Less than a week after a cold wave hit Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and surrounding states, another spell of rain, hailstorms and snowfall is expected to result in a dip in temperatures later this week in north and northwestern India.
An active western disturbance is expected to hit the western Himalayan region between 13 to 16 February and then again on 18 February. These will be the season's 10th and 11th western disturbances to hit India, as opposed to the five or six disturbances witnessed every winter, a report in The Hindustan Times said.
Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy snowfall in the western Himalayas and "scattered to fairly widespread rain and thundershowers and isolated hailstorms" in the northern plains. The report also mentioned that heavy rainfall is expected in some parts of Punjab and Haryana on 14 February.
"The weakening of the polar vortex is leading to a higher temperature gradient between the north and southern latitudes. This creates more low pressure systems and extreme weather," professor Manju Mohan, Centre for Atmospheric Sciences, IIT Delhi, told The Hindustan Times.
The IMD has also predicted rain and snowfall in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir 14 February onwards. Around the same time, thunderstorms accompanied by hailstorms and gusty winds are likely over Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Rajasthan.
The rainfall activity will then move towards east and northeastern India on 17-18 February, a report in The Indian Express said.
The IMD predicted that minimum temperature in Delhi on Tuesday will drop to 7° Celsius. The rain may also result in the improvement in Air Quality Index in Delhi, which stood at a 'very poor' level of AQI 315 on Monday, as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Temperatures dipped below normal in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana on Monday, even as Himachal Pradesh saw a short-lived respite from cold, The Indian Express reported.