Delhi witnessed a much-needed break from the scorching heatwave on Monday as heavy rain poured down in the wee hours in all the cities in NCR. However, the cool wind and a respite from the sun that Delhiites woke up to did come with repercussions. Heavy traffic made commute almost impossible for office-goers, and the strong winds uprooted trees in nearly 44 locations, according to data shared by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. The mercury dropped to 18 degrees Celcius in several parts of the region, the lowest since 2004 for this time of the year.
Here are 5 things that happened in Delhi-NCR today due to weather:
- Waterlogging and traffic: Due to heavy rains, waterlogging was reported in several places in the country’s capital – including national highway (NH)-48. Heavy traffic congestion was seen in several areas, as trees were seen uprooted. In Gurugram, the worst affected stretches were Narsinghpur, Jharsa Crossing, Sector 29, Sector 38, Sector 50, Rajeev Chowk, Sheetla Mata Road, Civil Lines, Golf Course Extension Road, Vatika Chowk, Sector 52, and Daulatabad Flyover. At least 2,500 police personnel were deployed at major key points to manage traffic, said Ravinder Kumar Tomar, DCP (traffic).
- Power cuts: The gusty winds during the storm led to many instances of power disruption in the city mainly due to trees and branches falling on the overhead electricity lines and poles. The power outages ranging from a few minutes to several hours were reported from different parts of the city, including Shalimar Bagh, Keshav Puram, Moti Nagar, Bawana, Narela, Mustafabad, Najafgarh, and Dwarka, said officials of power discoms.
- Flights delayed: Flight operations at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport were also affected due to the bad weather. According to the website of the Delhi Airport, more than 40 departure flights were delayed due to bad weather and other related issues, while nearly 18 arrival flights to Delhi airport were delayed due to bad weather. Two flights were cancelled. Due to weather conditions, several flights were diverted to Jaipur and other airports. Delhi airport sources said hundreds of passengers were left stranded, with all the early morning flights departing from Delhi being rescheduled as the weather was unfavourable.
- Temperature drop: Even when the surface temperature dipped 11 notches due to the thunderstorm and rainfall on Monday morning in the National Capital Region, the minimum temperature, at nine notches lower than normal in Delhi, was the lowest since May 2004. Maximum temperature hovered around 28.6-31.6 degrees Celsius across Delhi-NCR with Safdarjung recording 31.5 degrees Celsius, with a negative departure of eight notches.
- Work from home advised: Gurugram Deputy Commissioner (DC) has issued an advisory to private institutions and corporate offices to guide their employees to work from home to avoid traffic congestion on roads. “This will also help the civic agencies to take up dewatering and repair works expeditiously,” read the orders.
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What is likely to happen tomorrow, the rest of the week:
The weather department has issued a yellow alert for Tuesday and has forecast partly cloudy skies with light rain or thundershower along with gusty winds at the speed of 30-40 kmph. The maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to settle around 34 and 19 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.
According to weather department, another spell of rain and thundershower accompanied with strong gusty winds (50-60 kmph) is very likely to occur in Delhi-National Capital Region during the night. Similar weather conditions will prevail in Punjab, Haryana, north Rajasthan and west Uttar Pradesh during the next eight to 10 hours. “Hailstorm is very likely in these areas,” it said. Intense heatwave conditions are unlikely to hit the national capital at least for another six days, India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said.
What caused the rains:
The morning weather conditions were caused due to a western disturbance affecting northwest India. There was moderate to heavy rainfall accompanied with strong gusty winds blowing at 80 kmph.
According to the weather department, this was the season’s first moderate-intensity storm. Summer is considered to start from March 1. “Normally, between March and May, thunderstorms occur for 12 to 14 days. But this season saw only four to five thunderstorms and that too mostly dry ones,” the department said. The thunderstorm accompanied with lightning and rain led to a drastic fall in the surface temperature.
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