Delhi recorded a mean maximum temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius in May, the lowest for the month in 13 years, the India Meteorological Department said on Monday. Also, this is the first time since 2014 that the Safdarjung Observatory, considered the official marker for the city, did not record a heat wave in the pre-monsoon period, the IMD said.
The city had recorded a mean maximum temperature of 37 degrees Celsius in May, 2008, said Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the regional forecasting centre of the IMD. The city had recorded a maximum temperature of 23.8 degrees Celsius on May 19, 16 notches below normal and the lowest in the month of May since 1951, it said.
He also said this is the first time since 2014 that Safdarjung did not record a heatwave in the pre-monsoon period. First, frequent western disturbances kept the mercury in check and later cyclone Tauktae led to "record" rains, Srivastava said.
It is also the first time since 2011 that Palam did not record a heatwave in the pre-monsoon period this year, he said. For the plains, a "heat wave" is declared when the maximum temperature is more than 40 degrees Celsius, and at least 4.5 notches above normal.
A "severe" heat wave is declared if departure from normal temperature is more than 6.5 degrees Celsius, according to the IMD. Delhi also received 144.8 mm rain in May this year, the highest for the month in 13 years, the weather department said.
"No rain is predicted in the next four to five days. So, this is the highest rainfall in May since 2008," Srivastava said.
The Safdarjung Observatory had recorded 21.1 mm rainfall last year, 26.9 mm in 2019 and 24.2 mm in 2018. A record 119.3 mm rainfall had pounded Delhi under the impact of cyclonic storm Tauktae and a western disturbance between 8:30 am on May 19 and 8:30 am May 20, breaking all the previous records for May.
This was double the previous record rainfall of 60 mm on May 24 in 1976, according to the IMD.