Delhi’s average max temp this May lowest in 36 years, says IMD

Delhi recorded its coldest May in 36 years with excess rains bringing the average maximum temperature down to 36.8°C this time, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday.

Kuldeep Srivastava, head of the regional forecasting center at IMD, said Delhi recorded an average maximum temperature of 36°C in May 1987.

“The average maximum temperature of 36.8°C in May this year is the lowest since then,” he said.

Delhi recorded maximum temperatures above the 40-degree mark for just nine days in May with heatwave conditions It affected some parts of the national capital for two days.

“The Safdarjung Observatory, which represents Delhi, has not recorded any heat wave in the pre-monsoon season this year. This happened for the first time since 2014,” Srivastava said.

The weather station recorded 13 heat wave days in the pre-monsoon season last year – nine in April and four in May. It only had one heatwave day during this period in 2021, four in 2020, and one in 2019.

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The heat wave threshold is met when the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40 °C in the plains, 37 °C in coastal areas, 30 °C in mountainous areas, and the deviation from normal is at least 4.5 °C.

May, the hottest month overall in Delhi with an average maximum temperature of 39.5°C, recorded 111 mm of precipitation this time, which is 262 per cent more than the long-term average of 30.7 mm.

This is also the fourth highest rainfall in the month after 165mm in 2008, 144.8mm in 2021, and 129.3mm in 2002, according to IMD data.

The city recorded more than 20mm of rain in April, the highest in a month since 2017, and heatwave conditions in isolated pockets.

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Meteorologists have attributed the excess rainfall and lower-than-normal temperatures in the pre-monsoon season (March to May) to higher-than-normal westerly disturbances – weather systems that originate in the Mediterranean region and bring unseasonal rainfall to northwest India. .

“Normally, five to six western disturbances are recorded in the northern plains in April and May. This time, we saw 10 western disturbances, most of them strong,” Srivastava said.

“This is unusual. However, we cannot relate it to climate change in the absence of data. There is no definite trend,” he said.

Delhi recorded 184.3 mm of rain in the pre-monsoon season (March to May), which is 186 percent more than the normal rainfall, according to IMD.