New Delhi, July 2 (PTI) Another heatwave, the fourth on the trot, troubled Delhi on Friday, before a bout of rains and cool winds brought much-needed respite from searing temperatures and smile on the faces of residents in the city. The maximum temperature at the Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, stood at 41.3 degrees Celsius, two notches less than that recorded on Thursday. The minimum temperature was 27.1 degrees Celsius.
In the evening, dark grey clouds swarmed Delhi, as cool, gusty winds barrelled through the capital, bringing the mercury down by a few notches.
Due to the strong winds, 15 trees were uprooted in areas under the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, while one tree was uprooted in the East Delhi Municipal Corporation area.
There were no official reports of such incidents from the North Delhi Munucipal Corporation.
Parts of Delhi reported light rain and people posted videos of it on social media.
The monitoring station at Palam recorded 26 mm rain, Lodhi Road 2.5 mm, and Safdarjung 0.4 mm precipitation, the meteorological office said. Cloudy skies and light rain are predicted for Saturday. The maximum temperature may drop by two degrees Celsius, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
However, the relief is likely to be short-lived.
The maximum temperature is predicted to hover around 40 degrees Celsius from Sunday to Wednesday next week and high humidity will add to discomfiture. On Thursday, Delhi had recorded a maximum of 43.1 degrees Celsius, the highest reading for July since 2012, even as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said there is 'no chance' of monsoon reaching the capital till July 7. The capital had recorded a maximum of 43.5 degrees Celsius on July 2, 2012.
For the plains, a 'heat wave' is declared when the maximum temperature is more than 40 degrees Celsius, and at least 4.5 notches above normal.
A 'severe' heat wave is declared if departure from normal temperature is more than 6.5 degrees Celsius, according to the IMD.
On Tuesday, Delhi recorded the first heat wave this summer with the mercury levels increasing to 43 degrees Celsius.
A heat wave swept the national capital on Wednesday, too, with the mercury soaring to 43.6 degrees Celsius, the highest recorded this year so far, the IMD said.
The intensity of the heatwave and its area coverage are likely to decrease starting Saturday due to expected south-westerly winds from the Arabian Sea. But there won't be much relief during the next seven days due to the increase in humidity, IMD Director General Mrutunjay Mohapatra said.
He said there is 'no chance' of Delhi and its neighbouring areas receiving monsoon rains till July 7 and after that, the region will witness below-normal rainfall till the middle of this month. The last time the monsoon arrived so late in Delhi was in 2012.
The weather department said the delay in the arrival of the wind system is likely to impact agricultural operations such as sowing and transplantation of crops, irrigation scheduling and power requirements in the region, including Punjab and Haryana – the food bowl of the country.
'The monsoon has covered most of the country except parts of Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. Since June 19, no progress has been observed. Mid-latitude westerly winds, unfavourable Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) and absence of a low-pressure system over North Bay of Bengal are some of the reasons,' the IMD said.
According to the IMD, Delhi has received just 29.6mm rainfall against the normal of 65.8 mm during the period – a deficiency of 55 per cent.
The meteorological office had earlier predicted that the wind system may reach Delhi by June 15, which would have been 12 days early.
Normally, monsoon reaches Delhi by June 27 and covers the entire country by July 8. Last year, the wind system had reached Delhi on June 25 and covered the entire country by June 29. PTI GVS ANB ANB