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Wednesday 22 January 2020

Delhi weather won’t be cool despite lower temperature

Learn about the western disturbance that will not bring comfort to the people of Delhi despite the rains it brings in from the Arabian Sea

[pullquote]Due to the western disturbance in Jammu and Kashmir, the temperature in Delhi will decrease

A dust storm is possible

Moist winds over the Arabian Sea will bring humidity to Delhi

The temperature will rise once again after the skies clear on 18 May[/pullquote]

New Delhi: Last Monday was bliss for the Delhi people. Winds and a thundershower lowered the temperature. According to a private weather office, the temperature will be low in the coming days. However, the lessened heat wouldn’t be of much comfort as the humidity will be high.

The Delhi weather paradox

The reason behind the sudden change of weather, marked by rain and wind, is the influence of the “western disturbance” over the region of Jammu and Kashmir. The rain-bearing winds originate near the Mediterranean Sea, absorbing a huge amount of moisture while travelling towards the Indian mainland. Hence, they bring high humidity along with the showers.

On Monday, the maximum temperature recorded was 40.2°C, which was one degree higher than the normal whereas the minimum temperature recorded after the rain was 25.4°C.

The winds indeed lowered the temperature, but they also created trouble as they were dusty and gusty. The wind speed recorded was 40-50 km/h.

The places that recorded higher temperature in Delhi were Palam (41.5°C) and Lodhi Road (40.5°C). The IMD has predicted light rainfall on 16, 17 and 18 May. Due to this, the temperature in Delhi will remain below 40°C in the coming days.

According to Skymet, due to the western disturbance, a cyclonic circulation has formed over the Rajasthan, which can bring dust storm to Delhi along with humid winds.

What is a ‘western disturbance’?

According to The Himalaya: Aspects of Change by JS Lall and AD Moddie, a western disturbance is an extratropical storm originating in the Mediterranean region that brings sudden winter rain to the northwestern parts of the Indian subcontinent.

This geographical phenomenon is a non-monsoonal precipitation pattern driven by the westerlies.

The moisture in these storms usually originates over the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

Extratropical storms are a global phenomenon, with moisture usually carried in the upper atmosphere, unlike their tropical counterparts where the moisture is carried in the lower atmosphere. In the case of the Indian subcontinent, moisture is sometimes shed as rain when the storm system encounters the Himalayas.

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