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Oscillating between extremes: Weather experts explain Delhi’s weather pattern in July

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The IMD has forecast moderate-to-heavy rainfall and thundershowers during this week. (Photo credit: PTI)

Delhi witnessed extreme weather conditions in July, oscillating between heat waves and heavy rainfall that saw temperatures dip significantly below normal. There were heat waves on five days as the city recorded temperatures between 41 and 43 degrees Celsius. This weather condition was uncharacteristic for Delhi as the monsoon current usually reaches the city by June 27.

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD) scientist R.K. Jenamani, the heat wave that gripped Delhi was an extension of the previous months, merging into the delayed monsoon onset over Northwest India. While Northwest India recorded monsoon rain deficiency till July 12, it received a good spell later, he added.

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Heavy, localised rainfall also hit a few areas. The Ridge weather station recorded 130 mm rainfall in the 24 hours between 8.30 am on Saturday and Sunday. During the same period, the Safdarjung station recorded 28.2 mm rainfall. Jenamani said this monsoon season, with its short, major rainfall spells, is interesting.

According to IMD data, 16 July days witnessed rainfall, but only three of those days witnessed heavy rainfall — between 64.5 mm and 115.5 mm. The Safdarjung station recorded a cumulative 507.01 mm rainfall in July, nearly 141 per cent higher than the normal figure of 210.6 mm.

IMD National Weather Forecasting Centre chief Sathi Devi said there has been a change of pattern, with short periods of intense rainfall being witnessed. She also attributed the heatwave at the beginning of July to the monsoon’s hiatus. Once the monsoon current reached Delhi, synoptic systems such as monsoon troughs and low-pressure areas propelled good rainfall activity. The monsoon trough, which is very favourable for heavy rainfall, passed through Northwest India, especially during the last week. A low-pressure area over Haryana recently also contributed to the rainfall, she said.

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The IMD has forecast moderate-to-heavy rainfall and thundershowers during this week.

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