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Historic low temperatures sweep North India, a month’s worth of rain in a day hits Delhi

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Heavy rains, snow, and persisting cold wave have been creating difficult conditions for people in northwestern India– in Delhi, heavy rains surpassed its monthly average for January of 21.7 mm (0.8 inches) when Safdarjung observatory recorded more than 25.1 mm (0.9 inches) into Sunday, January 3, 2021. The city also recorded its lowest temperature in 15 years when the mercury dropped to 1.1 °C (34 °F) on January 1, while Hisar had its coldest in 47 years with a minimum temperature of -1.2 °C (29.8 °F) on December 31, 2020.

Extreme weather conditions in northwest India have left many people struggling to survive, especially with some night shelters functioning without electricity.

On Safradjung Road, around 20 families have been living in a shelter, waiting for treatment for various diseases. 

"From the beginning of the winter season, we have been facing electricity problems. We are using solar lights to avoid this problem," Shelter in charge Vedpal told ANI.

"It is even more difficult in rainy seasons like yesterday. For now, people are charging their phones outside the night shelter."

Hisar in Haryana recorded -1.2 °C (29.8 °F) on December 31, which was the city's coldest December day since 1973, when the mercury hit -1.5 °C (29.3 °F).

Dense fog and piercing cold gripped Delhi on New Year's Day when the city recorded 1.1 °C (34 °F), the lowest since January 8, 2006, when the area recorded a minimum of 0.2 °C (32.4 °F).

Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the India Meteorological Department's (IMD) regional forecasting center, told NDTV that very dense fog led to zero visibility at Safdarjung and Palam. He added that the minimum temperature is forecast to rise by Tuesday, January 5. 

Heavy rains then lashed the capital, resulting in waterlogging in some parts of the city. Safdarjung observatory recorded 25.1 mm (0.9 inches) of rain in 24 hours to Sunday morning and another 14.8 mm (0.6 inches) into the afternoon.

By the end of the day, Delhi had exceeded its monthly rainfall average for January of 21.7 mm (9.8 inches). 

The IMD has issued an orange alert for Monday, January 4, due to chances of light to moderate showers in parts of the cit, as well as hailstorm at isolated places.

Featured image credit: India Today

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