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As cyclone Tauktae causes rain, Delhi records highest rainfall since 1951 in May

Delhi on Wednesday received the highest rainfall for the month of May in 70 years between yesterday morning and this morning, the Metrological department said. The capital saw non-stop rain till 8:30 yesterday due to the impact of Cyclone Tauktae and western disturbance.

At 119.3 mm, this is the highest ever rain since 1951. Previously, such a record was seen on a May day in 1976 when Delhi say 60 mm, almost half of yesterday’s figures.

The city also recorded a maximum temperature of 23.8 degrees Celsius, 16 notches below normal and the lowest in the month of May since 1951, the IMD said. Delhi’s maximum temperature during the day yesterday was less than that of Srinagar (25.8 degrees) and Dharamshala (27.2 degrees).

The rainfall in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, northern Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand on Wednesday 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 60 mm rainfall between 8:30 am and 8:30 pm, the IMD said.

R K Jenamani, senior scientist, national weather forecasting Centre, said there has been more rain after 8:30 pm. So, the record has already been broken. He said May remains generally dry. Normally, Delhi gets maximum of 30 mm or 40 mm (24-hour rainfall) in this month. The rain lasts only an hour or less. But this is completely different system coming from Arabian Sea and meeting with a Western Disturbance. Because the feature is rarest, so crossing 60 mm is no surprise.

Palam, SPS Mayur Vihar and Najafgarh recorded 36.8 mm, 39.5 mm and 57 mm rainfall during the period. The IMD said rainfall activity is very likely to decrease on Thursday and scattered to fairly widespread rainfall is forecast in the capital.

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.

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.

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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.

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