Saturday, August 21: A month ago, on July 26, Delhi witnessed the rainiest July day in eight years with 100 mm rainfall in 24 hours. Today, the national capital replicated the same feat for August with a total rainfall of 139 mm in the last 24 hours till Saturday morning at its base station at Safdarjung. This has been the rainiest 24 hours in August for Delhi in at least 13 years since 2009, as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD) records.
On Saturday morning, heavy rainfall brought Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) to a standstill with severe waterlogging in several places. In many areas of Delhi and NCR, the vehicular movement was slow due to waterlogging. The Delhi Traffic Police took to Twitter to inform residents about traffic disruptions due to waterlogging on Minto Bridge, Gurugram Road-Pared Road, Pul Prahladpur Underpass, MB road, Moolchand and Azad Market Underpass.
Other parts of Delhi, like Lodhi Road and Ridge, also registered very heavy rains of 149 mm, followed by Sports Complex (124 mm), Pitampura (113 mm), Palam (84 mm) and Ayanagar (68 mm). The mercury levels also fell to below 24°C on Saturday morning as the city witnessed a nip in the air with temperatures three units below normal. The maximum daytime temperatures have also dropped to below 33°C from around 38°C recorded till Thursday.
On Saturday, a cyclonic circulation located over Madhya Pradesh contributes to persistent rainfall across western Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and the adjoining states of Haryana and Uttarakhand. Forecasts had warned about the possible spell of heavy rain and thunderstorms in the region.
Accordingly, the IMD has placed Delhi, Haryana. Chandigarh, Punjab and West Uttar Pradesh are under an orange alert for Saturday, urging residents to ‘be prepared’ for adverse weather conditions. For Sunday, the alert levels are downgraded to ‘yellow watch’ that recommends being updated about possible inclement weather.
The western end of the monsoon trough—an elongated low-pressure area that drives monsoon rains across the country’s northern half—is near its normal position now. Its southward movement from the foot of the Himalayas due to a low-pressure area over from the Bay of Bengal has triggered this brief spell of heavy rains.
Over the next three days, light to moderate rains will prevail across northern plans, with isolated heavy rains over western UP, Haryana and Delhi on Saturday. Scattered to fairly widespread rains are set to prevail over the region till Monday, August 23.
Delhi’s air quality also improved drastically due to rainfall, with an average Air quality index (AQI) of below 50. The System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) confirmed that the AQI is in the ‘good’ category due to rainfall and will remain in the same category for the next two days due to scattered rains.
From June 1 to August 21, seasonal rainfall accumulation in Delhi’s Safdarjung has climbed up to a whopping 744 mm—more than 50% above normal. The long-period average monsoon rainfall for Delhi is 586 mm, and the city has already registered more than half of this mark so far this year.
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