File photo: Heavy rains cause waterlogging in Delhi’s Mayur Vihar Phase-2

(Anindya Chattopadhyay/BCCL Delhi)

Monday, August 2: Over the course of last week and the weekend that followed, enhanced monsoon activity left India’s national capital thoroughly drenched. The presence of multiple active weather systems in and around the northern plains led to the convergence of westerly and easterly winds, which served as a recipe for heavy downpours over the Delhi-NCR and the surrounding regions.

Delhi began last week in record-breaking fashion: between Monday and Tuesday mornings (July 26-27), its base station Safdarjung recorded a three-digit daily rainfall figure (100 mm) in July for the first time in eight years! It was back on July 21, 2013, that such heavy July rains poured over the capital.

Thereafter, Delhi and its neighbouring territories were placed on an orange alert (‘be prepared’ for rough weather) between Tuesday to Thursday. And the warning was well-timed too, considering several incidents of waterlogging and traffic disruption were reported from across the capital region.

Yamuna continues to flow above warning level

By Friday morning, a flood alert was sounded for river Yamuna in New Delhi, due to heavy rainfall in the upper catchment areas. The capital reverberated with loudspeakers booming announcements, which warned the Delhiites not to go anywhere near the swollen river. The alert also led to expedited evacuation efforts for people living in vulnerable areas.

But as Saturday dawned, the Yamuna water levels slowly began falling below the danger mark.

Now, as of Monday afternoon, Yamuna’s water level recorded at the Delhi Railway Bridge station stands at 204.92 m—still above the warning level (204.5 m), but below the danger level (205.33 m), as per the Central Water Commission’s latest update.

The rainfall activity is gradually dwindling too, although heavy showers still remain on the horizon for the next 48-72 hours.

Delhi’s weekly forecast and seasonal status so far

As per the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) regional met centre based in New Delhi, the current spell of fairly widespread to widespread showers will continue over the northwestern plains for the next 48 hours. Thereafter, the activity is expected to weaken in terms of intensity as well as distribution, with the rains likely to downgrade to light/moderate and scattered.

For some isolated locations in the Haryana-Chandigarh-Delhi subdivision, heavy rains may prevail until Wednesday, August 4.

Meanwhile, in July, Delhi witnessed record rainfall with as many as sixteen wet days and three days of heavy rainfall. Overall, Delhi’s base station at Safdarjung registered 507 mm rainfall in July, as against the norm of 210 mm—141% more than the long-period average.

In the 62 days since the monsoon period has commenced over India, the Haryana-Chandigarh-Delhi subdivision has recorded 322 mm precipitation, marking a whopping 48% ‘excess’ as compared to its long-term average for this period (217.8 mm). Moreover, Delhi alone has already registered 404.8 mm rainfall thus far on average—a high figure, especially considering its long-period average rainfall figure for the entirety of the monsoon season stands at 586 mm.

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