dip further. With cloud cover expected to clear over the weekend, the morning temperature is expected to dip to 5 degrees Celsius.