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Finally, it rains in Delhi; still 61.5% less in July

NEW DELHI: The city's long wait for monsoon showers ended on Monday as it gauged 28.8 mm precipitation, the maximum in July this year, and more rains are expected over the next two to three days. The moderate rainfall ended a six-day dry spell in the national capital.

The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides official figures for the city, recorded 28.8 mm rainfall till 5:30 pm Monday. The weather stations at Palam, Lodhi Road, Ridge, Ayanagar, Najafgarh, and Sports Complex recorded 25.8, 23.2, 13.2, 19.9, 4 and 7 mm precipitation, respectively. More than 65 mm precipitation at any place is considered heavy rain, officials said.

The monsoon trough has shifted slightly southwards from the foothills of the Himalayas. Now, it runs from Punjab, Haryana, west Uttar Pradesh...all the way up to Nagaland," Kuldeep Srivastava, senior scientist at India Meteorological Department, said.

Heavy rain was reported in Central Delhi, East Delhi and some parts of neighbouring Noida. The rain over Delhi was accompanied by a sharp drop in visibility as dark clouds gathered over Delhi-NCR. The rainfall, however, was brief and stopped after around 15-20 minutes.

From July 1 to July 15, the Safdarjung Observatory recorded 55.6 mm rainfall, 61.5 percent less than the 30-year average of 88.3 mm during the period, according to officials. Since the onset of monsoon on July 5, the national capital has recorded 54.2 mm rainfall only 1.4 mm precipitation occurred in the first five days of the month.

One of the primary reasons behind scant rainfall is the delayed onset of monsoon in the region, officials said. The IMD on July 5 declared the onset of monsoon over the national capital. Normally, the wind system reaches the city by June 29. So far, the city has recorded rainfall on six days in the first 15 days of July. On average, it records rainfall on 15 days during the month.

On Monday, the city recorded a high of 34.7 degrees Celsius, normal for this time of the year, and a low of 26.6 degrees Celsius. Humidity levels oscillated between 64 and 96 percent.

"Winds over Delhi and NCR have changed to easterly. We expect the weather to change and rains to intensify gradually," Mahesh Palawat, Vice president Meteorology and Climate Change at private weather forecaster Skymet Weather said. An IMD official also said that the rains are expected to last till Thursday.

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