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Second wettest May since 1971 as downpour cools city

June 01, 2020 06:06 AM


Second wettest May since 1971 as downpour cools city

A cyclist braves the rain in Sector 50, Chandigarh, on Sunday. Ravi Kumar/ht

Rajanbir Singh

CHANDIGARH : About120.5 mm rain, including a heavy 50 mm downpour in just a span of one-and-a-half-hours hours on Sunday evening made this the second wettest May since 1951 (the year from which weather records were maintained in India) and the wettest since 1971 when 130.7 mm of rain was recorded, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said.

Temperatures dipped from Saturday’s 32.8 degrees (maximum) and 24.4 degrees (minimum) to 31.9 degrees (maximum) and 22.3 degrees (minimum) on Sunday.

Even 50 mm rain in one day on the last day of the month, classified as ‘rather heavy rain’ by IMD, was the highest ever recorded for this month since 2014 when 57.1 mm of rain was recorded on May 4.

Rainfall of 64.5 mm onwards is categorised as heavy rain.

‘Freak weather occurrence’

Calling this a freak weather occurrence, the second this month after 31.2 mm of rain was recorded on May 10, IMD Chandigarh director Surender Paul said, “This May has been exceptionally rainy because of the confluence of low level easterly winds with strong western disturbances. Usually in May only western disturbances are present in the city, but the confluence of low level winds coming in from the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal has led to excessive rain this year.

Apart from the city, Ambala and Narnaul too had rain while the rest of the region had short spells in some areas. “Topographically also Chandigarh is at the foothills of the Himalayas, due to this more rain was recorded in Chandigarh and Ambala while little to no rain occurred in the rest of the region,” Paul explained.

Since the rain clouds came in from the western side of the city, the Sector 39 IMD observatory recorded 50mm rain, while the airport observatory which is just a few kilometers away recorded only trace rainfall. “It was highly localised and the concentration of clouds was towards the west,” said Paul.

Light rain forecast for Monday

The western disturbance the region is on its way out, Paul said, adding, “chances of light to moderate rain will continue on Monday, but rain is unlikely from Tuesday onwards. The sky will remain cloudy for a few days and the maximum temperature will start to rise, with a dry spell pushing up temperatures to 40 degrees Celsius.”

For the next three days maximum temperatures will range between 33 degrees and 35 degrees and the minimum temperatures between 23 degrees and 24 degrees.

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