Finally…rain god smiles on north India


New Delhi : After a simmering fortnight when most of north India baked in the heat, the rains finally graced the region Friday, bringing a wave of relief and a renewed energy to harried residents.

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The capital woke up to a pleasant Friday morning – without a trace of the scorching summer sun or the unbearable heat – and as the day advanced the skies turned grey before finally giving way to a refreshing spell of rain.

The capital received 51.2 mm of rain. "The skies are going to remain cloudy tomorrow as well," said an official of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

The maximum temperature was a pleasant 36 degree Celsius while the minimum was a distinctly cool 28.

Washing down the dusty roads and bringing back the sheen on seemingly-frayed greenery, the rains lifted the spirits of Delhiites.

"It was a pleasant surprise. I had been getting depressed every time I got a call from my parents back in Assam where it has been raining quite generously," said Arnab Goswami, a student.

The neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana also experienced moderate rainfall, with temperatures across the two states falling four to 12 degrees below normal.

Patiala town in Punjab received 25 mm of rainfall, the highest in the region, bringing down the temperature by 10 degrees Celsius below normal. The maximum temperature there was 30.1 degrees.

Chandigarh received 11 mm rain Friday with the temperature hovering around 35 degrees Celsius.

"It has been raining here every morning for the past three days. Even today the skies have remained overcast for the better part of the day," said Ashwini Sarin, a resident of Chandigarh.

Karnal in Haryana received 15 mm of rainfall and had a maximum temperature of 29.5 degrees Celsius, 11 degrees Celsius below normal. Ambala received eight mm of rain with the maximum temperature at 30.5 degrees Celsius.

Jammu and Kashmir, although still in the grip of high temperatures and humidity levels, received a brief spell of rain Thursday night. "It rained for about 20 minutes last night. But today it's hot and humid again," said Afsana Ahmed, a resident of Srinagar.

However, there was no respite from the heat wave for Rajasthan. Other than the town of Pilani, where rains are expected Saturday, the state reeled under the heat spell.

The capital Jaipur recorded a maximum temperature of 41.8 degrees Celsius.