Rain, hailstorm lash parts of Delhi; Waterlogging in several areas
The minimum temperature was recorded at 18.2 degrees Celsius, two notches above normal
Rain and hailstorm lashed parts of Delhi on Saturday, bringing the maximum temperature five notches below the season's average to 25.3 degrees Celsius, the lowest so far this month, officials said.
The observatory at Aya Nagar recorded the maximum rainfall at 8.4 mm, followed by Palam at 3.3 mm and Lodhi Road at 3 mm, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
The minimum temperature was recorded at 18.2 degrees Celsius, two notches above normal.
The national capital also witnessed waterlogging in several areas, including Burari.
The Delhi Traffic Police received three calls regarding waterlogging near the Tikri border, Bagga Link roundabout in Karol Bagh and the Loni Road roundabout, officials said.
Commuters also complained about traffic in some areas, including Bhikaji Cama Place, Jain Nagar and along the route from Khajoori to Bhajanpura.
Kuldeep Srivastava, head of the IMD's regional forecasting centre, said, "An active western disturbance over northwest India is causing rain in the region and hailstorm in some areas. Another western disturbance will start affecting the region (from) Sunday generally cloudy skies and on-and-off rain will continue over northwest India till March 20-21.
"The precipitation activity is predicted to peak on March 20. The wet spell will keep the mercury in check. Hailstorm is predicted in parts of northwest India, including Delhi-NCR, on March 20."
Strong winds and hailstorms might damage plantations, horticulture and standing crops. Hail may also injure people and cattle in open places while strong winds can damage vulnerable structures and 'kuccha' houses, walls and huts, the IMD warned.
It has advised people to stay indoors and not take shelter under trees, lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls. It has also urged people to keep away from water bodies.
At 6 pm, Delhi's air quality index (AQI) was recorded in the 'moderate' category at 170.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'.
The Met office has predicted generally cloudy skies with light rain on Sunday. The maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to settle around 27 and 17 degrees Celsius, respectively.
On Friday, the minimum temperature in Delhi was recorded a notch above the season's average at 17.2 degrees Celsius while the day temperature settled at 30.4 degrees.
The highest rainfall in the Delhi-NCR region was recorded in Gurugram at 38.5 mm, the IMD said. Several areas also witnessed hailstorms.
The intermittent rain caused waterlogging and traffic snarls across the city. Commuters also complained about waterlogging on the Delhi-Jaipur Highway and large swathes of Sohna Road, New Gurugram and the Old City.
Most of the waterlogging in the city occurs on the Delhi-Jaipur Highway service lanes near Narsinghpur. On Saturday, water from the service lanes seeped into the main carriageway, leading to snarls despite the low traffic volume, officials said.
In several colonies, water accumulated up to three feet, forcing teams from the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) and the civic body to begin drainage work. Electricity connections were also snapped in many areas.
Rajesh Bansal, the GMDA's chief engineer, said teams were deployed for evacuation after waterlogging at Narsinghpur. In most places, however, the water receded in the evening.