After Delhi witnessed two straight years of scorching temperatures in March, this year, the month will likely end on a cooler note, with the India Meteorological Department predicting light rain in the days ahead.
On Sunday, the maximum temperature in Delhi was 31 degrees Celsius (°C) — normal for this time of the year, and slightly above the 30.4°C logged on Saturday. Meanwhile, the minimum temperature on Sunday was 15.8°C — one degree below the normal, and half a notch above the 15.3°C recorded on Saturday.
The warmest day in March so far was 34.3°C on March 15. In comparison, Delhi experienced scorching temperatures at the end of March last year, with the maximum reaching 39.6°C on March 31 of that year. It was even warmer in 2021, with the mercury hitting 40.1°C on March 30.
This year, however, rains in the second half of March have kept the temperatures in check, and while temperatures will rise slightly over the next few days, the Met department has predicted more rains this week.
Also Read: Delhi records highest single-day rain in March in 3 years: Weather agency
The IMD forecasts for Monday and Tuesday show no significant change in weather, with the maximum temperature hovering around 31°C and the minimum temperature around 16°C. By Wednesday, the high temperature could reach 32°C.
Kuldeep Srivastava, scientist at IMD, said a western disturbance will begin impacting the northern plains on Wednesday night, and this weather phenomenon is expected to reach Delhi by Thursday. “There is a chance of light rain in some parts of Delhi on Thursday and Friday, with some cloudiness remaining until Saturday. While the maximum temperature will gradually rise over the next 48 hours, this western disturbance will halt this temperature spike,” Srivastava said.
According to IMD data, Delhi has received 28.3mm of rainfall so far this March — much more than the monthly average of 17.4mm. The last time Delhi received more rain in March was in 2020, when the city received 109.6mm of rain — also the all-time monthly rainfall record for March.
Meanwhile, Delhi’s pollution levels deteriorated to the moderate range on Sunday, with an Air Quality Index reading of 168, as per the daily national bulletin released by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) at 4pm. In comparison, the AQI for Saturday was 78 (satisfactory).
Forecasts from the Delhi Early Warning System (EWS), used for decision-making by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in the National Capital Region, show that in the coming days, the AQI may rise further but will likely remain in the moderate category.
“The air quality is likely to deteriorate gradually, but it will remain in the moderate category from Monday to Wednesday. The forecast for the next six days indicates that air quality will likely remain moderate,” EWS said.
CPCB classifies an AQI between 0-50 as “good”, between 51 and 100 as “satisfactory”, between 101 and 200 as “moderate”, between 201 and 300 as “poor”, between 301 and 400 as “very poor”, and over 400 as “severe”.