Business Standard

What is behind untimely rains in Delhi; what to expect in coming days?

Delhi rains: Due to the poor weather conditions, 22 flights were diverted from Delhi airport late Thursday night to different airports in Lucknow, Jaipur, Dehradun and Chandigarh

Photo: PTI

Photo: PTI

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Heavy rains have been lashing parts of Delhi for the last two days. Due to the poor weather conditions, 22 flights were diverted from Delhi airport late Thursday night to different airports in Lucknow, Jaipur, Dehradun and Chandigarh. On Wednesday too, flights were diverted to different locations. The weather department has attributed unseasonal rains to the western disturbances.

The maximum temperature of the capital has also dropped due to the rains. On Thursday, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) bulletin showed the maximum temperature at 32 degrees Celsius and the minimum at 17.8 degrees Celsius.

What is western disturbance?

Western disturbances are storms that originate in the Caspian or Mediterranean Sea and bring non-monsoon rainfall to northwest India. It is also called an extra-tropical storm that develops an area of low pressure, bringing in cool, moist winds in India.

The disturbance travels from the west towards the east. Fast winds, also called westerly jet streams, travel from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan before entering the Indian sub-continent.

In recent times, the frequency of western disturbances has increased, partly due to global warming.

This year, northern regions of India were witnessing higher than the usual high temperature in February and early March. The rains have brought relief to the people of the region. But these rains may also damage the ripening of crops like wheat, exposing farmers to losses and increasing the chances of high food inflation.

However, agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar recently said that reports have suggested there was not much impact on the standing crops due to current rainfall and hailstorm.

Business Standard reported last week that Gyanendra Singh, director of ICAR's Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR)-based in Karnal said that so far untimely rains and hailstorms in several major growing areas might have damaged just around three per cent of the total standing wheat crop but it isn't big enough to cause any serious dent in the expected 112 million tonnes of production in FY24.

What is the weather prediction for next week?

According to IMD's forecast, the regions in and around Delhi may continue to see scattered rainfall in days to come.

"Isolated hailstorm over Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and East Rajasthan on March 30 and 31; over West Rajasthan on March 30 and over Uttar Pradesh on 31st March," IMD's bulletin said.

"Overall, rainfall activity is likely to be above normal over south peninsular and central India and below normal over the rest parts of the country," it said. 

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First Published: Mar 31 2023 | 9:31 AM IST

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