New Delhi:

The month of May was the coldest month in Delhi in the last 36 years. The average maximum temperature in May was recorded at 36.8 degrees Celsius due to excessive rainfall, the IMD said on Wednesday. Kuldeep Srivastava, head of the Regional Forecasting Centre of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), said the mean maximum temperature recorded in Delhi in May 1987 was 36 degrees Celsius. "The mean maximum temperature in May this year was 36.8 degrees Celsius, the lowest since 1987," he said.

Delhi recorded a maximum temperature above 40 degrees Celsius for just nine days in May and heatwave conditions prevailed in parts of the city for just two days. "The Safdarjung Observatory has not recorded a single day of heat wave in the pre-monsoon season this year. This is the first time since 2014 that the temperature recorded at the Safdarjung Observatory is considered the official temperature of the city. The IMD also said that after wednesday's rainfall in the national capital, a total of 184.3 mm rainfall has been recorded in this pre-monsoon period, which is 186 per cent more than the normal rainfall.

The city has recorded good air quality in the January-May period since 2020 except 2016 due to rains. May is usually hot with an average maximum temperature of 39.5 degrees Celsius. This year, 111 mm rainfall has been recorded in May, which is 30 per cent more than the long-term average of 7.262 mm. According to IMD data, this is the fourth highest rainfall in May after 2008 received 165 mm rainfall, 2021.144 mm in 8 and 2002.129 mm in 3.

Meteorologists have attributed this to more frequent western disturbances. "Usually, five to six western disturbances are recorded in the northern plains in April and May. This time, we saw 10 western disturbances, mostly strong ones," he said. However, we cannot link it to climate change due to lack of data.

The air quality has also improved due to the rains. According to the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), Delhi recorded an average air quality index (AQI) of 213 in the January-May period this year, the lowest since 2020, except for 2016. In the same period last year, the AQI was 237, 2021 in 235, 2020 in 181, 2019 in 236, 2018 in 242, 2017 in 251 and 2016 in 283.

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