Delhi on Wednesday recorded a maximum temperature of 23.8 degrees Celsius, 16 notches below normal and the lowest in the month of May since 1951, as rain drenched the national capital under the impact of cyclonic storm 'Tauktae' and a western disturbance, the India Meteorological Department said. Delhi's maximum temperature during the day was less than that of Srinagar (25.8 degrees Celsius) and Dharamshala (27.2 degrees Celsius) up in the north. The rainfall in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, northern Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand is a result of interaction between the remnant of cyclonic storm "Tauktae" and a Western Disturbance, the IMD said. The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative figures for the city, recorded 31.3 mm rainfall between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm, the IMD said. It said moderate rainfall is likely in the national capital on Thursday too.
Even if no rainfall is recorded till 8:30 am on Thursday, it will still be the highest 24-hour rainfall in May since 2014, according to Met department data. The capital had recorded 41.8 mm rainfall on May 22 in 2014. Najafgarh and SPS Mayur Vihar recorded 31.5 mm and 20 mm precipitation, respectively. Several other areas recorded light rainfall. The incessant rains brought the maximum temperature down to 23.8 degrees Celsius at Safdarjung. The minimum temperature settled at 21.4 degrees Celsius, five notches below normal.
"Today, Safdarjung recorded a maximum temperature of 23.8 degrees Celsius. This is the lowest maximum temperature since 1951," Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the IMD's regional forecasting centre, said. In between, a low of 24.8 degrees Celsius was recorded on May 13 1982, he said. The maximum temperature dipped to 22.6 degrees Celsius at Jafarpur and Mungeshpur. The IMD said "rainfall activity is very likely to decrease" on Thursday and "scattered to fairly widespread" rainfall is forecast in the capital.
Rainfall recorded below 15 mm is considered light, between 15 and 64.5 mm is moderate, between 64.5 mm and 115.5 mm is heavy, between 115.6 and 204.4 is very heavy. Anything above 204.4 mm is considered extremely heavy rainfall. The IMD had earlier issued an orange alert for Delhi, predicting heavy to very heavy rainfall in parts of the capital with winds gusting up to 60 kilometers per hour. In an impact-based advisory, it predicted waterlogging in low-lying areas, traffic disruption and uprooting of small plants.
Delhi recorded its air quality in the 'satisfactory' category for the second consecutive day on Wednesday due to rainfall and strong winds, according to Central Pollution Control Board data. The city had recorded a 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) of 78 on Wednesday. It was 93 on Tuesday. An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 severe, while an AQI above 500 falls in the severe plus category.