A hailstorm and a bout of rain in parts of Delhi on Wednesday brought a much-needed respite from the tormenting heat. The impact will linger for another day. The temperature will start rising from Friday with heatwave conditions returning by Sunday, weather forecasters said.
The strong winds, rain and hailstorm brought the temperature down from 37 degrees Celsius at 4 pm to 31 degrees Celsius at 6 pm in Delhi. People in Rohini, Pitampura, Najafgarh, Ashok Vihar and Paschim Vihar reported hailstorm along with rain and winds gusting up to 50 kmph.
Parts of Punjab, Haryana, north Rajasthan, and west and central Uttar Pradesh also witnessed hailstorms and light rainfall accompanied by gusty winds, they said. "Hailstorms and rain occurred at a few places in Delhi while cloudy skies persisted over most parts of the city which pulled the mercury down by a few notches in the evening," said Mahesh Palawat, Vice President (Meteorology and Climate Change), Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency.
This type of weather is not unusual in April and May, he said. "The impact will linger for another day and the maximum temperature will start increasing from Friday. However, no heatwave is predicted for another three to four days," Palawat said.
The Safdarjung Observatory, Delhi's base station, reported traces of rainfall. The maximum temperature settled at 39.1 degrees Celsius, a notch above normal for this time of the year. The minimum temperature was recorded at 28.8 degrees Celsius. The Ayanagar weather station recorded 2.4 mm of rainfall.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said a partly cloudy sky is predicted over the capital for the next two days. The mercury is set to rise by four to five notches over the next six days. However, no heatwave is predicted until May 8, an IMD official said.
A heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature is over 40 degrees Celsius and at least 4.5 notches above normal. A severe heatwave is declared if the departure from normal temperature is more than 6.4 notches, according to the IMD. Based on absolute recorded temperatures, a heatwave is declared when an area logs a maximum temperature of 45 degrees Celsius.
A severe heatwave is declared if the maximum temperature crosses the 47-degrees Celsius mark. With scanty rains owing to feeble western disturbances, Delhi had recorded its second hottest April this year since 1951 with a monthly average maximum temperature of 40.2 degrees Celsius.
The city's normal monthly average temperature in April is 36.30 degrees Celsius. A heatwave at the month-end had sent the mercury soaring to 46 and 47 degrees Celsius in several parts of Delhi.