Updated: May 23, 2021 11:19:04 am
In a rare event, the convergence of a cyclone and a Western Disturbance caused record-breaking heavy rainfall in Delhi on Wednesday. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) recorded 119.3mm of rain in the capital on Wednesday, which is the highest-ever 24-hour mark for the month of May.
It happened when Cyclone Tauktae, one of the strongest cyclones to have been recorded in the Arabian Sea, weakened and its remnants moved in the north-northeast direction from the Gujarat coast towards Delhi.
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At the same time, a Western Disturbance, which is a weather pattern associated with non-monsoon showers, was moving towards Delhi from the Western Himalayan Region.
The convergence of these two phenomena caused widespread rain in the capital, which caused waterlogging in some parts of the city and led to a road cave-in near Najafgarh in southwest Delhi.
Has Delhi ever witnessed such heavy rainfall previously?
Not in the month of May, but it’s normal for Delhi to receive heavy showers during monsoon.
Rainfall below 15mm is categorised as light, whereas moderate is between 15mm and 65mm and heavy is above 65mm.
On July 19 last year, the city recorded 74.8mm of rain in 24 hours, which brought it to a standstill. In some parts of the capital, the amount of rainfall was over 80mm.
On August 13, south Delhi’s Ayanagar recorded 99.2 mm of rain in 24 hours and four other IMD observatories in Delhi recorded over 70mm.
The average amount of rain expected during July and August in Delhi is 187.3mm and 232.5mm, as per the IMD’s climatological data.
What makes this particular event unusual?
The fact that it happened in May, which is generally a dry month and has not recorded more than 27mm of rain in total since at least 2011 except in 2014 when it touched 100.2mm.
The average amount of rainfall expected in May in the capital is 31.5mm
It is also rare for a cyclone to make its impact felt in Delhi, and more so at the same time when a Western Disturbance is active.
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