Monsoon hits Delhi, breaks 108-year record (Lead)

June 15th, 2008 - 7:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) The south-west monsoon, the lifeline of millions of farmers in the country, set in over the national capital Sunday - two weeks in advance, breaking a 108 year-old record. Heavy rains, accompanied by lightning in some areas, lashed the capital since morning, keeping most people confined to their homes on a Sunday. The monsoon has hit neighbouring Haryana and Punjab too.

“The monsoon has arrived in the national capital,” S.C. Bhan, director of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), told IANS.

According to the IMD, it was last in 1901 that the monsoon arrived in the capital on June 15.

“The monsoon has broken a 108 year-old record,” said another IMD director, B.P.Yadav.

“It’s definitely good news. As predicted, the progress of the south-west monsoon over almost all parts of India is largely smooth. We expect to receive normal rainfall this year,” Bhan added.

The Met department recorded a rainfall of 29.6 mm till 2.30 p.m.

Last year, the monsoon entered Delhi June 28. In 1998, monsoon set in June 16.The normal date of monsoon arrival in the city is June 29.

The early onset of the monsoon, however, did not deter some intrepid Delhiites from enjoying their Sunday holiday.

Sakshi Jain decided to enjoy her Sunday with friends and didn’t mind getting wet. “The monsoon is a relief from the extreme heat,” said Sakshi, a business management student. “I am enjoying getting wet in the rain and plan to go out with friends.”

The minimum temperature recorded in the morning was 27.5 degrees Celsius - two notches below normal, and the maximum is expected to stay around 33 degrees Celsius - four degrees below normal.

A.K. Goel, a chartered accountant, said: “It is unexpected for Delhi to witness so much rain in the month of June, but it’s an excellent kind of weather and perfect to go roaming out in.”

The weatherman said there would not be much change in the weather conditions.

As it was a Sunday, the capital didn’t witness any traffic jams and complaints of water logging were also not received by the civic agencies.

“We haven’t received any complaint of water-logging,” said a Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) official.

There were also no reports of any injuries or damage to property due to the rains, police said.

“The weather has become very humid and this is problematic for asthmatic patients,” Mudit Mittal, an MNC employee, said.

The weatherman forecast a generally cloudy sky with a few spells of rain or thunderstorms in the coming days. Heavy rains are also expected in some areas.

The met department had earlier indicated that the south-west monsoon was advancing across the country in a more smooth and rapid manner compared to last year.

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