Light rains break 16-day dry spell in Delhi; monsoon onset likely in 48 hours

A bout of light rain broke a 16-day dry spell in the national capital on Thursday with monsoon likely to make an onset in the city anytime now, officials said. The weather stations at Ayanagar, Palam and Jafarpur gauged 17 mm, 5.8 mm and 5 mm of rainfall. The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides official figures for the city, recorded 0.4 mm of precipitation, according to India Meteorological Department data. The city recorded a high of 38.6 and a low of 31.2 degrees Celsius. Humidity levels oscillated between 52 and 85 per cent. Its the first spell of rains in Delhi since June 17, Mahesh Palwat of Skymet Weather, a private weather forecaster, said. In June, the national capital recorded just 11.4 mm of rainfall against the 30-year average of around 55 mm, Kuldeep Srivastava, senior scientist at IMD, said. Rainfall in July will be marginally lower than the normal. Overall, it will be a normal monsoon. Normally, 60 cm of rain is recorded from June 1 to September 30 in Delhi, he said. Neighbouring areas of Gurgaon, Faridabad and Noida received good rainfall Thursday. Conditions are favourable for monsoon to make an onset in the national capital in the next 48 hours, Palawat said. Normally, the wind system reaches the city on June 29. Intermittent light rains are expected till July 10. Heavy showers are likely after that, he said. Palawat said the onset of monsoon at a particular place in north India is determined by strong easterly winds, high humidity and good rainfall in neighbouring areas.