NEW DELHI: Delhiites’ wait for relief from the sweltering heat got longer as the monsoon played truant on Sunday, too, despite predictions for rain. The weather department said the arrival of the long-delayed monsoon will now be announced on Monday.
“The conditions continue to remain favourable for further advance of southwest monsoon over Delhi, remaining parts of west Uttar Pradesh, some more parts of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan during the next 24 hours,” the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a statement.
The arrival of the monsoon will be announced in Monday’s midday bulletin, based on observations at 8.30 am, IMD scientist Sunitha Devi said. According to the standard operating procedure, the monsoon onset is declared based on the rainfall reported during the past 24 hours ending at 8.30 am, she explained.
The met office has been way off the mark in its monsoon forecast for Delhi this year. The IMD had earlier said the monsoon will arrive in the city 12 days early, on June 15, but it got delayed as the wind system entered a ‘break’ phase.
Last week, the department announced July 10 as the new arrival date. But on Saturday, too, the monsoon missed its date with the national capital, with the weather department revising its prediction and saying it will reach the city in the next 24 hours. However, Delhi residents were left waiting for the showers on Sunday, too.
Devi said predicting the arrival of the monsoon in northwest India is a complex process, compared to the southwest monsoon landfall in Kerala, as the variability is high because of less rainfall. This has been most delayed since 2002, when it had arrived on July 19. Delhi has received 64 per cent less rainfall than normal so far, putting it in the category of ‘large deficient’ states.
In other parts of north India, however, several lives were lost to rain related incidents. Eight people, including seven children, were killed by lightning in Rajasthan while three persons died d at a village in Uttarakhand after their house collapsed in a landslide caused due to heavy rains.