NEW DELHI: The continuous spell of rainfall from Friday night to Saturday morning in the city broke the rain records of past 27 years for the month of January. The Palam weather station recording 47.6 mm rainfall over the past 24 hours was the highest single-day rainfall recorded during this month since 1995, said India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials.
Also, the widespread rainfall across the northern plains cleaned up the skies of pollutants, improving the air quality significantly to 'satisfactory' zone with the air quality index (AQI) at 91. It was 182 in the 'moderate' category on Friday while 252 in the 'poor' zone on Thursday, as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data. "The improvement in air quality started from Thursday onwards when wind speed picked up slightly followed by light rain across the region," said a senior IMD official.
Officials said that light showers will continue to lash the city and neighbouring towns through the weekend, weather. "It is also the second highest single-day rainfall recorded at Palam since 1959, when recordkeeping began at this weather station. Most other parts of the northwest region received moderate showers, which washed away the pollutants from the entire region leading to a massive improvement in air quality," said RK Jenamani, senior IMD scientist.
Also, the Safdarjung Observatory received 41 mm 24-hour rainfall on Saturday - the highest single-day rainfall for January in 22 years. "The good and widespread rainfall was on account of a strong western disturbance (WD) and a cyclonic circulation lies over north Pakistan and neighbourhood in lower and middle tropospheric levels," stated an IMD bulletin.
IMD scientists said that the WD's impact was such that the day and night temperatures were almost similar with just a different 1-2 degrees. "At Safdarjung, Palam and Lodhi Road weather stations, the maximum temperature was in the range of 16.4 degrees C to 16.6 degrees C while minimum temperature at all these stations was 15.2 degrees C," Jenamani said.