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Delhi: Monsoon around the corner, likely to cover rain deficit within first few days

New Delhi,  The monsoon is just a few days away from Delhi and is expected to yield good rainfall in the first 10 days, weather experts said on Monday.

Delhi has received just 72.5 mm of rainfall since March 1 this year against the normal of 107.3 mm owing to the lack of strong western disturbances.

The city did not record any rainfall in March and saw a minuscule 0.3 mm of precipitation in April against the monthly average of 12.2 mm.

The scanty rainfall aggravated the heat, with the capital recording its second hottest April this year since 1951 with a monthly average maximum temperature of 40.2 degrees Celsius. Prolonged heatwaves saw maximum temperatures soaring to 49 degrees Celsius in parts of Delhi in May.

The capital has recorded a maximum temperature of 42 degrees Celsius and above on 27 days so far this summer season, the highest number of such days since 2012, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data. In 2012, the city recorded a maximum temperature of 42 degrees Celsius or above on 30 days.

Since June 1, when the monsoon season starts, Delhi has received just 24.5 mm of rainfall against the normal of 59.5 mm. All of it came between June 16 and June 20.

However, a bountiful monsoon is expected to cover the rain deficit in the first week of July and provide respite from the heat, according to Mahesh Palawat, vice-president (climate change and meteorology), Skymet Weather.

Delhi will receive a fresh spell of rain from June 29. The monsoon’s arrival in Delhi is likely to be declared on June 30 or July 1, he said.

A significant increase in humidity levels, easterly winds and good rainfall for at least two consecutive days denote the arrival of the monsoon, Palawat said.

Last year, the IMD had forecast that the monsoon would arrive in Delhi nearly two weeks before its usual date, June 27. However, it reached the capital only on July 13, making it the most delayed in 19 years.

The monsoon had entered a “break” phase and there was virtually no progress from June 20 to July 8.

“Last year, the monsoon did not get off to a good start in Delhi. However, we expect good rainfall for the first two to three days this time,” Palawat said, adding that the first 10 days “seem to be good and on and off rain will continue”.

“There could be a dip in rainfall on July 2-3, but a prolonged dry spell is ruled out,” he added.

Though the IMD is yet to provide a tentative date for the arrival of the monsoon in Delhi, the weather office said it will cover some parts of northwest India by June 29 and the entire country by July 6.

Due to an east-west trough over north India and moist winds from the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea in the lower tropospheric levels, fairly widespread to widespread rainfall is very likely over Himachal Pradesh, east Rajasthan and west Uttar Pradesh from June 28 to June 30 and over Punjab, Haryana and Delhi on June 29-30, the IMD said.

It said conditions are favourable for the further advance of the monsoon into the remaining parts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, more parts of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir during the next three to four days. PTI