The India Meteorological Department’s Regional Forecasting Centre on Monday said that Delhi is expected to experience partly cloudy skies and intermittent rainfall, keeping temperatures in check and preventing the return of heatwave conditions for the next five to six days.
The Safdarjung Observatory, Delhi’s primary weather station, recorded a minimum temperature of 21.8 degrees Celsius on Monday, which is five notches below normal. The maximum temperature is anticipated to reach around 35 degrees Celsius.
This year, the month of May in Delhi has been different from historical trends, as it typically registers scorching temperatures with a mean maximum temperature of 39.5 degrees Celsius. However, this May has seen below-normal temperatures and an excess of rainfall. Meteorologists attribute this phenomenon to an increased number of western disturbances, weather systems originating from the Mediterranean region, which have brought unseasonal rainfall to northwest India during this season.
According to data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the Safdarjung Observatory has received 86.7 mm of rainfall in May so far, surpassing the average monthly rainfall of 19.7 mm for the national capital. Additionally, Delhi experienced an unusual episode of dense fog earlier in the month, with a minimum temperature of 15.8 degrees Celsius on May 4, marking it as the third coolest May morning since record-keeping began in 1901. In April, the city received over 20 mm of rainfall, the highest amount for that month since 2017.
Throughout May, Delhi only had nine days with maximum temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius, and there were brief periods of heatwave conditions in certain areas. However, the Safdarjung Observatory has not recorded any official heatwave days so far this season. The criteria for a heatwave are met when the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40 degrees Celsius in the plains, 37 degrees Celsius in coastal areas, and 30 degrees Celsius in hilly regions, with a departure from normal of at least 4.5 degrees.
The IMD forecasts that a fresh western disturbance will bring gusty winds, rain, and possibly hail to some places on Monday and Tuesday. The maximum temperature is expected to remain below 40 degrees Celsius until June 4. Earlier this month, the weather office had predicted below-normal maximum temperatures and fewer heatwave days in northwest India for May. (With inputs from PTI)