'Intense wet spell to continue over north India till Jan 5'

North India is likely to witness an intense wet spell till Tuesday, with a fairly widespread precipitation accompanied with thunderstorm, lightning and hailstorm at isolated places, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Sunday.

The activities will peak on Sunday and Monday over the plains (Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, west Uttar Pradesh and north Rajasthan) and on Monday over the western Himalayan region (Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit-Baltistan and Muzaffarabad, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand), it added.

After the wet spell, fresh northerly-northwesterly winds are likely to set in over the plains of northwest India, causing “cold wave to severe cold wave conditions” at isolated places in Punjab, Haryana and north Rajasthan from January 7 onwards, the IMD said.

An active western disturbance lies as a middle-and-upper-level cyclonic circulation over central Pakistan and neighbourhood, with its induced cyclonic circulation over southwest Rajasthan and neighbourhood at lower levels.

A north-south zone of wind confluence was also observed on Sunday from north Punjab to northeast Arabian Sea, with a strong interaction between southwesterly in association with the western disturbance and lower-level moist southeasterlies.

“All these favourable meteorological features are likely to persist till January 5 and continue to cause a moderate to intense wet spell with a fairly widespread to widespread precipitation accompanied with thunderstorm, lightning and hailstorm at isolated places over northwest India till the night of January 5, with peak activities on January 3 and 4 over the plains (Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, west Uttar Pradesh and north Rajasthan).

“…And on January 4 and 5 over the western Himalayan region (Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit-Baltistan and Muzaffarabad, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand),” the IMD said. Rains lashed the national capital in the morning. According to a MeT department official, heavy rainfall was reported in areas across Delhi and the minimum temperatures have increased due to clouds and easterly winds. “The Safdarjung observatory recorded a minimum temperature of 9.9 degrees Celsius, an increase of 6.7 degrees with 25 mm rain. The Palam observatory recorded a minimum temperature of 11.4 degrees Celsius with 18 mm rain. Rain with hailstorm is expected until January 6,” the official said.