Heavy rain in Delhi brings traffic to a standstill

delhi rains, delhi rain today, delhi weather, delhi winter rain, delhi smog, delhi pollution, delhi city news

Vehicles stuck on the DND Thursday night. Express

Heavy rain, thunder and strong winds lashed Delhi and NCR Thursday evening, bringing traffic to a standstill in many parts.

Weather experts attributed the rainfall to an active Western Disturbance, which has brought snow to Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The showers also significantly improved Delhi's air quality. The 24-hour AQI average of the city calculated at 4 pm was ‘severe’ but the particulate matter concentration dipped considerably after the rain.

Officials at SAFAR said Friday will see a significant dip in AQI as wind speed will pick up starting Thursday night. “Air quality will improve rapidly and significantly by tonight (Thursday) and the impact will be seen by tomorrow (Friday) with AQI falling from ‘severe’ to ‘poor’ category. Western Disturbance has started to influence the region with an induced cyclonic circulation over North West Rajasthan. An increase in surface winds and scattered rainfall is expected late Thursday. Further improvement in AQI is forecast Saturday," a statement issued by SAFAR said.

Meanwhile, Saturday is also expected to bring the first dense fog day. “A significant improvement in AQI through increased ventilation and washout due to rainfall is expected by Friday but an increase in moisture in the air will lead to foggy conditions between Saturday and Tuesday. The AQI is likely to deteriorate again because of this as it will lead to formation of secondary particulate matter,” SAFAR officials said.

The maximum temperature was 21.5°C Thursday, two degrees below normal.