After nearly a decade, heavy hailstorm accompanied by rains lashed several parts of Delhi-NCR on Thursday, providing the city with fresh air while also making the people experience the winter chill again at the maximum temperature of 19 degrees Celsius, four notches below the season's normal.
"This is happening after at least a decade that heavy hailstorm occurred at several areas in Delhi and adjoining areas. Areas like Noida, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurugram, and Palam received the maximum amount of hail and rains on Thursday evening, while central Delhi was lashed by heavy rains," Mahesh Palawat, Director at private weather agency Skymet, told IANS.
With clouds covering the sky and high humidity at 89 per cent, the minimum temperature on Thursday in Delhi was recorded at 15 degrees Celsius, 6 notches above the season's average. However, Friday onwards, the rain is likely to stop and the minimum temperature is expected to drop several notches and hover around 7 degrees Celsius which will keep the city cold.
"Minimum temperatures are likely to fall by 4-6 degrees Celsius over northwest India from February 8. A fresh western disturbance is likely to affect the whole of northwest India from February 10 onwards," an India Meteorological Department (IMD) bulletin said.
The minimum on Friday is expected to hover around 10 degrees Celsius, while the maximum is expected to remain at 19 degrees, with moderate to shallow fog in the morning.
Rains accompanied by hailstorm and strong winds also brought down the pollution levels in Delhi. The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi at 4 p.m on Thursday stood at 176 or "moderate", though authorities do not expect these "moderate" air quality days to last long as wind speed is expected to slow down. Fog conditions will prevail.
"Under the influence of western disturbances, scattered rain and high wind speed have significantly improved the air quality. The southwesterly winds from the Arabian sea will bring more moisture and foggy conditions may occur for the next few days," System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said in its daily forecast.
In the National Capital Region, Ghaziabad at 188, Gurugram at 133 and Noida at 159 also fared in the "moderate" category. Greater Noida, however, recorded "poor" air quality on Thursday with AQI at 202.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)