Delhi records heaviest June rainfall in 88 years

The Safdarjung Observatory, recorded 228.1 mm of rainfall in the 24 hours ending at 8.30 am on Friday, more than three times the June rainfall average of 74.1 mm.
Vehicles crawl through a waterlogged road amid rains, in New Delhi, Friday morning.
Vehicles crawl through a waterlogged road amid rains, in New Delhi, Friday morning.Photo |PTI

NEW DELHI: Delhi recorded 228.1 mm of rainfall on Friday, the highest since 1936 for the month of June, and the weatherman predicted more spells over the weekend in the national capital.

The Safdarjung Observatory, the city's primary weather station, recorded 228.1 mm of rainfall in the 24 hours ending at 8.30 am on Friday, more than three times the June rainfall average of 74.1 mm and the highest for the month in at least 16 years.

An India Meteorological Department (IMD) press release mentioned the causes of heavy rainfall in Delhi on Friday.

"The heavy rainfall activity over Delhi during the early hours of 28 June can be attributed to the following. Considering the monsoon circulation, the advance of the monsoon was stalled over eastern India for quite a long time due to a weaker monsoon current over the Bay of Bengal.

"It revived becoming stronger gradually from 25 June onwards with the development of an upper air cyclonic circulation over central and adjoining north Bay of Bengal in middle tropospheric levels," the IMD said in the statement.

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At the same time the Southwest Monsoon current over the Arabian Sea also strengthened with increase in wind speed and strengthening of offshore west coast trough.

An east-west Shear Zone lay across northern peninsular India at the middle troposphere, it added.

"The above situation continued on 26th June and 27th June leading to strong southeasterly winds blowing from Bay of Bengal towards Northwest India.The upper air cyclonic circulation which developed in the middle tropospheric levels extended from surface to middle tropospheric levels over Westcentral & adjoining Northwest Bay of Bengal on 27th June," it said.

The IMD said under the influence of the circulation, a low pressure area formed over northwest Bay of Bengal and adjoining north Odisha-Gangetic West Bengal coasts in the midnight of June 27 which further enhanced the advection of warm and moist air from Bay of Bengal towards Northwest India including Delhi.

It said an anticyclone lay centered to the northeast of Delhi at the height of nine to 12 km above mean sea level and provided strong upper level divergence which supported lower level convergence of wind, it also added.

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"Under such large scale monsoonal synoptic weather systems prevailing over the region, the mesoscale 10 to 100 km size convective activity occurred over Delhi NCR leading to intense thunderstorm and heavy rainfall activity during early hours of 28th June.

This mesoscale activity was supported by thermodynamic instability in the atmosphere favorable for thunderstorm," it said.

Extreme weather events are happening in the national capital, as weather experts noted that during the entire monsoon season, Delhi receives nearly 650 mm of rainfall.

On the first day of heavy rain this season, the capital received one-third of its total monsoon rainfall on Friday.

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According to the weather department data, after 1936, the city has recorded its highest rainfall in the last 88 years and the second highest in the period from 1901 to 2024.

The Safdarjung Observatory, recorded the highest rainfall on June 24, 1936, with 235.5 mm.

On Friday, Delhi recorded its second-highest rainfall.

On June 30, 1981, the capital recorded 191. 6 mm, making it the third highest, and on June 24, 1933, it recorded 139.7 mm of rainfall.

According to the IMD, the weather station at Lodhi Road logged 192.8 mm of rainfall in the 24 hours ending at 8.30 am, Ridge 150.4 mm, Palam 106.6 mm, Delhi University 139 mm, Pitampura 138 mm, Pusa 89 mm, Mayur Vihar 75 mm and Tughlakabad 70.5 mm.

The Met office has forecast generally cloudy skies with moderate to heavy rain and thunderstorms, accompanied by gusty winds, their speed reaching up to 30 to 40 kilometres per hour for Saturday, as the city will be on an "orange" alert.

The IMD has also predicted "heavy" to "very heavy" rainfall in Delhi over the weekend.

"The weather department also shared the total monthly rainfall data for June at the Safdarjung station for the period from 1901 to 2024, revealing that June 2024 recorded the third-highest rainfall in the last 124 years at 234.5 mm.

The highest was in 1936 at 415.8 mm, followed by 1933 at 399 mm for the same period," according to the IMD.

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